This year has pushed the envelope in many aspects of business and life as we know it.
Businesses that have been able to quickly adapt or change their focus have been able to weather the storm.
And those who have, have also done business with humanity in mind.
They are leading the way in humanising business and creating a deeper connection with their people, their customers and their clients.
Adapting your business to meet changing needs
The idea that companies, markets, or the capitalist system could ever stop, change direction and focus on what really matters didn’t seem in the realm of possibility only months ago.
But change hasn’t just happened; it has catapulted some businesses into a new direction that many would have never thought possible.
Think breweries teaming up with distilleries to make hand sanitiser, motor vehicle manufacturers making ventilators, or large supermarket chains hiring aviation employees.
This adaptation and focus on helping more people not only creates a previously unidentified income stream, but also humanises these businesses in a way they may have never considered before.
What is a human-centred business?
A human-centred business is one that places people at the centre of its business model.
As a leader within your business, showing empathy and understanding can create a team that is more engaged, produces higher quality work and fuels more overall job satisfaction, compared to a leader who is focused only on sales and figures.
Doing business with humanity in mind
Humanising your business allows you to create a deeper, more meaningful connection with your customers, your team and the community you are part of.
Doing business with humanity in mind includes:
- Meeting the needs of your customers and your team, while working toward a vision or purpose they also feel apart of;
- Making decisions that consider ‘the bigger picture’ and how the consequences of these decisions will affect customers, suppliers, employees and the community in general; and
- Speaking to the hearts and minds of people through your products, services, actions and business values.
As you focus on doing business with humanity in mind, take the time to evaluate your current business values.
How do they align with the people that you interact with on a daily basis?
How can you display your values and commitment to something bigger than simply making a financial profit?
Showing the human side of your business
Showing the human side of your business is a great way to not only attract talented people to your team, but also show the world what you stand for.
It’s about how you treat your employees and help them to go after their hopes and dreams.
It’s about standing up for what you believe in.
It’s displaying your values in every aspect of what you do.
It’s working towards a vision that is bigger than just the profit on your balance sheet.
Being a leader with humanity in mind
As a business leader, traditionally you had to be strong and unshakeable to run a successful business. However, there is an increasing trend toward showing the real, authentic side of yourself as a leader.
By being vulnerable, inclusive, showing empathy and care for others, it is now seen as a sign of strength. It allows you to create more meaningful connections with not only your team, but with your suppliers and customers too.
People feel like they know more about you as a person, not just as a business leader, and that only deepens the relationships with those around you.
Being a leader with humanity in mind is also about walking the talk. Your actions should reflect the words and language you use.
If you want to help others, then don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and show your weaknesses too.
No one is infallible. By owning your mistakes, learning from them and knowing what you can do better next time, not only will you grow as a business leader, but your team will see you in a whole new light.
Creating a business that is human-centred
Creating a business that is human-centred doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s about the little things that you do every day.
It’s about how you treat and empower your team.
It’s thinking about your impact on the world and how you can do things better.
It’s about showing the true essence of what you stand for and how you want to make an impact on the world, that will be here for future generations.
Doing business is very different now from what it was six months ago. And it will continue to change and evolve into the future.
Choosing to do business with humanity in mind will help your business to stand out, to lead and empower others to also become the best version of themselves.