SVP strategy and consulting Workhuman
Share this content

Work has changed: how can companies move forward?

19th Nov 2020
SVP strategy and consulting Workhuman
Share this content

The world of work has changed course radically this year, impacting our daily lives and modes of working, perhaps forever. As things have changed, companies urgently need to evolve as well. But despite today’s challenges, many companies are still thriving by bringing humanity to the workplace.

Companies are awakening to the fact that we’re now in ‘The Human Decade,’ and are realising that their people are their organisation – from their product and services to their innovation, creativity, and future. In order to successfully build that future, organisations have to view things through a human-experience lens.

How can organisations bring humanity to workforces, and what is the blueprint for success now and in the future? Here are some insights from business leaders across different industries:

Put people first

Baystate Health is a not-for-profit integrated health organisation that has been on the frontlines of the pandemic. When a patient recovers and is discharged, Baystate Health has been celebrating with what they call a “Code Rocky” – a round of applause from hospital staff, cheering to the theme music from the film “Rocky.” 

Kristin Morales-Lemieux, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Baystate Health sees these moments as a powerful reminder that we are all humans first, and that the physical, mental, and emotional health of their employees has to be at the core of everything they do. If Baystate Health’s people aren’t taken care of, then they can’t take care of others.

Understanding the value of appreciation and recognition, Baystate Health set up the Baystate Celebrates platform five years ago, and since then about 70% of employees – including more than 80% of nurses and nearly half of physicians – have received recognition. Employee recognition has helped build connections and creates a culture of positivity, which has proven invaluable to employee productivity and satisfaction.

Embrace individuality

Claude Silver, chief heart officer at VaynerMedia, is a thought leader in creating heart-centred, human work environments, and believes that from the moment someone sends in their CV to their last day on the job, people need to be seen, and taken care of, as individuals.

Instead of hiring for culture fit – namely, recruiting people with an already-matching set of ideas and values – Silver suggests looking for people who support diversity of thought and drive innovation. In that way, an organisation’s culture can reflect different “textures and fabrics” of ideas and creativity.

Create culture consciously

Likewise, Francine Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People Officer, Cisco, believes that, “We all own the culture.” Rather than something which is prescribed and imposed, Katsoudas observes that all of us can shape company culture and help it evolve. Culture is built by the experiences we drive, the characteristics and behaviours that we reinforce, and most importantly, by our day-to-day interactions.

Katsoudas focuses on a “conscious culture” that embraces the core values of inclusivity and belonging within Cisco. Ranking as the #1 World’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine for the second year in a row, it’s clear that this approach is working. 


It’s been a pivotal year, and only one thing is certain – the world of work will never be the same. But the power to build a people-centred future of work has never been more firmly in our grasp, and it’s HR leaders that can lead organisations on the path to working human.

To hear more from these and other business leaders, tune into “Building a human-centred workplace,” on Wed 9 December 2020, 2:00pm GMT.

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.