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Market Insights SEEK Employment trends Top Benefits of Cultivating a People-First Culture in Your Company
Top Benefits of Cultivating a People-First Culture in Your Company

Top Benefits of Cultivating a People-First Culture in Your Company

Did you know that up to 72% of Malaysians value a good work-life balance more than many other factors to define their ideal career path? Having time for family, friends, and hobbies trumps “progressing in a leadership position,” “reskilling to new professions,” or “working on exciting products, topics, or technologies,” according to a 2022 survey conducted by JobStreet and released via the Future of Recruitment Report. Now more than ever, Malaysians prize an organisation with a people-first culture, especially as they “increasingly work to live, not live to work.”

Has your company recognised this reality? Are you already championing the welfare of your employees over your business goals? If you’re still hesitating to pivot, learning the benefits of a people-first culture should entice you to make the move today. You might be surprised to find out that ensuring the well-being and guaranteeing the interest of your hires will lead to more organisational prosperity. Read on to find out the easy yet productive ways you can cultivate such values in the workplace.

What is People-First Culture? 

Do you want to attract top talents in the market? Or are you looking for effective solutions to retain your high-performing employees? The first question you should answer: are you offering them what they need in their careers and life in general? A whopping compensation package might no longer be enough. These days, you’ll need to entice them by championing a positive employee-first culture within your organisation. But what exactly is it?  

As its name suggests, a people-first culture prioritises employees over any other business component. Yes, that means people over profit, people over sales, people over business growth, people over development, and people over any other key performance indicator (KPI) that the company has used in the past. 

This shift in values emphasises actively listening to, understanding, and solving the needs of its workforce in any way possible. It might involve implementing hybrid work setups, flexible schedules, and upskilling opportunities. Or it might go as far as establishing menstrual leaves, scheduling recreation days for the entire team, or totally rehauling a hire’s KPIs from being results-oriented to values-driven. For example, instead of X number of sales in a month, you’ll measure an employee’s performance by how many hours they spent helping a colleague or how many times they clocked out on time. 

The goal of the company now goes beyond making sure you equip your employees with the right skills and tools to succeed in their tasks. Instead, it entails crafting and developing an environment towards their fulfilment. You can’t treat them as a means to your preconceived end anymore because they are the assets that make up that end.

Examples of a people-first culture

To gain a better understanding of this workforce-centric principle, you can look at how Meta, Google, and Apple run their companies. These examples drive the point across: 

  • Making work more meaningful by prioritising people, whether the actual employees, clients, or customers, in the results. 

  • Allowing flexibility in how work is done and how goals are met. 

  • Equipping leaders with tools to empathise and implement people-oriented changes within their teams. 

  • Providing hires with opportunities to make a difference in the project or the organisation as a whole.

  • Offering clear paths for career growth and development within manageable timeframes. 

  • Implementing concrete guidelines for work-life balance, such as rules on after-work correspondence, family-related leaves, and corresponding bonuses and benefits. 

  • Encouraging employees to provide real-time feedback on projects, managers, and the company.

  • Advocating for employees to prioritise their own and their colleagues’ welfare versus the organisation’s.

Are your employees excited to get to work every Monday? Do they feel empowered to share comments and suggestions during townhall meetings? Are there more smiles and laughs going around and fewer growls and threats? Can managers freely discuss both crucial business concerns and outside-work matters without hiccups? Do you feel like everyone is generally happier and more motivated – maybe even with a pep in their step? Then you might just be on the right path to cultivating a people-centric culture within your company.  

Top Benefits of a People-First Culture

You shouldn’t implement a total organisation overhaul to get the times – that’s not something a people-centric company would do. You also shouldn’t put extra emphasis on these values if you just want to be the talk of the town, trend on social media, and sanitise your image to attract more jobseekers. You should do this for the right reason: because you immensely care for your people. 

Eventually, you and your hires will reap the benefit of this culture shift. Here are some advantages you will notice if you’re on the right path: 

  • People feel appreciated for their tasks and feel noticed for their accomplishments. 

  • People become more grateful to their colleagues and managers. 

  • People jump on a new project without hesitation. 

  • People do not complain about their day-to-day tasks. 

  • People feel supported in every challenge. 

  • People are more productive within the same timeframes and without additional tools. 

  • People form valuable, long-lasting relationships with their teammates, which can extend beyond the workplace. 

  • People use their annual leaves without feeling guilty.

  • People get to spend more time with their families and friends.

  • People succeed and hurdle over obstacles with ease. 

  • People extend help to anyone in need without expecting anything in return. 

  • People smile more. 

How a people-first culture affects business

The last point is a major plus if you’re a people-facing company. Happy employees can help customers more effectively, which can help you gain wins. But beyond this advantage, there are many other benefits this culture shift can offer your organisation. Here are some that you will soon enjoy: 


Showing that you care about people’s welfare will help you attract more quality jobseekers. Thus, you’ll be able to pick the most suitable candidates from a larger pool. This also means heightened diversity, so you can welcome an array of skills and backgrounds.


Highly motivated employees lead to better (and more!) output. Think of it this way: when your partner expresses how much they value you, you feel more motivated to succeed. The same goes for a company that nurtures a people-first culture. 


Offering opportunities for employee involvement can positively impact your company in numerous ways. First, it can lead to more creative ideas. It also fosters better collaboration within the team. And you can expect everyone to care more for the welfare of the company.  


Is your company experiencing multiple resignations that already affect your operations? You might need to shift your internal culture asap to reduce turnovers. The issue might boil down to happiness. If your employees are happy and satisfied, they will likely stay loyal and not search for other opportunities.

Ultimately, these benefits lead to improved business numbers, whether in sales, deals, clients, and profits. Satisfied and motivated employees attract more success for your company.

How to Develop a People-First Culture

It’s high time your organisation foregoes the 9-5 mindset. Your next challenge is making work experiential for all your employees. They aren’t robots, after all. Here are some simple steps you can take to shift your internal culture:

  1. Review your company mission and business goals and align them with your employee’s needs.

  2. Establish opportunities for real-time feedback within teams. 

  3. Foster a safe and welcoming environment.

  4. Schedule regular one-on-ones and well-being checkups among members.

  5. Build tangible avenues for leaders and managers to recognise their teams. 

  6. Encourage employees to use their annual leaves.

  7. Organise people-centric events where everyone can learn, upskill, progress, and enjoy.

  8. Set up strategies for people to be heard. 

The needs of employees are constantly evolving. These days, you need to ensure they enjoy a solid work-life balance rooted in cultivating a people-first culture. Do it for them. Remember: people care about their work if their work cares about them.

Attract top talents by registering on JobStreet and checking Talent Search. Head to the Employers Insights page for more news on trends and tips to improve your company’s culture.

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