Improve Work Relationships by Implementing Empathetic Leadership.

Here’s why you should implement empathetic leadership rather than sympathetic leadership. Showing you are willing to understand and listen rather than simply feeling bad for your colleagues is essential. You want your employees to feel at ease when communicating any issues that may arise. Equally, you want to feel confident that issues will be brought to your attention where necessary. Empathetic leadership can allow that environment to thrive.

This blog will explain how being more empathetic towards your workforce can increase your work relationships and open conversation while showing you are actually listening to their problems.

Key Empathetic Leadership Pointers: 

You can make several simple changes to show your employees empathetic leadership and prove your investment in their wellbeing.

Communicate and be honest: If you are closed off and hide your feelings, so will your workforce. To be a genuinely empathetic boss, you need to show you are willing to start a dialogue.

Active listening: This is one of the most significant changes you should be making. If your colleagues don’t feel you are listening, then they are unlikely to come to you for help again. Keep in mind it may have taken a lot of courage to speak up in the first place.

Don’t Judge: If people have come to vocalise a problem and feel judged, it suggests you don’t understand or don’t want to. You don’t have to agree with their viewpoint; merely appreciate their perspective. Empathetic leadership is about compassion.

Be An Equal: While you may be the boss, it is not bad for your employees to feel like you can still get in and amongst it. Though you don’t want your leadership undermined, it is good to show you appreciate their work and that you too can help if needed.

Allow Feedback: If there are problems at work, you need to bring that issue to attention. Equally, if your team members feel there is something more the company could be doing, they need a safe space to share that information.

Be Fair: Lastly, treat everyone fairly. Everyone is different, and some may need you to deal with issues differently. It is essential to understand how to communicate with various people. Take an active role in all members of your team equally.

The Effects of Empathetic Leadership:

It has been stated that up to 80% of employees would be willing to move jobs if they found a more empathetic boss. Additionally, employees with empathetic leadership were said to have 106% more energy and 74% less stress at work. It also resulted in fewer sick days and higher employee productivity. These stats show how much it could improve the work environment for you both and your employees.

Trust and Respect:

Implementing empathetic leadership grows trust and respect with your employees. Despite these positives, it is essential to realise being an empathetic leader is about improving relationships rather than being liked. You want those at work to feel they can talk to you about their problems and that they will be listened to. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will like you more, but it will mean your office environment is a far more open and positive place.

Empathetic leadership is also about being an active boss rather than passive. Show your team you are willing to be there for them if need be and open to positive dialogue. By increasing your workplace empathy, you can create healthy relationships and show your investment in those around you, plus the business as a whole. Showing you care about employee wellbeing could help increase employee engagement. If your workforce feels appreciated and heard, they will feel more inclined to work to their full potential.

Another avenue you could explore is a rewards and recognition scheme to allow employees the chance to demonstrate their work ethic and for you to directly reward them for their efforts.

For more information on implementing rewards and recognition at your workplace, contact us at [email protected] or visit us at

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