While companies require a net profit in order to continue operating, the level of empathy in the workplace is crucial as well. An empathetic workplace allows employees to feel respected, appreciated and valued. It is against human nature to do favors for someone who only returns ingratitude. By creating an empathetic atmosphere in the office, a business will have more productive and happy employees. Here are 4 ways to promote a compassionate work environment.
Invest in employees
With all things being equal, an employee who receives training will perform better than one who doesn’t receive instruction. Investing in employees means that resources are poured into them to make them more valuable to the company. This investment doesn’t need to be explicit in the case of formal training. It can also be shown with soft services such as outplacement assistance, education funding and a 401k plan.
These hard and soft investments will give an incentive for employees to perform better. They will feel appreciated for their dedication to the company by being treated as person capable of providing value and crucial services. Without proper investments into employees, a corporation will also be disadvantaged in the marketplace. A majority of companies do offer training and other services for their employees.
If an employee does something commendable, their boss should recognize that achievement. Employees are paid to do critical functions a company requires to have done. Since no one hires employees needlessly, each person working for the company should be shown appreciation. Commendable achievements should be encouraged as a parent would show gratitude towards their child for doing a good job. Just as children strive to please their parents, an employee should also strive to please their employer.
This recognition for good performance of job duties can be shown through monthly commemorations. An employee of the month award can go a long way in showing appreciation. It can come with a bonus such as a gift card to be a representation of gratitude.
Make time for socials
Although there does not need to be an office party every day, team building events can increase familiarity between people in a company. This familiarity can be measured through a company being more productive from regularly hosting such events. Socials should be planned for all of the major holidays to give a workplace a sense of culture and belonging. Every employee should be given the chance to participate and bond with their fellow coworkers.
These socials can be planned for other important benchmarks in the company. When important goals are achieved, team building events such as socials can help foster empathy. By learning more about coworkers and management, it will be easier to understand and help them in the workplace when the event ends.
Take employee concerns seriously
Creating empathy is not only about doing things that will foster empathy, but it is also about not doing things that will harm it. When employees have something valuable to say about anything, they want to feel like their opinion will matter. This is especially true in matters concerning problems. There can be almost nothing more destructive to empathy than to dismiss an employee’s concern as if it didn’t matter. Resentment will follow which has the danger of turning into detraction to other employees.
Have an employee concern box where anyone can anonymously leave a complaint or a note of interest. If someone comes personally with a concern, step into their shoes for that encounter. A meaningful encounter with empathetic management can potentially be remembered for a lifetime. Be the good boss and listen to what employees have to say.
Although being empathetic will require time, energy and commitment, the rewards far outweigh the costs. Employees will feel appreciated and will perform their job duties better. The key to creating an empathic workplace is to look at situations from employee’s eyes and to do things that will show them they are appreciated for their hard work. Regular communication and concern over workers will lead to a happier work environment.