Cultivating Empathy in the Workplace

When the pandemic hit the world, the business and the working population faced many difficulties, the businesses got run out of track and almost 50% of the global working population lost their daily source of income due to the hard lockdown. While the rest 50% of the working population started working from home to keep the businesses running which started to keep the global economy running. In this strict lockdown, many things have been changed including the job status. People became so vulnerable, some faced the worst in this pandemic, in this situation showing a little empathy to your employees will not cost anything but make them happy and welcoming again. 

According to famous writer Daniel Goleman, the author of the book Emotional Intelligence, “empathy is a vital leadership skill”. Empathy and sympathy are two different things and are often confused to be the same. Hence, I will depict some of the common ways or gestures with which you easily cultivate empathy in your workplace. So let’s start!

Cultivating Empathy in the Workplace


Sympathy is when one shares his/her feelings to anyone; whereas empathy is when one understands the feelings of another but does not necessarily share the thoughts with them. Following are some of the points which the recruiters and the employers should maintain to cultivate in the workplace,

Listen Actively:

Empathy starts with simple interaction among co-workers to know how they are doing or how their workload is. A communication that shows genuine interest. When the person is answering, note the body language or the phrase they are using again & again or their emotional state. This will give an idea of what they are going through. Compassionate empathy is when we are involved with our co-workers on emotional terms to feel their pain or what they are going through and working towards mitigating it by finding practical solutions. But not involving oneself deeply in it to lose their balance & peace.

Understand Their Perspective:

Why someone is behaving the way they are. When you want to understand the situation, walk in their shoes. Maybe he is going through a tough time or had a bad experience which makes him react the way he did. Instead of preferring our assumptions & beliefs we should rather try and understand his point of view. He might not be right and we do not have to agree too but this is not the right time to debate. Just listen to them, respect what they say, or find a way to resolve it.

Start From the Top:

You tend to follow more if the preachers are following it themselves. When top-level management follows the practice of empathizing with their subordinates, this culture flows to the bottom of the pyramid. Planning, Monitoring, or controlling the performance of team members is important but understanding, caring and concern is equally important. It makes the team more productive.

Support Others Aspiration and Need:

A leader should be supportive of team members. Everyone should be heard in the discussion not only the voices that are loud or opinionated. Everyone should get a fair chance in the activities that the team organizes frequently. Being a leader, you should learn team members’ names, know their career goals, and help them with your time. This has a positive impact and it influences productivity in the right way. People feel more motivated and dedicated to their employers. Always appreciate the good work and help the ones who are lagging. Co-workers may have different skill sets, pay scales, or job profiles but all of them are crucial to the success of the organization. Words of care and concern make them feel valued. So, employees put in their extra effort to exceed expectations and come out with rewarding results.

Conflict and Empathy Gap:

In an organization, conflict is inevitable. Situations can be worse when there is a lack of empathy. In such situations, be aware of the empathy gap. The empathy gap is described as “the tendency to underestimate the influence of varying mental states on our behavior and make decisions that only satisfy our current emotion, feeling, or state of being”. For example – a person is fired and all the team members are feeling bad for him while one of them is not feeling that bad is because he has faced the same situation in his past and doesn’t remember the pain of it. he managed to come out of it.  So, the empathy gap can make anyone hard-hearted.

Support Global Leaders:

Global leaders are the ones who work across borders and collaborate with people who have different cultures and experiences. Understanding them generates an appreciation and cultivates a more productive relationship.

Kind Leaders Are An Asset:

Business leaders who are respected a lot by their co-workers are an asset to the organization. They are a binding force that binds the team together. They are ones nurturing empathy in the workforce.

Cultivating empathy in the workplace is important and has a very good impact on the employees. However, during a pandemic, it becomes more important to practice it in our behavior. The COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on people’s physical and mental health. Leaders and managers need to show more concern and care towards their co-workers than to monitor the regular performance. It’s a tough time and needs more support from leaders to develop and flourish such behavioral skills to foster the organization.

Thank you for reading the full article. If you feel this article is helpful for you, then please let us know your thought in the comment box and share the article with your friends and colleagues. Also, if you need any recruitment or workplace-related solutions and services, then please get in touch with us. Team SyaRose will be happy to help you. Thank you again!

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