Leading with Empathy to Counteract Disconnection

Sustained employee engagement and wellbeing depends on empathetic leadership – In this article we establish sustainable and realistic strategies to foster empathetic practice across an organization.

Introduction

Disconnection and isolation are two themes that have echoed through to 2021 where a growing toll on mental health continues to affect the world of work. In order to meet surging pressures with resilience, workplaces must employ meaningful strategies to amplify the vital role mental health plays in wellbeing. Despite just over 90% of both employees and employers acknowledging the importance of mental health, 76% of employers still view those with mental health issues as a burden, and 64% of employees avoid informing their work of mental health issues, fearing their job security (Business Solver Report, 2020). The impact of this trend threatens to not only undermine the experiences of those with mental health issues, but unravel culture, fuelling fatigue across an organization – the solution? Leading with empathy.

The Power of Empathy

“A “landscape-scale crisis” such as COVID-19 strips leadership back to its most fundamental element: making a positive difference in people’s lives.”
McKinsey & Co.

An empathetic environment counteracts work inhibitors such as presenteeism, poor motivation and commitment to an organization, fuelling individuals with the ability to sustain both their work, and their health.

Research from The Global Empathy Index 2015 showed that companies that were in the top 10 for empathy increased in value over twice as much as the bottom 10 – they also achieved 50% more earnings. In 2016, those earnings increased by 6%, whilst the average earnings of the bottom 10 dropped by 9%.

The power of empathy reaps more than just financial benefit; at a time of immense social upheaval, it is an integral aspect of collaboration that empowers every individual, regardless of their circumstance to feel valued and respected at work.

Cultivating Authentic Change

“Taking the entire individual into account is a major step towards creating a culture of empathy now and in the future. With anxiety levels at all-time highs, this must become a top priority.”
Joe Shanahn, Business Solver CEO.

Total wellbeing is the sum of many parts, with physical wellness, mental health and financial preparedness depending on and reacting with each other to form the total wellbeing of each individual employee.

When it comes to mental health, Business Solver’s research indicates that 91% of employees value extended mental health benefits such as flexible work schedules, the availability of online mental health providers and an open door policy; and yet, 64% of employees are reluctant to inform work of mental health issues. Further research by the Center for Talent Innovation highlights that 30% of employees do not disclose Invisible Disabilities at Work, making initiating conversations and encouraging vulnerability an intricate process.

10x Solutions are a key tool in achieving a complete picture of individuals across an organization, allowing managers to effortlessly identify the Motivations, Personalities and Abilities of entire cohorts via our interactive visual dashboard. Using 10x Optimize, leaders can channel insight and advice from our industry-leading psychometrics to initiate conversations and utilize hidden talent; as well as channel support wherever needed most.

By providing leaders with clear, impactful insights on exactly how to improve workforces both today and in the future through cutting-edge machine learning, 10x Predict can provide integral insights as part of a holistic strategy to empower and include each individual across a workforce.

Navigating Pitfalls

“Though empathy is essential to leading, failing to recognize its limits can impair performance.”
Adam Waytz, Harvard Business Review.

Empathy is rooted in listening and constructively responding to another’s experience, consistently and repeatedly doing this however can result in emotional fatigue; where a person can understand mental states but lacks the capacity to address observations with emotion.

As empathy is often a finite resource, expending efforts to be empathetic at work can limit an ability to bring empathy into home life, making connecting with loved-ones increasingly difficult if mismanaged.

Counteracting this means incorporating value-led initiatives alongside listening and responding to individual employee needs to develop a sustainable culture of empathy for every employee; including those that are exposed to emotional fatigue on a regular basis.

Turning to key tools such as 10x Optimize to understand and project the development of individuals can aid in flagging the best opportunities to incorporate initiatives – empowering managers to minimize the overall impact of emotional fatigue whilst retaining empathy as part of the culture.

Health is multi-faceted by nature; promoting a varied approach that fundamentally channels improved communication around mental health at work can dispel misconceptions and ensure employees remain supported, even at a distance.

