Company culture can be a compelling aspect of a workplace. While there can be many characteristics of an appealing company culture, one of the most important features is that of empathy. A culture of empathy in the workplace can help team members feel included, respected, and appreciated in a way that promotes engagement and loyalty. A dedicated approach to an empathetic culture will promote a positive environment that results in more productivity and higher morale.
Understanding the Benefits of Empathy
Outdated beliefs would have leaders presume that objectivity and adherence to expectations or standards is more important than an empathetic approach, but that is no longer the case. Instead, most professionals now acknowledge the importance of empathy in the workplace, as well as how it can benefit a company. An emphasis on empathy promotes greater levels of productivity as well as higher morale, lower stress levels, and better resilience overall.
Lead By Example
One of the simplest and most effective ways to create an empathetic culture in the workplace is to be kind and empathetic yourself. In a position of leadership, modeling appropriate behavior and attitudes should be a priority, and by demonstrating empathy as much as possible, leaders can easily convey that such an approach is expected, appreciated, and beneficial. Setting the tone in this way also encourages specific empathetic behavior such as active listening and open-mindedness which are essential for company growth and health.
Abandon the Fixed Mindset
Many individuals struggle with change, especially when transitions seem challenging or lengthy. Whether in a leadership position or a member of a team, individuals should actively work to challenge this mindset and dismiss the idea that empathy is a trait rather than a skill; if individuals are under the impression that empathy cannot be learned, they will not be eager to try adopting new practices or ideas pertaining to an empathetic culture, which will ultimately result in stagnation and a harmful resistance to change. Therefore, educating every member of the company about empathy as a skill and practice rather than a personality trait will be crucial. Breaking down empathy into easily-digestible facts, practices, and behaviors can also help make the transition to an empathetic culture more palatable for anyone who is hesitant.
Empathy is a valuable, essential part of modern company culture. Learning and educating others about empathy in the workplace is a great starting place to improve the atmosphere of your company and transition to a culture of empathy and growth.