Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone Sift Media
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Quiz: How people-centred is your organisation?

22nd Nov 2012
Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone Sift Media
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Adopting a people-oriented approach to your organisational culture can help to transform it by making it more efficient and, ultimately, more successful.

Helen Sanderson, who has co-authored a book entitled “Creating person-centred organisations” with Stephen Stirk, believes that going down this route gives staff more control over their lives as it means that they are clear about their role, feel supported and are more engaged because their talents and interests are being used to support others.   As a result, stress levels fall and people generally enjoy their work more. So why not try out our quiz in order to find out how people-centred your organisation is?   Each of the eight statements below describes a key factor in the mix so rate your organisation on a scale of one to five based on how well it performs against each of them – a score of one means that the factor is ‘not present at all’, while five means that it is ‘evident throughout the organisation’.   1. Motivational leaders   Person-centred organisations have a clear vision and mission, with leaders who motivate, inspire and ensure that everything is aligned to achieve these goals.   2. Shared values   Everyone shares, is able to articulate and, most importantly, demonstrate the organisation’s people-oriented values.   3. Personal goals   Everything is focused towards achieving the outcomes that employees want in their life, whether in terms of day-to-day routines or how they want their life to be in future. People-centred organisations know whom they serve and what people expect from their service - and they deliver it.   4. Community focus   Feeling part of a community is important and is something to which both individuals and the wider organisation contribute.  5. Empowered staff   Hierarchical structures are flat and managers ensure that their teams have a clear purpose, know what is important and how they can best support each other. They also understand how to match roles to individuals’ strengths and talents as much as possible.   Personnel are appreciated, valued and listened to as well as being respected, trusted and allowed to take responsibility for their work.   6. Continuous learning   A people-oriented organisation is a learning organisation, continuously developing and improving the skills of its staff. Learning takes place at all levels and directly influences individuals, teams and organisational development. As a result, creativity, action-learning, innovation and enterprise flourish.   7. Working together   Person-centred organisations are built in partnership with their stakeholders. Working together effectively starts with these stakeholders helping to co-design what they would like services to look like. Decision-making is as close to the individual as possible in order to empower teams to make decisions with as little bureaucracy as possible.   8. Embedding common practices   The whole organisation shares a common language and common practices in order to deliver the other seven key elements. They are part of its DNA and are simply the way that things are done in order to achieve the best outcomes and lifestyle for everyone concerned.   Scoring   1-15 points   If you scored 15 points or lower, you are at the start of the journey and may wish to explore in more detail how to introduce people-oriented practices (no 8), beginning with motivational leadership (no 1) and shared values (no 2).   16-30 points   Well done - your organisation has some of the basics in place and is making progress. It might be useful to look at how you can best ensure that person-centred practices are embedded throughout the organisation (no 8), however, paying attention to personal goals (no 3) and how best to introduce continuous learning (no.6).   30-40 points   Congratulations - your organisation already has people-centred practices in place and they are a hallmark of what it does. However, it may be valuable to explore how you can promote more of a community feel (no 4), and understand how central your service users are to decision-making processes (no 7). Also think about sharing your insights via your website, blogs and the like as other people will be keen to learn from you.

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