Creating an empathetic company culture
An empathetic culture is a key factor in fostering better leadership, happier employees and improved organizational results. This compassion and understanding have become progressively essential to companies for its impact on culture, innovation, profit and productivity. However, Businessolver reported 96% of employees believe empathy in the workplace is important, they found 92% of workers still feel it remains undervalued.
Practices to foster a more empathetic culture
1. Teach empathy in learning and development programs
To create an environment of empathy, it's paramount to imbed this idea into every structure of the organization. This includes teaching empathetic practices in corporate learning and development programs. Specifically, focusing on employees' listening skills is valuable to ensure everyone in the workplace feels heard and respected.
2. Utilize cultural differences as opportunities
Establishing diversity and inclusion as important values of the organization can also help improve empathy in your workforce. Cultural differences can create opportunities for collaboration in which co-workers can see problems from different perspectives and put themselves in each other's shoes. Listening to others with different experiences and ideas can not only improve decision-making and productivity but also positively impact empathy levels.
3. Prioritize employee well-being
Showing sensitivity and care to workers' well-being demonstrates a leader's willingness to be empathetic and puts their workforce first. This empathy from leadership sets an example for the values of the organization, which is inevitably instilled in the ideals of employees. Moreover, workers who feel their mental health is recognized and supported are more likely to have a positive attitude about their job and improve their performance.
Putting these structures in place to build empathetic and efficient teams also results in a host of organizational benefits including:
Leads to better collaboration and closer relationships
Empathy allows co-workers to gain a deeper awareness of others and an ability to understand their perspectives. This is not only essential to create close relationships within the organization, but also to foster more effective collaboration. By improving communication and teamwork, employees have the motivation and ability to deliver better results.
More effective leadership
Compassion is a key element of effective leadership, but Brand Genetics reports only 40% of business leaders have profiecient empathy skills. Employers and managers that strive to understand their employees' backgrounds, ideas and experiences are more likely to build strong connections with workers and care about their well-being. This sensitivity often inspires long-term loyalty in the workforce.
Higher retention rates and employee morale
Employees who feel understood and cared for at work are more likely to experience job satisfaction and a greater sense of trust in their employers. This satisfaction at work results in higher retention, boosted morale, improved engagement and increased productivity. In fact, a Businessolver study on workplace empathy found 72% of employees believe empathy drives employee motivation.
Organizational empathy goes beyond the business by focusing on achieving a profound understanding of each other for improved relationships and collaboration. Implementing strategies to enhance this sensitivity throughout the workplace is vital to realize loyalty, productivity and profit.