Building empathy as part of your company’s core values is perhaps one of the most powerful steps you can take to make a difference.
The reason why empathy is so important is that workplaces comprise of humans. People need understanding, support, and caring to thrive truly. Because today’s organizations are based mainly on teams’ success, empathy automatically becomes a top priority for leaders to nurture and encourage.
Empathic workplaces favor more vital collaboration, lesser stress, and greater morale. As a result, people are more productive, happier, and loyal. Additionally, employees in empathetic workplaces are far more likely to bounce back from a professional and personal setback.
Let’s take a look at 4 ways through which you can encourage empathy among your employees:
1. Highlight The “Right Behaviors”
Every workplace has got its unique blend of people, where some of them are most often disregarded and spoken over by the more outgoing ones. It becomes effortless in such scenarios to glorify toxic traits. That contradicts what the company culture represents versus what we actually wanted it to be.
Thus, a leader must encourage and draw attention to the correct values. Your employees should think of the workplace as a safe palace where they can be themselves and voice their opinions without the fear of retaliation or retribution.
Highlight the importance of teamwork, friendship, bonding over the usual toxic and unhealthy competition. Remove any and every instance of favoritism and treat everyone equally and with respect. Recognize people who are displaying positive workplace behaviors so that it sets a precedent for others to follow.
2. Emotional Training
While it might seem that a lot of your employees are unable to deal with or address empathy, it’s because they never learned to do so. The idea of encouraging emotions in the workplace is not something that businesses spend a lot of time on.
But it’s essential to do so. Workers who lack empathy might produce singularly fantastic results but find it challenging to perform as well in a team. Thus you must take some necessary steps to introduce your workforce on how to practice empathy and how they can utilize it to lead a more productive and happier life.
3. Champion The Cause
The best way to make your employees see the importance of empathy led culture is by finding the right advocates for it.
One way to do so is to identify the key players in your organization. Some employees hold a significant influence on others, think, behave, and act. To truly set the ground for an empathic culture, these key players can be great contributors to bring about the change. Your job is to rope them in about the initiatives and take their help in advocating for an emotionally healthy workplace.
Additionally, you can take the help of external influences too. Call some great industry-renowned empaths who placed importance into being “people-first” to host a talk at your company. Not only regular employees but also the higher-level executives will be benefitted from it.
4. Set Empathetic Policies
Although encouraging empathy in employees is an essential first step, your efforts would be wasted without any resulting initiatives from your side.
Here are some ways through which a leader can ensure and establish the importance of empathy in the company culture:
- Paid time off for personal losses or crisis
- Bereavement leaves
- Ensuring women employees get the necessary support available during pre and post-pregnancy
- Address the essential diversity and inclusion issues that employees have to face on a daily basis
- Recognize people who go above and beyond to make life easier for their peers