Transformation People

Embracing People-First Organisations: A journey towards positive change

Date:January 22, 2024

While it is a universal truth that everything is constantly changing, and that evolution as such is a good thing (hooray for the many positive changes in our working conditions over the past century!), we find that some cultural shifts invite resistance. However, we believe that embracing a people-first culture in your organisation is essential for growth, and here’s why.

Comparing work today with work just five years ago, we notice something special is happening. People are becoming the focus – it’s no longer just about results and proper procedures. We believe this positive movement is a response to changes in society. Whether it’s climate change or work life balance, people nowadays are paying more attention to what’s important to them. They’ve come to expect more freedom and attention to their needs. The market can follow these changes, or fall behind. Unfortunately, we notice that many companies aren’t quite there yet – but we’re here to help.

At Projective Group, we actively invest in a people-first organisation. We do this through our Culture & Community pillars on the one hand – more specifically our CSR, DEI, internal events, sports & fitness and wellbeing policies. On the other hand, we prioritise our people through the mentoring and coaching initiatives that play a central role in our brand identity.

What are people-first organisations?

The name speaks for itself: in a people-first organisation, people come first. A people-first organisation fosters a culture where everyone’s feelings and needs matter. The first priority is to ensure that everyone feels a sense of belonging, that everyone is happy and comfortable in the organisation. This requires a diverse and inclusive working environment built on trust and empowerment.

Much like a family or group of friends, people in people-first organisations pay attention to what others have to say and help each other out. Instead of everyone focusing on their own problems, these teams work together towards common goals. They help each other overcome challenges, rather than each individual fending for themselves.

Sounds simple, right? Yet we find that many companies haven’t quite caught up with this cultural shift. And that’s understandable: embracing a people-first style of organisation requires some change. It doesn’t just happen. Whether it’s mere obliviousness or an unwillingness to address these changing needs, the fact remains that those who don’t change will be left behind. The numbers prove it: we see it in NPS scores, retention rates and overall satisfaction.

Those who don’t change will be left behind. The numbers prove it: we see it in NPS scores, retention rates and overall satisfaction.

What can be done?

Are you worried that your organisation still has some work to do to become a people-focused organisation? Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Measure your KPI’s. To measure progress, metrics are crucial – but choose them wisely. It’s better to have one impactful metric, than having many without a clear purpose.
  • Understand your ambition. If attracting young talent isn’t a priority, then don’t measure it. If your goal is employee happiness, then metrics around satisfaction make sense.
  • Inspire change through leadership. Moving from traditional top-down management to servant leadership empowers individuals and makes organisations more effective. Servant leadership creates a culture that values independent thinking and allows everyone to thrive.
  • Create a culture of growth. Trust, ownership, purpose and feedback are key elements of a people-first organisation. By building trust, giving people a sense of ownership, connecting them with purpose and providing direct feedback, you can create a culture where individuals can thrive. Such a culture promotes engagement, innovation and a shared commitment to success.
  • Give people trust and accountability. Many workplaces are cutting back on opportunities to work from home. However, offering flexible working arrangements, such as remote working options or flexible hours, meets different needs and preferences at an individual level (remember: people first!). People have grown accustomed to having more control over their lives and have proven that they can be trusted with this freedom. We encourage organisations to think long and hard before taking these liberties away.

How we do it

At Projective Group, we value a people-first mentality. While we believe we’ve always put people first, we also recognise that the exact meaning of that phrase changes all the time. That’s why we have Jeff and Elke working on a concept that aims to provide a solution to this organisational challenge, for ourselves and – even more importantly – for our clients.

Jeff is a people-first transformation consultant at Projective Group. His focus is on optimising processes and fostering interaction within high performing teams. Elke is one of our Talent Development Managers. She uses her expertise in training and coaching to apply the knowledge gained from talent development programmes to the needs of our clients.

Recognising a significant need in the market, Jeff and Elke are working on a concept that aims to make a meaningful impact for their clients. They want to provide a solution that goes beyond the surface and addresses the deeper need for a work environment that nurtures and drives the individual – and by extension the entire organisation – to extraordinary success. Like us, they believe in the transformative power of empowering people.


Copying the old way of working into the new reality won’t work in the long run. We need to rethink our ways. By celebrating individual strengths, embracing a common purpose, and building a community that values each person, organisations can redefine success in a rapidly changing world.

At Projective Group, we believe it’s important for individuals to find a job or a company that aligns with their values and brings them closer to their purpose. Through coaching and mentoring initiatives, among other things, we invest in being such a company. A company that fosters a people-centric culture, that not only adapts to change but thrives in it.

About Projective Group

Established in 2006, Projective Group is a leading Financial Services change specialist.

We are recognised within the industry as a complete solutions provider, partnering with clients in Financial Services to provide resolutions that are both holistic and pragmatic.  We have evolved to become a trusted partner for companies that want to thrive and prosper in an ever-changing Financial Services landscape.