People-Focused Businesses: Why Are They Successful?

By OrangeHRM | Published on Nov 9, 2023 | minute read

If you are working, studying, or remotely close to HR you have probably heard the phrase “People are the most important asset to an organization”. But even if that were the case, when it comes to cutting costs that is always the first place that organizations look to recover their costs. Then why do we say it? Does it even matter? The answer to the questions is plain and simple, a high-performance people-focused organization will always outperform its competitors because over there people truly matter. According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute organizations with a people-oriented approach are roughly 1.5 times more likely to remain high performers over time. In this article, we will dive behind the scenes into a people-focused organization and its secrets.

What Are People-Focused Businesses?

A people-focused/people-oriented organization is one that places a strong emphasis on its people. These organizations consider all individual employees' well-being and drive to build strong relationships. In turn, their belief is that investing its time and resources into building a stronger connection among and with its employees will increase performance, efficiency and in turn lead to a profitable business. One of the best examples of a people-focused organization is tech giant Google with its emphasis on learning and development and above all else letting your employees shine approach has brought them great success over the years and has been the go-to model on how to implement a people-oriented approach. 

Characteristics of a People-Focused Business

No matter the organization, most people-centric business models share a common theme. They offer a range of tools for employees to thrive at what they do ranging from career development, and training to performance management. These characteristics not only help the business recruit talented individuals but also help retain their best employees. Here are some of the characteristics that define a successful people-oriented business.

Inclusive Company Culture

Building an inclusive culture is also a critical characteristic of a people-oriented organization. These types of businesses understand the value that is bought by having a diverse workforce. A more diverse workforce brings innovation and growth. A more diverse workforce opens up your talent pool and provides a base to hire skilled employees from anywhere, that may not be the case if you are limiting your talent pool to a certain demographic. This provides the opportunity for knowledge sharing and for employees to learn from each other which in turn contributes to organizational success.

Regular Training & Development

Regular training and development is important in maintaining a competitive advantage over competitors. Having a workforce that can adapt to any changing business environment is critical because a changing landscape brings fresh challenges and employees who are capable of adapting to these changing circumstances can make the difference between performing well and fading out. A highly transferable skill set not only benefits the organization but helps employees perform their jobs better in achieving their common goals and in turn leading to a successful organization. To do this many companies implement comprehensive training and development software. OrangeHRM is one such software our training and career development modules allow organizations to seamlessly implement online training programs as well as help employee career progression with tailored Individual Development Plans (IDPs).

Employee Empowerment

People-focused organizations take into account the input of employees. Opinions, needs, wants, and employee well-being and mental health are all factors that organizations consider as a part of their company culture. They try to integrate their employees into the decision-making processes and this employee empowerment leads to sharing their ideas, thoughts, and opinions. This in turn leads to a collective effort that contributes to one common goal. This will also aid their personal development as the McKinsey Global Institute report suggests that their employees report higher job satisfaction, and they are 1.3 times more likely to move into higher lifetime earnings brackets. In such a scenario employees feel more valued and a part of a community that contributes to organizational success. 

Working Towards One Common Goal

The only goal of any organization is ultimately to make profits. Whether it is by excellent customer service, customer support, or great sales the organization's end goal is to run a profitable business. But what would happen if there is no collective goal? You have different teams doing different things and the collective mission is lost. These dysfunctional teams are not a characteristic of people-focused organizations, here you have everyone working together towards a common goal that is clearly communicated and laid out. Employees participate in the decision-making process and are aware of their job roles and responsibilities and how to get things done. They have their roadmap and find no qualms about helping each other achieve their collective goal.

Timely Performance Evaluations

Without timely performance evaluations, how would you know if everyone is on the same page? Measuring employee performance is also one important characteristic of a successful people-focused organization. It provides the data needed to make informed decisions and provides a holistic view of how employees are performing. This is also important in helping employees gain confidence in their skills to perform their jobs better. People-focused organizations have clear and fair expectations in setting up their performance evaluations and are committed to bettering performance and employee development. To help organizations with timely performance evaluations they implement performance appraisal software commonly available as a part of broader HR software these programs help companies manage their performance management processes better. OrangeHRM is one such software, our fully equipped performance management module lets organizations handle their performance management effortlessly. With tools like 360° employee reviews, goal tracking, custom review questions, and electronic sign-off you will be able to personalize your performance management process to fit your organization.

Difference Between a People-Focused Organization and an Operations-Focused Organization


People-Focused Organization

Operations-Focused Organization


In a people-based culture, organizations hire people to fit their culture their core values must reflect that of the organization and managers look beyond their skills when looking to hire.

In an operations-focused culture, organizations hire on skills and experience. The selected person will have the skills, knowledge, and capabilities that best match the job.


A people-focused organization looks to develop every aspect of their employee starting from soft skills to technical. The idea is that employees must have the skills necessary to interact with others and contribute to a team effort as well as their technical skills.

An operations-focused organization offers training only to strengthen their technical skills. The idea is that they only need the skills to do their current job and are they learning the skills necessary to perform in that role.  


The leadership style is more people-centric leaders are more open to suggestions when laying out how they are going to proceed and involve their employees in the decision-making process.

