In the highly digitalised world we live in, we are seeing a big disconnect between leaders and their teams. While many managers may believe they are doing a great job, if you talk to the people they are leading it’s not uncommon to hear the opposite.
We’re increasingly seeing that employees are feeling undervalued and unappreciated. This is causing low motivation and productivity levels as employees are checking out at work. What appears to be missing in many organisations and what could be cited as the number 1 most important leadership needed today is empathy.
Earning employee loyalty
Many businesses are focusing too much on achieving targets and goals even if it is at the cost of employee wellbeing and happiness. Seeing employees as a means to an end will never earn loyalty.
The best leaders concern themselves with both achieving their goals and supporting the people that are helping them get there. They treat their teams right and show that they value their work and talents. This doesn’t mean being sentimental or overly attentive, sometimes simply making time for people can make a big difference. Being empathetic will help you to build and motivate a team and earn loyalty.
Showing you care
The best way to show people that you care about them is by listening to what they have to say. Empathy and listening go hand in hand as you can’t show that you are empathetic if you don’t listen.
The problem is that listening is becoming a lost art. We’re living in an age with information overload and therefore shortened attention spans. We like to talk about ourselves but don’t always give others the opportunity to share their opinions. However, if we don’t listen properly we are unable to influence those around us and that can be detrimental to leaders.
Employees want to feel heard, they want to be trusted and they want to be respected. Listening can help you to achieve all of these.
Bringing it all together
Empathy is all about being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and being able to understand how they are feeling. If you want employees to be loyal and engaged at work all you need to do is show them that you genuinely care. It’s the small things that can make a big difference and offering a kind comment, a thoughtful gesture or offering support doesn’t take much.