Why is Empathy Important in Workplaces?

Time and again we’ve read that empathy is a crucial soft skill in workplaces, and now we know why it is deemed so.

The world today has been tainted with grief, war, and lockdown, and now more than ever, CEOs and co-workers are likely to meet individuals who may be going through a rough patch. It is, thus, crucial for us to build empathy at workplaces.

Let us consider, for example, the following scenarios:

  • A colleague who is worried sick about his/her loved ones being admitted to the hospital due to COVID. 
  • Employees or clients who are currently working remotely from a country torn by war conflict
  • A co-worker, who was visibly distressed that one day as they silently worked on their tasks.  

At that point, we can either choose to put ourselves in their shoes and do our best to support them, or we can choose to just be a boss/colleague and not really do anything much to help them. No matter what you choose, the results of both are eye-opening. 

What Research shows about fostering empathy at the workplace:

Research conducted by the Not-for-Profit firm Catalyst shows that CEOs who emotionally support their employees feel their pain as their own boost employee morale, productivity, tenure, loyalty, and the overall mental health of their employees!

The survey also found that in workplaces where the boss is empathetic, the proportion of people feeling valued and respected leaped to over 80% across all ethnic groups and genders. People were also much less likely to quit their jobs if they had an empathetic boss.

On the other hand, CEOs who fail to empathize with their employees suffer from a high employee turnover and an overall lack of employee productivity.

Furthermore, this research shows that 61% of employees felt more innovative in an empathetic environment and 86% of employees felt that they are successfully able to balance their work-life. When they work under an empathetic CEO!

How is empathy affecting our workplace?

We, the Quantum Omega team, have been exercising empathy increasingly in our work and have noticed the following changes in our workplace:

  • Fostering empathy has facilitated a culture of open communication within our workplace. Whether it is bringing up suggestions or discussing issues. We know that our CEO is likely to consider our opinions from an empathetic perspective.
  • Our company culture has a strong teamwork spirit as we help one another out when any one of us is struggling with something.
  • We find ourselves wanting to give our 100% to the company. The atmosphere of empathy in our company has only made us more loyal. Because we’re often supported by the team and our CEO during times of difficulty (or happiness even!)

Regardless of how beneficial empathy is for companies and their employees, due to the current situation of the world, this is a trait that simply must be a part of every company culture.