At a time when stress is high and staffing is short, empathy – understanding your workers – is a significant way to increase engagement and retention. Consider these six ways to build a more empathetic organization:
- Listen to your workers, ask questions, and respond. Address their concerns and insights in policies as appropriate.
- Encourage genuine perspective-taking. Put yourself in employees’ shoes and apply this to problem-solving, conflict resolution, and driving innovation.
- Cultivate compassion. Practice regular verbal encouragement and motivation that exemplifies compassion. Communicate transparently and clearly. Be aware of people’s emotions and thoughts. Remember that words can make or ruin someone’s day.
- Organize empathy training. Make this consistent and ongoing. Include it in onboarding.
- Tweak your hiring process. Look for empathy in job candidates.
- Reward empathy. Recognize workers who exhibit empathy.