The Importance of Having a Human-Centric Business Strategy

Written By: Kyler Cheatham
Date: June 13, 2022

From customer-facing dynamics to internal company cultures, the early 2020s strained everything in business strategy.

Many organizations went through a forced transformation to continue selling their products in an accelerated digital world. That accelerated pace of change has given both customers and employees the power and opportunity to define how businesses operate moving forward, requiring that they focus on sales projections, benchmarks, historical data, and, most importantly, human connections.

It's more important than ever before to incorporate human-centric strategies across all aspects of your organization. It's not only a key to digital transformation success, but to the success of your greater organization.

Here are some tactics you can leverage today to further incorporate human connection into your overall business strategy.

Understand the customer experience and relationship within e-commerce platforms or other digital footprints to help business strategy.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, customer relationships have moved from in-person to a digital environment, so there is more emphasis on creating engaging digital relationships with brands now than there was before.

As many organizations have gone through a forced transformation to continue to operate and sell their products, virtual services have become a trend, helping businesses interact and create a bond with customers in a different environment. Brands have had to really consider the customer experience in an online or digital environment to be able to create data points around their behavior and overall perception of the business.

Become more socially aware.

We’re seeing brands creating philanthropic messaging or overall cultural awareness around current events or issues. It has become increasingly important to consider the customer experience and demand when looking at elements such as online messaging or overall user communication with the business’ digital technologies.

Vulnerability and transparency are key elements that help customers create a bond within a digital environment. Since there’s no person or face-to-face interaction with the actual product or service, there needs to be a heightened level of transparency to create brand affinity with your present and future customers.

See customer insights as essential data.

Receiving customer insight creates that feedback opportunity and consistent loop that helps businesses get to know their customers and understand their overall insight in an actionable and digestible format – and this is especially important within any sort of digital transformation.

Considering the overall customer experience is pivotal to ensuring not only success with the technology implementation but growing your business value and increasing return on investment (ROI).

Keep the employee digital experience at the forefront of enterprise and business strategies.

This great reshuffle or great resignation, as they call it, has created an employee-controlled marketplace. With hybrid and remote work environments, there needs to be a clear communication of what the digital benefits are. Businesses and organizations must get creative when leveraging technology to create and engage in an innovative collaborative environment.

Technologies like asset management or enterprise systems, and employee engagement platforms really need to be optimized to create and leverage a good and positive employee experience. But, can you cross-collaborate if you have a global footprint that is now in a full and remote environment? How do you ensure that employees won’t leave because they don’t feel as though they are involved in a community?

Creating a virtual water cooler or other engagement and cultural touchpoints that employees have always valued, digitizing positive traditions within your business such as monthly birthday celebrations, digital happy hours, and virtual baby showers are still important to a productive and loyal working community.

The same goes for recognition. It’s also important to showcase career progress within digital environments, creating a virtual opportunity to celebrate promotions or discuss career paths through your technological platforms.

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Create a stronger bond and relationship with your workforce.

Two keywords: vulnerability and empathy.

Considering the stress current events in the world put on your employees is more important than ever, and you must ensure that they feel safe within their working environment. Creating a stronger bond and relationship with your workforce will allow your employees to produce their best work without the fear of losing their job or the thought that they cannot articulate their feedback to the organization.

Coaching empathy within your middle management tier is critical to ensuring that the employee experience is positive. Things like listening and creating consistent opportunities for feedback, and garnering action from that feedback, will show employees that they’re being heard.

Technologies can help leverage and organize this data and create themes in which you can optimize and improve as a business, ensuring that your employees are content and will stay within your organizational structure for a long time.

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Vulnerability and a culture of transparency start with leadership.

If you are a business leader, it is highly recommendable to create a safe base for your own employees to be vulnerable and create a deeper relationship with your business. Remote work has let us see business leaders joining business meetings with their children in the background because their care center or school was impacted by COVID-19, making them able to open the door to new conversations for the benefit of the organization.

There is a deep power around stating “I don’t know, but we’ll figure it out together.” The authenticity within that response creates a sense of trust between the employee and the employer. It will naturally inspire your team to invest their time and best work into the organization.

These human-centric strategies and considering the human impact of technology, in general, are especially important within a digital transformation because if there is a culture of trust when issues surface, you will be able to address them before the technology implementation or digital transformation goes on a route of failure.

In an increasingly complex and ever-changing business landscape, it is more important than ever before for companies to be agile and adaptable. To do this, they need to take a strategic approach to decision-making.

Facts and data always have been and always will be essential in strategy development, but organizations must also take into consideration the importance of the human behaviors and relationships that can ultimately make or break a business.

If you are in the midst of formulating your digital strategy to accommodate both the accelerated growth in technology and the ever-increasing need for human connection, don't hesitate to reach out to us directly. Our team of change and digital transformation experts are here to support your organization's prosperity.

Kyler Cheatham
Kyler Cheatham is a digital artist and innovator who is always thinking of new ways to improve the world around her. As the Global Marketing Director at Third Stage Consulting, she uses her creativity and tech-savvyness to help businesses reach their target audiences. Kyler is also a thought leader in the digital marketing space, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others. She is also a mother of two young children, which has given her a unique perspective on balancing work and family life.
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