In an age where the Great Resignation is convincing countless employees to leave old-fashioned workplaces behind, empathy has grown more important than ever. Today’s talent knows they have more opportunities for global employment than ever before, which means they’re less willing to accept jobs from companies who don’t respect their needs. As a team leader, your ability to show empathy could make or break your chances of not only retaining your existing employees, but attracting future talent too. Here are just some of the ways you can begin to show empathy and separate yourself from the other companies still using the old-fashioned grind culture.
Collect as Much Information as You Can
The best way to show empathy is to ensure you understand your team members. With that in mind, you’ll need to start doing a lot more research. There are countless tools available which can help you to collect valuable information. Fleet management tools offer excellent insight into which of your employees in the field are struggling with time management, which need the most guidance, and which have the most troubling routes. At the same time, survey tools and polls can help you to collect information directly from members of staff in an anonymous environment, so your team members feel more comfortable sharing all of the thoughts and feelings they might have about your workforce. Collecting a combination of analytics-based insights and thoughts directly from your customers will help you to start showing empathy.
Find Opportunities to Bond with Staff
Once you’ve collected all the information you can find about your team members, both from their insights and the analytical tools you use on a daily basis, the next step is finding opportunities to bond. The information you’ve gathered should help with this. If you learn many of your employees are struggling with time management based on the analytics of your fleet management tools, you could host a fun training session for the whole team, teaching organization techniques. Of course, bonding opportunities don’t always have to be formal learning events, they can also be informal opportunities for people to communicate and thrive. A monthly lunch can be a great way to bring people together, and get them talking about what’s going on outside of work. Even suggesting simple lunchtime exercises to encourage daily breaks and movement for those on your team can go a long way.
Treat Employees as Human Beings
As business leaders, it’s easy to get into the mindset of seeing your employees as cogs in a machine, rather than individual human beings. Although you value their contribution to the workforce, you overlook their individual needs as people with emotions and thoughts. This means in investment in things like sleep and wellbeing, diet and nutrition, and home life. Having your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your employees lives outside the office shows that you care about all the parts of them, not only those that serve you and the business. Treating employees as human beings means recognizing their need for emotional support from time to time, providing access to mental health days, and even just asking about how things are outside of work. You can even use little opportunities to show how much you value your employees as a human being. Saying “happy birthday” to team members on their birthday reminds them you’re thinking of them as more than just an employee.
Written by: Search Ladder LLC