Workplace productivity is always a focus and for good reason. That’s where money is made. And lost! Compassionate leaders understand this, and work hard and even are trained to develop skills that enhance this important trait.
Here’s the thing, some companies are putting in the work with DEI, training leadership to listen better, yes training and growing skills that build on compassion and empathy. And, some companies suck at this and don’t care, don’t have the time and place little importance on human satisfaction in the workplace.
In 2022, I have presented at 7 national conferences and took notes while Q&A took place from the stage. The thing is, as the keynote speaker, I guide, conduct and gently move discussions forward while making sure thoughts, ideas and concerns are answered. I saw a massive difference in the approach of compassionate vs not compassionate organizations, and it usually starts from the top.
Two Organizations with Different Approaches to Compassionate Leaders
Organization A, is successful, known throughout the world and is woefully behind the times when it comes to training compassionate leaders. Baby Boomers like compassion, Gen Xers loves compassion, Millennials and Gen Z DEMAND compassion, understanding and empathy. And the last two generations total 170 million with Millennials holding down the #1 spot as the largest numbers in the workforce. Org. A, is aware of this stat, but are only slowly moving forward and the employees are aware. Their retention rate is lower than the US average. Senior leadership, for the most part, is focused more on revenue than they are on employee well-being. This will continue to drain their talent, cost more in healthcare/mental health plus deplete the one thing they want most – higher productivity which leads to a stronger business and greater revenues. Isn’t this the advantage we’re actually looking for?
On to Organization B. Different conference, same species (human) and a completely different vibe. I felt it. I could taste it and I could see it on participants’ faces and hear it in their voices. Stronger, happier, more assured that senior leaders were focused on their well-being and vocal about it.
Benefits of Compassionate Leaders
Compassionate leaders are empathetic, listen well, give guidance if asked or when necessary and listen more. They truly place the employee first. Happiness, health and a human approach delivers major benefits. Participants mentioned retention, belonging, feeling like a part of the organization instead of simply a face. This Org. understands the important of compassion because top leadership believes that its benefits are massive. From increased productivity to lower healthcare cost and more satisfied customers (they rank high in customer service). Isn’t this the advantage we’re striving to achieve? Setting ourselves apart from our competition can cost a ton of money in marketing. Marketing is important. What better marketing is there than happy/satisfied employees?
Look at it this way. Gen Z and Millennials in the workplace’s age range is 18-38. Now, look at your staff. How many fit into this group?
With the vast majority stating that they prefer compassionate managers to the jerkier ones, meaning the “I don’t really care about you” type of leadership, it leads me to believe that:
1) Business grows with leadership that is kind and compassionate.
2) Retention grows.
3) Productivity increases.
Training is essential. And the results are massive.
Are you a compassionate leader? Could you do a better job? Can you see the benefits of doing so?