Fostering a sustainable work culture with a people-centric approach
Building a strong people-first culture is one of an organisation’s most important assets, but sustaining that culture is another matter altogether, said Holly Branson, Chief Purpose and Vision Officer, Virgin.
In a company blog post, she shared that the first step to building and maintaining a healthy culture is to hire the right employees, and elaborated, “At Virgin, we look for optimists. We look for people who praise instead of criticise and who are passionate about making the world a better place.”
This, Branson emphasised, is particularly important at a senior leadership level, as a leader who does not align with the organisation’s goals will undermine both the culture and purpose of the organisation.
It is also important for leaders to lead by example when it comes to creating a workplace that is 100% human-centric. Branson shared her personal experience of returning to work after maternity leave with a sense of anxiety. However, after confiding in her colleagues, she received the support and compassion needed to ease her transition back to work.
According to Branson, it is important to facilitate and normalise conversations at work, and to create a culture based on trust, belonging and transparency.
“Nurturing these relationships in the same way as you nurture the relationships you have with friends and family is a simple way to help one another thrive. We’re all human at the end of the day and we’re always happiest when we’re in healthy relationships,” she said.