Some would say that the value of empathy is one of the most important skills to possess both on a personal and professional level but perhaps one of the hardest skills to develop?
It’s certainly becoming increasingly more important for companies to embrace the role of empathy at work, creating positive working environments to drive businesses forward with connection and innovation.
Layers of workplace empathy
Just like peeling an on onion it’s evident that there are many layers to embedding the value of empathy throughout a company:
Leading with empathy
Does your leadership team lead with empathy? To truly embed the culture of empathy all leaders must be fully on board. They must have the right leadership, communication skills, interviewing and people management skills plus the capability to identify empathy related skills for their teams development.
Fostering empathy within your team
As we evolve as people and teams in a post-pandemic world, there is a definite need for development in a range of soft skills, encouraging us to work together with empathy. Communication, mediation and behavioural skills are sought after by many businesses looking to create harmonious teams. Wellbeing, inclusion and diversity learning programmes are also integral to fostering empathetic teams.
Empathising with your consumers
Strive to understand and listen to your consumers more closely. Make empathy part of your brand. Consumers are constantly evolving and even more so since the covid-19 pandemic in the way they consume information about companies and the way they feel about brands they consume.
We’ve already seen a fundamental shift in companies upgrading their knowledge of design thinking as part of their business processes. Those companies are considering empathy to gain deeper consumer insight to create relevant products and services to meet their future needs.
Empathy and technology
The advance of technology of course means companies must strive to stay ahead of the curve through keeping on top of their technical hard skills. However this also brings a stronger shift to soft skills development also as we see some functions replaced by technology such as AI and machine learning.
To lead with empathy means learning how to behave empathetically.
So last but certainly not least we must mention your leading L&D functions that are absolutely integral to developing all the skills relating to empathy across the entire business.
It’s fair to say also that empathy and L&D are like peas in a pod when it comes to listening and understanding people’s development needs.
Future of empathy in the workplace
We’d say ’empathy at work’ is here to stay, an absolute must for looking at developing your empathetic skills base in 2022 and beyond.
What does your company need to successfully lead forward with empathy?