One of the most pertinent challenges businesses are facing today is the shift in employee mindset.
Employees are fighting for changes in the workplace that benefit them more than ever. But unfortunately, businesses that aren’t taking this shift seriously are losing employees — and their companies suffer because of it.
The solution? Adopting an employee-first mindset when making business decisions. Having an employee-first attitude in business decision-making can benefit both businesses and individuals in the workplace. Let’s look at this in more detail below.
The Benefits of an Employee-First Mindset
Putting employees first in business decision-making is integral to the stability and longevity of a
For example, let’s say a company leader decides to add an entire department to their
organization. They aren’t planning on hiring new employees, and they don’t tell their existing
Now, their employees are bombarded with extra responsibilities and expectations. The
employees try, but eventually, the stress leads to exhaustion, burnout, and a decline in
productivity. And the new department never gets off the ground.
Employees will end up departing, leaving no one to manage the existing and new departments,
impacting the ability to maintain the operation, let alone expand it. Had the company leader
considered how this change would affect their employees, communicate with them, and put
support structures in place to navigate potential challenges, their business would still be in good
An employee-first mindset with business decisions also benefits employees. For instance, when
a business brings new employees on board without consulting their existing team, it can result
in employees feeling insecure and uneasy about where they stand.
On the other hand, let’s say a company considers how its employees can benefit from a new
team member and asks their existing team how they feel about it. In that case, it’ll help
employees warm up to the change and feel more involved in the decision. In addition, they have
an opportunity to give their input on who and what skill sets the team needs to move forward.
Ultimately, having an employee-first mindset with business decisions is the best way to ensure
both the business and its employees are wholly supported.
How to Ensure Employees Come First in Decision-Making
Business leaders that adopt an employee-first mindset in their decision-making can create a
workplace where employees feel appreciated, supported, and secure. But how exactly do you
ensure employees are more involved in and at the forefront of decision-making?
Make accessibility a priority.
It only takes one employee to not have access to and ability to engage with something or
someone in the workplace for them to feel like they aren’t a valuable part of the team. And when
employees feel undervalued, it affects their and the entire workforce’s productivity.
So, always consider accessibility when you think about how a decision will affect your
For example, if you’re redesigning your office, plan with your employees living with
a disability in mind.
Even business trips should be accessible to everyone. Every time your team travels, list the
accommodations each person needs and do your best to ensure they’re met, whether it’s
needing a wheelchair-accessible location, budget-friendly events, or accessible transportation.
Whatever your employees need, ensure they have it so they can bring their best selves to work
Prioritize employee needs and input when making changes.
When a company leader makes a business decision, it usually means something is about to
change. Change will affect your employees in one way or another. So, you need to consider
their needs and input before making any permanent changes if you want things to go smoothly.
For example, let’s say you want to ramp up your sustainability initiatives. These initiatives will be
much more powerful if your employees are on board.
So, listen to their perspectives about sustainability and suggestions on improving it in your
workplace, whether it’s moving to a green office space, using resources more responsibly, or
removing certain health risks.
Ensure your employees are heard when it’s time to make a change.
Employees are demanding change in the workplace. Businesses resistant to change will stifle
business and employee growth. So, don’t just allow employees to advocate for themselves.
Genuinely welcome it. They’ll be much more empowered and productive because of it.
This blog was contributed directly to Workplace Fairness. Published with permission.
About the Author: Dan Matthews is a contributor for Workplace Fairness.