When an employer shows empathy – treating employees as human beings with feelings and not just workers who help produce profit – it can make a significant difference in the workplace, studies show. How much of a difference? A 2018 State of Workplace Empathy Study by Businessolver found that 96 percent of employees surveyed believed it was important for their employers to demonstrate empathy. On the other hand, 92 percent thought empathy remains undervalued.
And eight of 10 employees, HR professionals and CEOs agreed that an empathetic workplace has a positive impact on business performance, motivating workers and increasing productivity. It’s vital that company leaders show they care about their employees – especially when a life event, such as a family tragedy or a personal challenge, happens to the worker, says Kerry Alison Wekelo, a human resources expert and author of Culture Infusion: 9 Principles to Create and Maintain a Thriving Organizational Culture.
“We often don't know what another person might be going through,” says Wekelo (www.actualizeconsulting.com). “Unfortunately, part of life is crisis, challenge, and the loss of loved ones. With a focus on people first and practicing empathy, it means so much to the employee both in the immediate and in the long-term. They’ll want to work there because they feel truly cared about.” Wekelo offers four ways business leaders can show their employees that they care:
About Kerry Alison Wekelo
Kerry Alison Wekelo (www.actualizeconsulting.com) is managing director of human resources and operations for Actualize Consulting. She also is author of Culture Infusion: 9 Principles to Create and Maintain a Thriving Organizational Culture. Among her other accomplishments, Wekelo is a yoga teacher, life coach, award-winning author of children’s books, and the founder of Zendoway, a company that encourages holistic wellness.