Fostering a human-centered workplace is critical to ensuring your employees feel supported, their voices are heard, and that they experience a sense of belonging. Over the last two years, the pandemic has caused many workers to feel isolated due to social distancing requirements, inability to travel, and the shift to remote work policies. To feel a sense of belonging, employees need a strong support network—particularly at work. A workplace that puts an employee’s needs, desires, and goals first can see an increase in employee motivation and job satisfaction.

What is a human-centered workplace?

A human-centered workplace revolves around its people and considers their specific needs. Employees have always wanted and needed a more agile and human-centric approach to work in order to build trust, increase productivity and flexibility. Humanizing your workplace includes the following strategies:

  1. Offering flexibility in scheduling
  2. Paying attention to and recognizing employee achievements
  3. Focusing on and taking care of employee wellbeing
  4. Setting up team-oriented projects and goals
  5. Providing professional development opportunities

Not only will these strategies help employees alleviate feelings of isolation, it creates a work environment that enables them to thrive.

WorkLife’s human-centered approach

At WorkLife Partnership, our Resource Navigators often meet with employees during some of the most challenging times in their lives. They’re dealing with difficult landlords, trying to find a therapist that actually has availability, or spending hours a day searching for childcare that is both safe and affordable—all while showing up to work. 

No matter what employees are going through, the type of interaction they have with a Resource Navigator is critical to building trust. Talking about the intimate details of your life and asking for help from someone you don’t know can cause you to feel stressed and vulnerable. That’s why our service is 100% confidential and our Navigators approach every situation with understanding and care. 

Navigators lead with empathy to help establish trust and empower confidence in employees. The employees WorkLife supports not only trust their Navigators, they also have confidence in the resources we connect them to. The number one thing you’ll hear from employees when asked about their Resource Navigator is “I felt like I had a friend.”

An example of our approach

Max* reached out to a Resource Navigator when he was feeling stressed about his living situation. At the time, he was wanting some help in preparing to move out of his parent’s house and into an apartment of his own as he had recently turned 18. The Resource Navigator and client discussed next steps and looked at available apartments in his price range. Max wasn’t ready to move out quite yet but was equipped with the resources to do so when he was ready. After a couple of weeks, the Resource Navigator and Max wrapped up their time working together.

Several weeks later, Max reached back out to WorkLife Partnership needing help as his housing situation had suddenly changed and he had been staying at a hotel. He expressed an urgent need for immediate shelter as well as a long-term housing solution. He explained that it was hard to make it to work regularly without having stable housing and having to come up with a new housing plan each night. His savings had run out paying for the hotel rooms.

When he reached back out to the Resource Navigator, he had already tried calling the central resource for those experiencing homelessness in his area several times but hadn’t heard back. Max and the Navigator came up with a plan and the Navigator began to research other options in his area. After calling around, the Navigator found a place that provides shelter and support to young adults experiencing homeless that meets their immediate needs for shelter and provides support for finding long-term stability and housing. After a few calls back and forth, Max got connected with them and is moving forward with their program. Within 3 days of reaching back out to WorkLife Partnership, this new housing plan was in place. Max expressed gratitude for the Resource Navigator’s support and advised that he is feeling stable and optimistic about the future.

He can now think long-term and feels more confident to tackle future challenges. This success story is evident of why a human-centered approach matters. Trust and an ongoing relationship was built with the Navigator and Max knew that he could reach out at any time for support. 

*To preserve confidentiality, stories are shared from across our employer network and names have been changed.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how WorkLife can support you in building a culture where employees meet their potential, please don’t hesitate to contact us.