Empathy is an ability to understand and relate to the emotions, thoughts, and experiences of others. Empathy in the workplace means an environment where team members understand one another and establish true emotional bonds or friendships.
It has always been important for organizations to create an empathetic environment to gain the trust of their employees. But now, after the pandemic, it has become essential to show empathy towards your workers.
According to a Gartner survey among 5,000 employees, one-quarter of the workforce is depressed due to the pandemic. The job uncertainties, economic slowdown, and health issues have made it harder for employees to be productive lately.
In this situation, it's important for organizations to harness empathy in the workplace. Empathy will nurture stronger bonds between teammates and help organizations boost their employee hiring and retention strategies. Further, empathy can provide a roadmap to team leaders for boosting team culture in the organization.
This guide will walk you through some easy steps to cultivate empathy in your workplace and understand why empathy is important for modern workplaces. Let's get started!
Why Is Empathy Important in Your Workplace
Every person working in the organization has different cultural values, perspectives, and backgrounds that make them valuable assets for a company. Empathy here helps managers understand different employees and use their versatile skills to better the organization. Cultivating empathy in the workplace can also help in many other ways:
When you harness empathy in the organization, you can better understand the tone and body language of your employees. This will help you seamlessly communicate with your team members after understanding their mood at the moment.
A strong professional relationship between employees and employers, and colleagues is crucial to improving productivity and harmony in the organization. Empathetic work culture will provide an opportunity to better understand your seniors and subordinates to build a stronger relationship with them.
Adopt a creative approach
When you can step into other people’s shoes and understand their pain points, it will help you be creative in your approach. You can develop innovative strategies to boost your employees' performance and provide personalized services to your customers.
Increase investment opportunities
Empathy will not only help you understand your customers and employees but also your stakeholders and potential inventors. From your language to knowledge, empathy can help you in numerous ways to win over your investors and receive better investment opportunities.
Hire the right candidates
Empathy can also help you hire the right candidates during the interview process. By showing empathy towards job applicants, you can make them feel relaxed during the interview. This will help you analyze the true self of a person.
How to Bring Empathy to Your Workplace
Empathy is a feeling that triggers human emotions. Therefore, you have to introduce empathy very clearly in your workplace to drive maximum results. Here's how you can cultivate empathy in your workplace:
Watch for burnout signs
Work burnout is a serious problem. Today, in the remote work culture, employee burnout cases have spiked up a lot. That's because employees feel lonely and, at times, scared during the prevailing hard times.
In this situation, empathy will help companies to understand problems faced by their employees. In fact, many organizations are already organizing mental health seminars, psychiatric consultations, and other mental health services to support their employees during the tough period.
Recognize your team members
Empathy plays a vital role in understanding the unique needs and dreams of each team member. Recognizing your individual employees' skills and knowledge will help you best match work assignments to create a satisfying work environment.
For instance, when an employee is good at communicating with customers, you can utilize these skills to improve customer care services in your organization. Additionally, employee recognition will keep your staff more engaged and involved in the work.
Compassion is an additional attribute to empathy that can cultivate real friendships and relationships at workplaces. When team leaders show compassion towards fellow teammates, it will build trust and loyalty in the team.
For example, if an employee is going through a rough patch in their personal life, you can show compassion towards the person and let them know they are fully supported.
Conduct empathy seminars/webinars
Empathy is a very complex emotion, and people often confuse it with sympathy. Therefore, not everyone knows how to be empathetic towards others.
Thus, if you organize seminars or webinars in your organization to teach your staff how to understand, care and support others, it can effectively build an empathetic and productive work environment.
Follow empathetic leadership
Team leaders or managers should constantly put themselves in other people's shoes to understand different perspectives. When managers try to think from other people's point of view, it can help them better solve problems, manage conflicts and motivate their team members.
If your organization serves across the borders, empathic leadership is extremely important. Leading multicultural teams take cultural intelligence. It is essential for global leaders to develop a skill to understand different perspectives and cultures.
For modern managers, just understanding the different ideologies isn't enough. They have to respect other people's feelings and opinions as well. For example, it is the duty of global leaders to treat everyone equally in the organization regardless of their position, creed, gender, age, etc.
Empathic leaders are assets to organizations that help to build and maintain strong workplace relationships.
Ready to Cultivate Empathy in Your Organization?
Be it improving team collaboration or productivity in the organization; empathy is the only road to building a progressive workplace.
Empathy is a constant process that managers and leaders have to practice. That's because empathy is a human emotion that can change in a spur of a moment. Thus, you have to conduct seminars, engagement programs, and host one-on-one interactions to cultivate empathy in the workplace.
That's it in this post! But if you have any special tricks to incorporate empathy in a workplace, you are more than welcome to share your comments here.