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How L&D can create a person-centered workplace

How L&D can create a person-centered workplace

Over the past year, we have spent most of our time reactive, driven by change and working frantically to translate our personal learning and development (L&D) initiatives into virtual programs. It was not easy, but, let’s face it, shifts are happening. Fortunately, moving forward, we can create a bright future of work. This was revealed by the LinkedIn Learning report on on-the-job training for 2021 66% of L&D professionals worldwide agrees that L&D will become a focal point for the recovery and restructuring of organizations emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

So where should this restructuring take place?

With the constant technological investment in virtual learning solutions and the constant technical training needed by employees to use them, many of us have lost sight of the element of learning with people. While technology-oriented learning should not and will not disappear, it is important to teach employees more about themselves and how to connect with others to create a more human-centered workplace.

To start creating a person-centered workplace, start by teaching employees the following skills and competencies:


Training employees in the nature of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions is the foundation for creating a human-centered workforce. First we develop self-awareness from a young age but it is a skill that is often neglected and that is highly accepted throughout life. During a five-year research project by organizational psychologist and author Tasha Eurich, it was estimated that 95% of people believe they are aware of themselves. However, in reality only 10% to 15% actually. The bottom line is that when our self-awareness is blocked, workplace performance, well-being and cooperation suffer.

So how do you eliminate barriers to self-awareness? Start by teaching employees how the human mind consciously and unconsciously functions, returning to the age-old question: who am I? Employees need to know that they are not their thoughts, but they are watching the impulses of the thought. Observing thoughts is a cornerstone of meditative practices and a gateway for employees to discern the truth from lies and act accordingly in the workplace.

Since most of us give up our own blocks of self-awareness, workshops in small groups are an effective way for team members to help each other identify them. To be effective, it is important to create a supportive environment in these workshops, as well as clear action plans with specific goals to achieve higher self-awareness. It is important that each employee focuses on one area of ​​growth and uses his or her team as an internal support system.

Empathy and compassion

Once self-awareness is taught, employees find it much easier to learn and implement social and emotional skills of empathy and empathy. According to the Deloitte 2021 report on the future of learning after COVID-19, 93% of leaders believe that strengthening the emotional muscles of the workforce will help to navigate in future crises. Empathy is the cornerstone of creating a person-centered organization because it is the ability to represent the thoughts and feelings of others.

Learning the basics of empathy comes with practice. Employees are so obsessed with their world of workplace responsibilities that they often don’t think about what it’s like to be in the role of cross-functional team members. Creating workshops where staff can share the challenges they face with colleges gives a prism to their word that would otherwise go unnoticed. A key component of empathy is active listening, so be sure to ask team members for more information by asking questions like, “How did that make you feel?” Or, “Tell more” to further develop empathy skills.

Once empathy is established, it creates the ground for team members to develop compassion while learning to take an active role in helping each other through emotional support and participation. Empathy and compassion help create an inclusive environment where employees work together as one and support each other along the way.


The third principle you need to educate employees is to express gratitude and gratitude for what they have in life and for each other. It is easy to focus on the negative, leading to high levels of stress and anxiety, which often leads to bad attitudes towards others, gossip between offices and feelings of exclusion. Employees give most of their wakefulness to help fulfill the company’s vision and mission. Learning to express gratitude is very important for executives and managers, but expressing gratitude is a skill that should cover the entire organization.

To help employees develop this skill, work with teams to identify moments that deserve gratitude. For example, a personal note can mean all the differences when an employee works many hours. One study by Harvard University and Wharton School found that Receiving a “thank you” from the manager has increased productivity by more than 50%. On the other hand, if the team has worked hard on a new platform and has not won in business, this is a great opportunity to show gratitude to raise low morale.

When opening opportunities in the workplace to express gratitude also make sure you teach employees its ability to navigate our personal lives. Some of the benefits of gratitude include strengthening the immune system, improving mental health, relationships and optimism. You can even create a branded Thanksgiving magazine to support your new initiative. Ultimately, a culture of gratitude will lead to a healthier, happier and more connected workplace.

The development of a person-centered workplace requires a shift from technical skills training to social and emotional skills training. When we do this, we create sustainable organizations capable of overcoming big and small challenges by celebrating each other along the way.

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