Why & How to Focus on Empathy to Engage Employees

May 6, 20204:52 pm1160 views
Why & How to Focus on Empathy to Engage Employees
Why & How to Focus on Empathy to Engage Employees

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. 

The importance of empathy 

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. 

See also: Tips for Managers to Manage Layoffs with Compassion

How effective is empathy in a business setting? 

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. 

How to focus on workplace empathy to engage employees better 

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. 

  • Always assume good intentions – There will always be a storm waiting during a sailing, meaning that things would not always run smoothly as expected. And when this happens, it is practicable to start with good assumptions that your team is doing their best. Starting with a simple premise of good thoughts will help improve communication and eliminate any negative impact. 
  • Adjust yourself accordingly – There are times that you want others to agree with you and there are times you should agree to other’s opinions. Investing yourself to understand your partner values and preferences would help you collaborate better with them. In the end, you should realise that a diverse perspective is important and, therefore, you should adjust yourself accordingly. 
  • Share good things with your partner – Sharing positive vibes every day with your team members will generate a beneficial emotional boost in each other. This is effective to fix a broken relationship if they already happen. And then, together with the team, you can find a better solution to the problems. 
  • Listen, encourage, and don’t interrupt – Clear communication and openness are key to build strong empathy between one another. Therefore, don’t ever be tired to encourage people to speak their minds out. When you build communication, hold your tongue and wait until invited to share your opinion or offer suggestions. 

Read also: No Argument: Here’s What TO DO When You Disagree With Your Boss