Empathy is one of the key ingredients of effective leadership. Leaders who empathize with their employees are able to understand, relate, and be sensitive to their needs, which ultimately enables them to perform much better in their roles. Yet despite the acknowledgement of its importance, many business leaders still find it challenging to effectively factor in this element during day-to-day work – often facing a tug-of-war between empathy and accountability, output quality, productivity, consistency and control.
More companies are turning to workplace technology to help boost this factor. While most would think that technology makes people less empathetic as they interact more using machines instead of through human interaction, it’s not the case when technology is used effectively. In fact, championing workplace technology can powerfully foster a much more empathetic work environment across all members of the organization.
Empower staff with the right tools
Successful leaders should always strive to provide the best tools for their teams to perform well. The first step is to understand the problems staff face that hinder them to work effectively: this can range from outdated systems causing delays, burnout from too much workload, isolation from lack of touch points with management and much more. Once these pain points have been identified, introducing the right workplace tool to tackle these challenges shows staff that you understand their needs and are willing to take the necessary actions to address them. This leaves the organization with a win-win: staff feel more understood by you as a leader and the overall business thrives now that they feel more empowered in their roles.
Strengthen workplace relationships
Introducing an employee platform with a dynamic array of communication features is crucial for building empathy. With better channels to reach out within and across teams, employees are able to strengthen the relationship they have with leaders and peers even if everyone is dispersed across various locations. Through these touch points, leaders are not only able to understand staff better, but peers can help each other in times of need.
Encourage growth and development
Helping your team prepare for their future through training and continuous learning show how empathetic you are towards their long-term growth as an employee. An employee platform that centralizes essential company documents, including training materials, can help them quickly access learning tools whenever they need to. Doing so ensures that they get a hold of the information they need without going through different sources or portals. On top of this, having them in one accessible location makes it easier for you as a leader to keep important information up to date.
When leaders are empathic, they are open and transparent to their teams. It shows that they care about what their employees feel and think, and are always willing to listen to any member of the workforce. Digital employee tools can help here by enabling company-wide announcements from leadership that reaches everyone instantly and transparently regardless of location or job title. By sharing information inclusively to all employees, staff feel respected by leadership and valued in their role. On top of this, digital tools with polls and quizzes features enable a convenient feedback channel for employees to share ideas or concerns anytime they like.
Recognize and reward
Arguably the most impactful moment of feeling understood at work is when hard work gets recognized and rewarded. For leaders, it’s crucial to foster a culture that praises staff when they perform well in their roles, as this shows how the rest of the organization is empathetic towards the hard work they’ve put in to the task. Workplace tools that enable this to happen in real-time and visibility to the whole workforce are especially effective, as it allows for praise to be shared instantly and publically — the two key factors to effective commendations.