I hope that as the pandemic continues, your family members and friends are checking in on how you’re doing. I do that for people in my circle and appreciate when I’m on the receiving end, too.
But are you getting that love at the office?
Leaders and managers have learned the importance of kindness and empathy over the past 18 months. Considering that we also are in the middle of the great resignation, connecting as humans is as important as ever.
Everybody wants empathy, but few companies give it.
A survey of nearly 2,100 employed people across the United States that we conducted with Harris Poll confirms the top issue employees want their company to address: health and well-being.
Our study, the Integral Employee Activation Index (IAI), shows an alarmingly low number of employees who experience their workplace culture as supportive (37%), caring (29%) or collaborative (24%). This is no surprise as I regularly hear examples of toxic workplaces: employees complaining their managers don’t care about the long work hours they put in, unreasonable expectations against available resources and performance ratings based on ambiguous and even unfair criteria. Our lived experiences of work do not match the reality of what we need.
We must continue to exercise the empathy muscle and meet people where they are.
- Companies should expect managers to have genuine conversations with employees to see how they are coping with extended and complicated working arrangements and keeping their families safe.
- Managers should talk about their own struggles with these and other topics, discuss the tools they have used to cope and share how they have been supported by peers and senior leaders.
- Listen to how employees are talking, not just to what they are saying.
Employees want an environment where they feel valued and appreciated. And, especially, feel recognized for how hard they are working to keep it all together. While real data helps, we shouldn’t need a survey to remind us of that.
Integral recently released the Employee Activation Index, a measurement of employee personal values and readiness to support an organization’s goals.