Counteracting Disconnection – Leading with Empathy

Sustained employee engagement and wellbeing depends on empathetic leadership – In this article we establish sustainable and realistic strategies to foster empathetic practice across an organization.

Introduction

Disconnection and isolation are two themes that have echoed through to 2021 where a growing toll on mental health continues to affect the world of work. In order to meet surging pressures with resilience, workplaces must employ meaningful strategies to amplify the vital role mental health plays in wellbeing. Despite just over 90% of both employees and employers acknowledging the importance of mental health, 76% of employers still view those with mental health issues as a burden, and 64% of employees avoid informing their work of mental health issues, fearing their job security (Business Solver Report, 2020). The impact of this trend threatens to not only undermine the experiences of those with mental health issues, but unravel culture, fuelling fatigue across an organization – the solution? Leading with empathy.

The Power of Empathy

“A “landscape-scale crisis” such as COVID-19 strips leadership back to its most fundamental element: making a positive difference in people’s lives.”
McKinsey & Co.

An empathetic environment counteracts work inhibitors such as presenteeism, poor motivation and commitment to an organization, fuelling individuals with the ability to sustain both their work, and their health.

Research from The Global Empathy Index 2015 showed that companies that were in the top 10 for empathy increased in value over twice as much as the bottom 10 – they also achieved 50% more earnings. In 2016, those earnings increased by 6%, whilst the average earnings of the bottom 10 dropped by 9%.

The power of empathy reaps more than just financial benefit; at a time of immense social upheaval, it is an integral aspect of collaboration that empowers every individual, regardless of their circumstance to feel valued and respected at work.

Cultivating Authentic Change

“Taking the entire individual into account is a major step towards creating a culture of empathy now and in the future. With anxiety levels at all-time highs, this must become a top priority.”
Joe Shanahn, Business Solver CEO.

Total wellbeing is the sum of many parts, with physical wellness, mental health and financial preparedness depending on and reacting with each other to form the total wellbeing of each individual employee.

When it comes to mental health, Business Solver’s research indicates that 91% of employees value extended mental health benefits such as flexible work schedules, the availability of online mental health providers and an open door policy; and yet, 64% of employees are reluctant to inform work of mental health issues. Further research by the Center for Talent Innovation highlights that 30% of employees do not disclose Invisible Disabilities at Work, making initiating conversations and encouraging vulnerability an intricate process.

10x Solutions are a key tool in achieving a complete picture of individuals across an organization, allowing managers to effortlessly identify the Motivations, Personalities and Abilities of entire cohorts via our interactive visual dashboard. Leaders can channel insight and advice from our industry-leading psychometrics to initiate conversations and utilize hidden talent; as well as channel support wherever needed most.

By providing leaders with clear, impactful insights on exactly how to improve workforces, 10x Solutions can be an integral part of a holistic strategy to empower and include each individual across a workforce.

Navigating Pitfalls

“Though empathy is essential to leading, failing to recognize its limits can impair performance.”
Adam Waytz, Harvard Business Review.

Empathy is rooted in listening and constructively responding to another’s experience, consistently and repeatedly doing this however can result in emotional fatigue; where a person can understand mental states but lacks the capacity to address observations with emotion.

As empathy is often a finite resource, expending efforts to be empathetic at work can limit an ability to bring empathy into home life, making connecting with loved-ones increasingly difficult if mismanaged.

Counteracting this means incorporating value-led initiatives alongside listening and responding to individual employee needs to develop a sustainable culture of empathy for every employee; including those that are exposed to emotional fatigue on a regular basis.

Turning to key tools such as 10x Optimize to understand and project the development of individuals can aid in flagging the best opportunities to incorporate initiatives – empowering managers to minimize the overall impact of emotional fatigue whilst retaining empathy as part of the culture.

Health is multi-faceted by nature; promoting a varied approach that fundamentally channels improved communication around mental health at work can dispel misconceptions and ensure employees remain supported, even at a distance.

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