Empathetic Leadership: The Miracle Cure for Burnout? 0

Empathetic-Leadership-The-Miracle-Cure-for-Burnout

Why do certain workplaces excel and the employees never seem to burn out no matter what kinds of challenging situations they encounter? It turns out, the magic word is empathy — a robust emotional intelligence that boosts well-being and helps cope with stress. When practised by leaders, managers, and even individual employees, it has a lasting impression on the work culture.

A survey of 3,900 employees and business leaders across 11 nations, discovered that burnout and fatigue are equally concerning for employees working remotely (43%) and those in a physical workplace (43%).

Overall, three out of five employees and business executives (59%) feel their company has taken at least some steps to prevent burnout. However, nearly a third (29%) of employees wish companies would act more with empathy.

So, how does empathy in the workplace manifest itself? Empathy in the workplace extends beyond a basic understanding of putting yourself in someone’s shoes. It’s about stepping into others’ shoes and walking in the same. Then acting on the same.

This means, more importantly, it is about going a step further and listening to those around you, and then acting to help. And, as India adapts to work-from-home, this entails keeping an eye on, assessing, and responding to your employees’ requirements more than ever.

Empathy in the workplace extends beyond a basic understanding of putting yourself in someone’s shoes. It's about stepping into others’ shoes and walking in the same. Then acting on the same. Click To Tweet

Impact of Empathetic Leadership on Alleviating Employee Burnout

Here are four ways how empathy in your internal communication and employee engagement plan can help to reduce the impact of workplace burnout on the frontlines.

1. Empathetic Leadership Allows for Improved Employee Communication

It is crucial to listen to your team members and remain optimistic as the world faces new uncertainties. In the process of researching for her future book on burnout, Jennifer Moss, an award-winning journalist, author, and international public (and podcast) speaker interviewed several executives who have shifted their strategies to accommodate their employees’ needs.

As a result, many CEOs nowadays are starting to adopt newer methods of employee communications, like holding regular ‘happy’ meetups virtually. But it turned out, not every method gets right in one go, and there must be adjustments made to get that into the track.

Also Read:  Employee Survey Data: How HR Managers Can Leverage the Power of Employee Feedback

According to Moss, some employees felt that expecting them to sit through company-wide happy hours organised for their benefit was excessive at the end of the day followed by videoconferencing hours.

According to another leader, giving an off-day on Fridays resulted in team members asking for missing time on Saturdays. Why? Because the workload remained constant even on Friday off. The leader hence discovered that workloads must be adjusted to relieve team members’ stress, not simply hours.

In her own words, Prudy Gourguechon, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and ex-President of the American Psychoanalytic Association described empathy in leadership as:

“Essentially empathy is a neutral data gathering tool that enables you to understand the human environment within which you are operating in business and therefore make better predictions, craft better tactics, inspire loyalty and communicate clearly.”

2. Empathetic Leadership Builds Mutual Trust

Employees must have confidence in their leaders to achieve company goals and to achieve that, they must be free to speak their hearts out. Regardless of whether your employees think you are communicating necessary information every day, it is essential that you share new updates, job aids, FAQs, and procedures since your frontline staff depend on you to do so.

At the same time, employees must realise when to push themselves beyond the checklist to provide outstanding service. They must have positive feelings about their jobs to do so. It’s a win-win situation when leaders trust their staff to get things done while also using social collaboration time to chat about matters other than work. This means that supervisors may trust their employees to do their jobs without supervising or time stamping their work.

In addition, leaders’ trust provides employees with leeway to establish professional friendships and communities, which is another technique for preventing burnout.

According to the Harvard Grant Study, one of the longest-running longitudinal studies of human development, warm relationships are vital to health, well-being, and pleasure. When managers engage in open conversations with their employees, the entire team excels.

Empathetic-Leadership-The-Miracle-Cure-for-Burnout-2

3. Empathetic Leadership Will Help in Becoming Familiar with Your Employees

Empathy entails understanding and catering to your employees’ requirements and offering techniques that match the current environment. For example, making regular one-on-one check-ins with your team members can be a brilliant idea if you don’t get to physically meet them daily at the office (kudos to work-from-home).

Also Read:  10 Things Employees Love and 10 Things They Hate About Work-From-Home

The structure of the conversation is essential, but don’t make them too official. When you create an open line of communication, it becomes easier to establish trust. And don’t forget to pay close attention. Consider putting in place mechanisms to track employee feedback. Feedback can also aid self-development and engagement. By providing feedback data points across your organisation, it may differentiate reality from feeling.

A tried-and-true approach to establishing trust amongst employees is to lead by example. Gathering comments throughout meetings and check-ins can also assist develop and maintain the feedback loop.

4. Empathetic Leadership Will Helps Your Business Hit its KPIs

Managers are in the middle of a balancing act of significant difficulty. On one hand, they strive to ensure individuals have all the resources they need, especially during stressful times. But, on the other hand, their corporation must hit various revenue and profitability targets to realise the business’s objectives.

The question we need to answer is: What kind of balance is better? 

In this light, Moss says, “a big part of the story is making sure that managers are prioritised correctly and have enough capacity to focus on supporting people and not just managing work.”

Managers may put the correct amount of emphasis and effort into assisting frontline employees through burnout issues while holding employees accountable to their goals when they have the opportunity to do so.

Key Takeaways

Dealing with the dangers of staff burnout is an inconvenience no one wants to bear. To fight against burnout, employers should come up with methods and procedures.

The burnout issue is not only personal, it’s a workplace issue. With a positive attitude, you may lead workers and management to think about their current performance and well-being.

Managers may put the correct amount of emphasis and effort into assisting frontline employees through burnout issues while holding employees accountable to their goals when they have the opportunity to do so.

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