The leadership style is more hierarchical the leaders make the decisions and the employees are not involved. The communication between the leaders and employees is limited to only a few interactions.


Because the people-focused business values its workers and prioritizes them, it has developed a culture of content, motivated, and happy employees.

The operations-focused business values its processes, systems, and their profit margins. Employees are expected to work towards achieving this goal.


Building a People-Focused Culture

We have seen the characteristics of a business that adapts a people-oriented approach but how do you build one? Building a people-centric culture requires meticulous planning and execution and a few key components. Without these components in play, it would be difficult to execute what exactly organizations are looking for. These components are interdependent on each other and need to be working together for a successful outcome. Let’s look a these key components in more detail.


  • Simplified Processes - Overcomplicating your internal workflows and processes can lead to confusion and roadblocks. Having a clear and concise workflow with good lines of communication can negate the risk of confusion and address any roadblocks quickly and efficiently. 

  • Open Communication - Encouraging employees to share information regularly is essential in establishing a culture of openness and helping your employees address their concerns quickly. This also helps employees to communicate more openly and express their ideas freely.

  • Powerful Leadership - Building a people-oriented culture starts at the top and good leaders who encourage positive actions are irreplaceable. A hallmark of a good people-centric leader is that they are always approachable and are willing to listen and effective in solving problems quickly. 

  • Recognize and Reward - Recognizing and rewarding employees' accomplishments is of paramount importance. It not only gives employees a target to aim for but also promotes a culture of healthy competition while also maintaining high-performance standards.

  • Diversify - Diversifying your recruitment efforts can help attract more qualified candidates and also help push diversity and inclusion programs in the workplace. This promotes the employer brand which in turn can help organizations recruit and retain their best people.

  • Learning Management - Adopting a learning management approach can help employees adapt to changing circumstances. Regular training and development programs also help organizations to promote within minimizing hiring costs. According to LinkedIn companies whose employees excelled at developing skills in the last 12 months have a 15% higher internal mobility rate.

  • Continuous Feedback - Continuous feedback and performance evaluations help organizations stay on top of important talent metrics and see how their employees are performing. Regular performance evaluations help assess employee skill levels and continuous feedback helps employees understand their roles and responsibilities better and what is expected of them.

Benefits of a People-Focused Business

We have seen the characteristics and how to build a successful people-focused culture but what are the benefits of a good people-centric strategy?

Employee Well-Being

We have all heard of the impact that employee burnout can have on employee performance which in turn affects organizational performance. Having a people-centric culture helps manage employee welfare better. Organizations are more likely to invest in initiatives that help reduce burnout and stress that affect employees and ultimately lead to poor organizational performance. Addressing these factors can help employees try out new ideas, supported by collaboration and encouraging teamwork ahead of a fiercely competitive job environment which can lead to employee burnout.

Recruitment & Retention

Investing in a people-centric culture helps you attract and retain top talent. In almost every case employees want to feel valued and respected and feel like they are contributing to what the organization is doing. Having a people-oriented focus demonstrates the organization's willingness to treat their employees fairly and better and that the organization is actively invested in their employee development which not only helps retain but attract top talent.


A people culture thrives on offering training and development opportunities to employees. Prioritizing this means that organizations have an agile workforce who are equipped to face challenges that are thrown at them instead of a rigid structure where employees push back or freeze in the face of constant change.


Putting people first means a more supportive environment. It is this support that ultimately encourages employees to try new ideas and their peers are more likely to support in bringing these ideas to life. It offers the foundation for out-of-the-box thinking that can help organizations gain a competitive edge in the market.

All of these factors are what contribute to making a people-oriented organization successful. A well-run and maintained organizational culture is bound to help organizations run their operations and processes effectively contributing to their long and short-term success. Investing in your people means having the right people in the right place at the right time to help the organization succeed which means eliminating the need to cut costs and looking at the employees when needing to cut costs.

Why OrangeHRM?

OrangeHRM offers a suite of modules to effectively transform your business into a people-centric organization. With modules like training, career development, and performance management OrangeHRM helps organizations manage their people better. Book your FREE demo today to find out how we can help you transform your organization!


  • What is a people-focused business?

    • A people-focused organization is one where the focus is on employee development and well-being. People-centric organizations will try to put their people first and believe that this in turn will lead to organizational success. 
  • What are some characteristics of a people-focused organization?

    • People-focused organizations value their employee input and try to involve them in the decision-making process, they work towards one common goal and try to get everyone on the same page, they run timely performance reviews to measure how their employees are getting on, they try to build a diverse and inclusive workforce and run regular training and development programs to help its employees.
  • What are some of the benefits of being a people-focused organization?

    • Being a people-focused organization helps you attract and retain top talent, have good employee well-being leading to better performance, a flexible and agile workforce that is ready to meet any changing situation, and offer innovative solutions to gain a competitive advantage over rivals.
  • What is the difference between a people-focused organization and an operations-focused organization?

    • An operations-focused organization puts its emphasis on its processes, systems, and bottom line while the people-focused organization believes that investing in its people will ultimately improve its bottom line.