There's a trend in the marketplace to talk about happiness in the context of work. From Adam Grant to Eric Barker, thought leaders tell us that you'll be a much better employee - and a more productive leader, by the way - if you are happy and well adjusted.
There's another group of psychologists out there who believe that gratitude is the key to higher productivity and a better workforce. Robert Emmons believes that you will live a much richer life, and achieve better professional success, if you keep a gratitude journal and recognize the good work of your colleagues.
I like both concepts. Human resources professionals can't get enough of happiness and gratitude, in my opinion. I would go a step further and say that the most successful leaders in any field are the ones who demonstrate empathy on a regular basis.
Empathy, which is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is the killer leadership app. Here are three reasons why you should up your "empathy quotient" and start leading with your heart.
Empathy Allows You to Identify Happiness
Human resources professionals are challenged to make data-driven decisions on a daily basis. Quantitative analysis is important, but it's not everything. How do you quantify how much a valued employee loves her new puppy at home? Can the cloud tell you when your new employee who' recently relocated to your town misses her mom? How do you use data to evaluate when an esteemed colleague looks a little blue and needs a pep-talk?
Tapping into empathy will help you look for the important emotional triggers in the office that can help you enhance the "highs" and circumvent the "emotional lows" that are very common in a collective environment.
Empathy Helps You Express Gratitude
For those of you who are parents, you know that it takes more than twenty years for your kids to thank you for teaching them tough lessons in life. When you leverage empathy as an effective leadership trait, you can look around and see important cues from your colleagues. Did someone offer you feedback in a kind and straightforward way? Have you learned something new from a co-worker who didn't have to share her ideas but took the time to make your life easier? If you're empathetic, you'll thank someone before they realize that they are owed a thank you.
Retain Your Best Employees with Empathy
Nobody quits a job for money. People quit jobs when they don't feel loved and appreciated. I once stuck with a job that paid 25% less than market value because my boss was so kind to me during a family illness. When I returned from leave, I worked harder than I've ever worked to ensure that my team members knew that I loved them dearly. When I tried to explain why I was willing to earn less money than my peers at other companies, I told the story of how my boss expressed empathy and understood how I was feeling. She was marvelous. When she left our company, I followed her to her new organization!
Empathy is not just an amazing leadership skill. It's an essential life skill for anyone who wants to feel good about herself. Let's face it -- the global recession taught us that we work in tough economic environments that require us to watch out for ourselves. However, I believe that we look out for ourselves when we look out for other people.
Empathy is the best skill for HR professionals to possess if they want to grow into thoughtful, effective and astonishing leaders.
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Empowering Employees by Learning & Development at Amplifon
Learning and development strategies must continue to evolve in the ever-changing world of work. Training and development provide employees with a softer landing into change, and the introduction of digital learning and development platforms allowed employees a smoother transition into a new style of work. Amplifon created a learning and development strategy that is hyper-personalised and skills-focused, allowing their people and their entire organisations to become more agile and adaptable. Amplifon invested not only in learning and development content but also in strengthening the global network and collaboration across geographies and functions, to encourage an equal sense of belonging across the entire organisation. Amplifon created a learning and development strategy that is hyper-personalised and skills-focused, allowing their people and their entire organisations to become more agile and adaptable. Amplifon invested not only in learning and development content but also in strengthening the global network and collaboration across geographies and functions, to encourage an equal sense of belonging across the entire organisation.
Howdens shares how they grew learning by over 500% in one year
Charlene Jackson, HR & Payroll Systems Lead, shares how Howdens moved from traditional classroom based training, to grow learning by over 500% in just one year through the introduction of a simple, modern user experience, accessible from any device.
4 tips to managing diversity and gender equality in your company
If you want to generate success in your company and work in a harmonious environment, then you need to consider each and every one of your employees, get to know their interests, and offer them the best treatment and commitment. However, one of the most important principles that should be commonplace in every organisation is the equal treatment of employees (regardless of gender, race or religion). Gender, for example, should not be a factor that influences how we treat our workforce. Having a gender equality policy shows employees that they are valued and that the company is serious about ending discrimination. Having a fair remuneration policy that is not distinguished by the employee’s gender, but by their job position and their development within the company is an important step towards gender quality too. Opt for a gender-diverse workforce Having more gender diversity in a company is very positive and not just for the company’s own benefit. In fact, the UK could boost its GDP by 9% if the female employment rates matched with Sweden’s for instance. The challenge for HR departments is to successfully and strategically find and enrol more women in their business. It could solve a real problem, breaking barriers of gender discrimination in the workplace and promoting equality within the company. Equality between your workers is essential It is important to not only review the salaries of your employees, but also other professional aspects such as career plans and promotions, ensuring that there are equal opportunities for both men and women. Equality will undoubtedly be a motivational element for employees, regardless of their gender, as having clear objectives is a contributing factor in maintaining employees’ interest levels Strike a balance between work life and family life Fostering harmony between work and family life is key to attracting and retaining talent. It can contribute to the company culture, and to a positive attitude and collaboration amongst employees. Another important point is not to make sweeping generalisations about different genders, and instead to consider the specifics on a case by case basis. Employees need to see that their family life is considered and respected. They will appreciate this and it will likely improve company loyalty in the long run. HR must ensure gender equality in their company HR’s role is essential in managing and promoting gender diversity within the business. They must ensure that the motivation and commitment of their employees is strengthened, which, in turn, strengthens the workforce overall and benefits the entire company.