Providing employees with accessible tools and information could help maintain employees’ engagement towards the company. Tools and information are also essential to have when it comes to crisis management. However, these two components are not enough to make employees truly engaged with their job. Employers must also have empathy to help workers stay focused and attached.
Empathy, the ability to share and understand others’ experiences vicariously, is one of the most essential and fundamental skills for navigating everyday life. Empathy can promote helping and beneficial interactions with others which is important for social human beings.
Psychologist and Motivational Speaker Dr Rober Brooks wrote that a common characteristic of individuals who are successful as business leaders, teachers, parents, spouses, or healthcare professionals is their ability to be empathetic. Empathy is also one of the main components of emotional intelligence, the ability to understand others and manage emotions.
In the workplace, lack of empathy could lead to bad collaboration and productivity between teams. For instance, team A and team B are working together to achieve a maximum result. They collaborate nicely until a problem occurs. Team A feels that their partner is not creative while team B is too caught up with the project. The requirements to achieve the project successfully break the relationship between the two teams.
The example above demonstrates that there is a lack of understanding of each other’s perspective. There is a resistance to talk honestly about feelings that leads the tension to drift both relationships away. Both teams only fixated on how to blame the other for their downturn.
If both teams are empathetic during the project, however, there will not be a clash between the two teams. According to a study published on Wiley Online Library, having understanding, the tendency to look at other’s perspective instead of fighting it, will turn into a successful outcome. Partners who are empathetic are more satisfied with their relationships than those who are less empathetic, the study wrote. This means, leading or working with empathy could address problems that might occur. In short, regardless of what type of people we are interacting with, empathy can help boost productivity, collaboration, and relationships between employees, leaders, and other stakeholders.
Whilst most individuals consider themselves to be empathetic, in fact, it is difficult to be empathetic, especially in a state of frustration or anger. There should be practices and diligence to truly master it. Below are some tips to focus on workplace empathy.