Did you know that leaders who show empathy may retain employees in the workforce more than those who don’t? According to Business Solver, if management was more empathetic, 92% of employees indicate they would be less likely to leave their jobs. Therefore, showing more empathy toward employees may prevent or lessen turnover. Plus, when an employee is satisfied with their job, they are more likely to participate in employee referral programs. Below are 6 ways a boss can become more empathetic.
1. Actively Listening
Everyone wants to know that their voice is heard. Use cues to make sure the employee you’re speaking with is aware that you are actively listening to them. As they pause in the conversation, you may want to interject a question to affirm you’ve heard them correctly. Or, you may want to encourage them to continue by asking them questions about what they’ve told you. Being an active listener shows your employee that their voice matters to you and that you care about their knowledge. This action will make it clear that their work makes a difference.
2. Establish A No Judgment Zone
When speaking with an employee, it’s important not to bring any assumptions to the table. This creates an environment of trust. Instead, provide the situation without assigning blame, and discuss with them what can be done to solve it. Problems are fixable, and your employee should know that mistakes will not cost them their career.
3. Set an Example
Be the empathetic person you’d like your employees to emulate. Then compliment the empathy you see them directing toward others. Creating an empathetic environment may prompt them to participate in employee referral programs. Empathy toward clients is key, but it is easier to establish if your employees are empathetic to each other, and you are empathetic to them.
4. Recognize Non-verbal Communication
Does the employee feel frustration or anger? Does a topic you’re discussing prompt them to shy away? Understanding their non-verbal cues is key to respecting their emotions. The hard work they provide for you does not come without its stresses. Respecting their non-verbal cues can help assure them that their feelings are valid.
5. Watch Your Words
Some employees may be more sensitive than others, so it’s important to choose the words you use carefully. To soften the conversation, it helps to choose “we” rather than “me” in many situations and promotes an empathetic environment. Make sure to avoid any triggers they may have to keep their work environment a safe space.
6. Be Present When Meeting with Employees
Whether you meet with employees in person or virtually, it’s important to eliminate distractions. Make the employee and what they are saying your main focus. Engage with verbal and non-verbal cues such as eye contact and silencing your phone. Being present is essentially being respectful of their time and what they are sharing with you.
While it may feel that displaying empathy is a weakness, it is actually a valuable strength. Often, showing empathy can promote trust between leadership and employees. It may encourage participation in employee referral programs. Plus, empathetic leaders gain insights into their employees, allowing them to make better, well-informed decisions. Contact Refered to learn more about this topic!6 Ways to Be a More Empathetic Boss