Empathy is an important human emotion. It is what helps us understand how others are feeling and can teach us the right way to respond to certain situations so that people feel better and more at ease. As an employer, you will be working with multiple people, all of whom have their own lives, emotions, and problems. Being an empathetic employer can help foster strong workplace relationships, but it can also help with productivity. This is a tall order, however, especially if you are not a naturally born empathetic person – otherwise known as an ‘empath’.
Nevertheless, there are many ways you can become a more empathetic employer. If you are looking to cultivate empathy within the workplace and practice being an empathetic leader, read on for tips and tricks on how to do just that.
Practice Your Listening Skills
Listening is a powerful tool, and as an employer, you should be looking for ways to practice listening so that your employees feel valued and a welcomed part of the team. While you won’t be able to lend your ear 24/7, having an open-door policy a few times a week can make a whole world of difference. This encourages workers to come to you if they have a problem, have a suggestion, or if they simply want to discuss the latest sporting event that happened the other day. Feeling seen and listened to can help your employees perform more productively but also encourage them to come to work with a smile and a brighter outlook on life.
If you are going to have an open-door policy, however, make sure you show sincerity and are genuinely interested in listening and helping them. If an employee feels as if you do not have their best interests at heart, then it can have the opposite impact and cause them to foster negative feelings towards you and your business.
Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace
Don’t be the only empathetic person in the workplace; instead, be sure to cultivate empathy in the workplace as a whole. There are many ways to encourage empathy such as allowing employees to discuss their lives with one another and even having a coffee hour each Tuesday morning, for example. Employees that are allowed to socialise (without over-socialising, of course) can encourage them to care for one another and become more than ‘co-workers’.
Regular Employee Surveys
Checking in with your employees can be a tremendous task that takes a lot of time. And while you may wish to have face-to-face time with each and every one of them, this may not be possible to do regularly. Rather, you may wish to contact them and gain insight into their well-being by sending out regular employee surveys for them to answer. For example, Inpulse is a great platform that allows your HR team to create employee surveys for your employees to answer in real-time. You can use the results as a starting off point when it comes to trying to create a workplace environment that cares for and caters to the needs and emotions of your employees.
By being a more empathetic employer, you are likely to create a workplace environment that shows that they care for and value their employees. While you won’t be able to be empathetic all of the time, you will be able to take your employees’ needs and understand what it is that you can do to help them feel like an important part of the team.