Truly compassionate leaders are rare, but you’ll always remember them, since their impact on the workplace is huge and lasting. These leaders encourage a positive attitude, listen to their employees, invest time in teaching, and create a collaborative culture.
You’ll find that when you show compassion in your workplace what happens is like magic. Your employees feel trusted, appreciated, valued, and grow professionally. That benefits everyone, from you to your employees to your company’s bottom line. Below are even more reasons why compassion in the workplace is such a powerful tool.
1. Healthier personal lives
Stephen Covey’s book The Speed of Trustfound that 42% of workers believe their employers don’t care about them on a personal level. In today’s workplace, employees face stress and hardships both at work and at home, and leaders need to remember that their actions have an undeniable impact on their employees’ personal lives. Compassion will show your employees that you know stress doesn’t just involve work related issues. Be sure to check-in with your employees. Not only will you build better relationships in your company but your employees will know that you care about them. A healthier personal life will lead to a better workplace life.
2. Productivity and engagement
According to Paul J. Zak’s The Neuroscience of Trust, having employees who trust each other leads to higher levels of productivity, energy, and engagement on the job than in companies where trust is lacking. Demonstrating gratitude for a colleague’s hard work will increase trust among everyone on the team.
3. Retention and recruiting
In order to attract and retain the best talent, employers need to focus on creating a compassionate work environment. Workers are now looking for businesses to care more about the company culture. People won’t even apply for a position if they feel that the company does not care for its employees. Workers are willing to take pay cuts as long as they know that they are coming to work for a company that cares about them. It costs far more to hire and train a new employee than it does to retain a current one, so it makes good business sense to foster a compassionate workplace.
4. Enhanced creativity
When workers feel trusted and valued, they are more likely to take risks and be creative in their thinking. Google’s former head of people operations, Laszlo Bock, has said that in his experience, “psychological safety” is far more important than anything else in terms of whether a team performed well. He found that Google’s most successful teams were those where members felt safe to take risks and be themselves.
5. Improved customer service
In order to provide excellent customer service, employees need to feel supported by their leaders. When employees feel appreciated and valued, they are more likely to go above and beyond for customers and offer the highest quality service. Take for example, a funeral home answering service. By being compassionate with customers on the phone they are able to give the best support customers are looking for when acquiring about their services.
6. Healthier offices
It’s not surprising that studies have shown that happy employees take fewer sick days. A study of workers in the United Kingdom found that those who had high levels of anxiety and stress were seven times more likely to take additional days off than those that were less stressed. Creating a culture of compassion and trust will allow employees to not get overly stressed because they know they will have support when they need it.
7. Increased collaboration
In order to create innovative new products and processes, teams need to work together in a supportive environment. When workers feel seen, heard, and valued by their leaders, they are more likely to be open and honest with each other, which leads to better teamwork and ultimately greater success for the organization as a whole.
8. Greater profitability
In the end, compassionate workplaces are more profitable than those that lack concern for employees’ health and wellbeing. A Society for Human Resources Management analysis estimated an overall ROI of $1.50, or a return of $1.50 for every dollar that the employer invested in wellness programs. It pays to care for your employees’ well-being.
9. Enhanced community reputation
Compassionate leaders tend to foster a culture of giving back, which is beneficial not only for the company but for the community as well. Companies that donate their time or resources are rewarded with loyalty and trust from customers, employees, investors, and the community.
10. Employee happiness and fulfillment
When employees feel supported, respected, and valued by their leaders, they are more likely to be satisfied in their roles and have a greater sense of job satisfaction and engagement. And when employees are happier and more fulfilled, it is beneficial for everyone in the organization, from management to customers.
The evidence speaks for itself. Cultivating compassion in the workplace is one of the most powerful tools you as a leader have at your disposal. By creating a culture of support, trust, and respect among team members, you can create happier employees who are more productive, engaged, creative, and successful both at work and in life.