That’s right. Empathy.
According to google, Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Sounds fluffy, right? Feelings? Empathy?
Stay with us. We’re not suggesting you create an environment full of rainbows and unicorns.
Two things we want you to take from this blog:
- First and foremost, a reminder to be nice to people at work b/c it’s the right thing to do.
- Your business will actually be better for it. More efficient. More profitable. Happier Customers.
Old school corporate environments were often known for being cutthroat. Dictatorships.Turns out, data suggests that an empathetic environment is good for business.
According to Rae Shanahan, Chief Strategy Officer at Businessolver, a culture that fosters empathy in the workplace is one of the best ways to create an engaged workforce.
And, according to a study by Aon Hewitt, employee engagement brings…
- 65% greater share-price increase
- 26% less employee turnover
- 100% more unsolicited employment applications
- 20% less absenteeism
- 15% greater employee productivity
Last but not least, 87% of CEOs believe a company’s financial performance is tied to empathy in the workplace.
Wow. Impressive, right?
We know, someone reading this will be thinking “73.6% of all statistics are made up”.
If you’re in that camp…google “empathy in the workplace”. You’ll go down a rabbit hole of information and statistics that will have you reconsidering.
You know what’s crazy?
Businesses spend millions to improve performance and results. New systems like Workday, expensive consultants, fancy headquarters.
And we’re coming to you with Empathy? Yep.
And it’s basically free. It’s a mindset. But, you have to believe it’s the right way to do business. You can’t fake it.
In addition to improved business results, you create a positive cycle:
Employees like working for companies that have positive environments. They are more productive. They treat your customers better. You have less turnover. You become known as a great place to work. It’s easier to recruit people when you have openings…that are likely due to growth instead of bad turnover.
If you think this positive cycle is good…think about how bad the opposite would be:
Employees aren’t happy. They aren’t productive. They don’t treat your customers well. You have turnover issues. And, it’s hard to recruit people to fill those openings b/c everyone knows it’s a bad place to work. Can’t recruit good people, business is negatively impacted, customers aren’t happy. Bad cycle.
Not bought in yet?
We’re not suggesting this must be a formal program that gets implemented like an accounting system. The CEO doesn’t need to stand up in front of the employees and announce the company is now going to have empathy.
Empathy is shown through action. It’s a mindset and a belief that it’s the right way to do business. And, oh by the way, your business actually benefits from it.
Ideas for showing more empathy in the workplace:
- Offer good employee benefits
- Acknowledge personal circumstances
- Applaud employees for good work and/or going above and beyond
Acknowledging personal circumstances is a big one. Everyone has life outside of work. Family, kids, hobbies, issues, challenges, etc.
The staff member that was 2 minutes late to the 8am meeting? Maybe their two-year old puked on their clothes right before leaving the house. Seriously. Life happens.