Why A Compassionate Workplace Is Essential For Employee Wellbeing
Vinet Kuumar emphasises the power of empathy at workplaces
Two years ago, the onset of COVID-19 caused substantial disruption to everyday life and had a tremendous impact on the business world. In the business setting, it created issues for the employees in terms of mental and physical health, work-life balance, employee burnout, financial demands, and concerns about job security. Companies had to adjust to the new reality of remote work, which led to many changes in how teams operated, communicated, and collaborated. Companies also had to develop new strategies for managing operations, revenue, and customer relationships while navigating the uncertainty of the pandemic.
On the one hand, COVID-19-related financial instability and uncertainty forced many enterprises to choose layoffs. On the other hand, "The Great Resignation" movement was brought on by workplace anxieties and exhaustion. The pandemic followed by The Great Resignation has permanently altered how companies and workplace’s function, even though their impacts appear to be tapering down.
This catastrophe on a global scale has reduced leadership to its most basic function: improving the lives of others. However, the new and enduring reality of flexible, hybrid, and remote work arrangements has made practising and exhibiting empathy and compassion at the workplace much more difficult. We must therefore comprehend the importance of implementing empathy and compassion in the workplace.
Workplace empathy: a need of the hour
The pandemic tested every organisational and management structure, pushing everyone to their breaking point, until a shift towards flexible, dynamic approaches started to take shape. In recent years, we've learned that empathetic leadership is a soft and effective quality that empowers businesses and workers to work more effectively together and, ultimately, fosters an accountable culture. The fact that empathy emerged as an essential component for surviving any calamity was maybe the most eye-opening insight.
In the workplace, following the best practises of empathy tends to improve human connections generally. Furthermore, this may also lead to more effective involvement and advantageous outcomes at both the individual and organisational levels. Therefore, the need of the hour is to cultivate a people-centred culture at the workplace, as this will allow proper collaboration among employees from different teams, professional backgrounds, and ethnicities.
Fosters strong relationships
The basis of solid partnerships is empathy. The idea refers to forging relationships with co-workers, clients, and customers in the workplace. In order to create a productive workplace where everyone feels appreciated and understood, empathy in communication is essential. Employee engagement and productivity are more likely when they feel heard, understood and appreciated. The workforce can express their worries safely in this setting, allowing management and fellow workers to respond to their needs. Colleagues who exhibit empathy make better team players. Furthermore, employees are more likely to get to know one another's human side if rapport and trust are fostered. This enables teams to communicate with one another in ways other than work-related.
Any team should have a compelling, inspirational purpose because it promotes involvement and a sense of shared responsibility. Everyone believes that it is their mission, not someone else's, because they are motivated by a common goal. Therefore, empathy fosters a sense of community and cooperation, which aids in the promotion of teamwork. Employees are more willing to collaborate and support one another when they feel understood and respected. As a result, there is a positive feedback loop where cooperation and collaboration increase other cooperation and collaboration, improving team success and performance. Colleagues' compassion towards their workers reduced emotional weariness, reduced absenteeism, improved teamwork, and increased satisfaction.
Improves employee well-being
If the need to support employee wellbeing goes unacknowledged, it could lead to issues at work like stress, conflict, mental health issues, and more. Anyone committed to making the workplace a more humane and fulfilling place to work must consider potential solutions, including empathy, communication, and a focus on employee well-being. Employees feel less stressed and anxious when they feel that their emotions are acknowledged and supported. Better mental health and improved job satisfaction follow from this practise. Employee dissatisfaction and burnout can also be decreased by creating an empathic workplace. As a result, employees are likely to become more loyal to their company and more involved in their work when they feel cared for and supported.
Creating a sense of belonging
Empathy has become a critical component of emotional competence for employees and a significant tool for organisational effectiveness. Employees who have a sense of belonging feel accepted and equally included, much as empathy makes them feel seen, heard, and understood. When workers feel fully included, they believe the company values them as unique individuals, their true selves.
For any organisation, having an inclusive and empathic work culture may benefit firms in a number of ways, including by developing greater working connections, efficient teamwork, increased productivity, and employee well-being. Since empathy is more of a skill than a personality attribute, it can be cultivated over time through practise, and the workplace is a great setting to do so. In the post-COVID-19 world, organisations that embrace empathy comprehensively are likely to experience employee satisfaction, which results in outsized overall returns.
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