BHH member Healthy Work, that aims to help companies and employees with their personal and professional difficulties by taking care of their wellbeing and mental health, has written an article about the importance of empathy in the workplace.
Workplace empathy is crucial, as evidenced by the fact that 82% of employees would switch jobs for a more empathetic company, according to a study by State of Workplace Empathy by Bussinessolver. This suggests that workplace empathy is often undervalued in terms of its importance. It may be an unknown and potent skill that deserves further exploration. While we commonly apply empathy in personal contexts, work-related pressures, workload, and achievement-oriented mindsets often lead us to focus primarily on ourselves. To fight this, an increasing number of companies are embracing the promotion of workplace empathy at various levels, be it individual, organizational, or corporate.
Empathy is the intentional understanding of others’ emotions and experiences, creating an objective and rational connection. It promotes assistance and is closely tied to altruism, love, concern for others, and support. Unlike antipathy, empathy brings pleasure, joy, and satisfaction through meaningful connections. It fosters positive attitudes, healthy relationships, and harmonious coexistence among individuals.
At the workplace level, empathy offers several benefits. It improves communication and interpersonal relationships with colleagues, suppliers, and clients, regardless of one’s position. Empathetic individuals possess a unique predisposition for highly sought-after competencies in today’s job market, such as customer service, leadership ability, negotiation skills, and teamwork, as highlighted by Cepynews.
To foster workplace empathy:
- Invest time in meaningful interactions with colleagues, going beyond job roles.
- Understand individuals on a deeper level, like John, a father of three, or “the maintenance guy.”
- Observe and actively listen to others, paying attention to details and signs of distress.
- Offer help to overwhelmed colleagues and be open to asking for assistance when needed.
- Remember that empathy is not solely an individual responsibility: an organizational culture promoting teamwork and shared goals is crucial.
- A healthy work environment facilitates empathetic actions, contrasting with a hostile setting.