Empathetic leadership leads to higher job satisfaction

The majority of employees believe that empathetic leadership leads to higher job satisfaction and decreases employee turnover, reveals EY leadership survey

The Big Four accountancy firm’s Empathy in Business Survey revealed that the majority of respondents, 88%, feel that empathetic leadership creates loyalty among employees towards their bosses and company.

The survey of more than 1,010 workers conducted in July 2021, revealed that 54% left their previous workplace due to their boss not being empathetic to their struggles at work with 49% stating that their bosses were not empathetic about their personal lives. 

The survey revealed that many employees believe that companies are ‘talking the talk but not walking the walk’ with almost half of employees feeling that their company’s efforts for empathy are dishonest while two in five states that their company does not follow through when it makes promises.

The report states that employees believe that the top qualities that make an empathetic leader are that they are open and transparent, fair, follow through on actions, encourage others to share their opinions, and trusted to handle difficult conversations.

Steve Payne, EY’s US vice chair of consulting said: ‘As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, leaders are working to establish business transformation models to adapt in the new normal. Our research finds that empathy is not only a nice-to-have, but the glue and accelerant for business transformation in the next era of business.

‘Empathy’s ability to create a culture of trust and innovation is unmatched, and this previously overlooked trait must be at the forefront of businesses across all industries.’

In order to create an empathetic workplace, the report recommends steps that businesses and employers need to make. Employees state that regular one-to-ones, opportunities for anonymous feedback, and frequent reminders that employees are in a safe space for discussions with their employers, are important.

Employees also suggest that bosses should also participate in team-building exercises and in training and communication workshops about open discussions.

The survey shows that introducing empathy into the leadership of a workplace will lead to positive changes in the workplace with 87% saying that it enables trust among employees and leaders with 85% stating that empathetic leadership in the workplace will increase productivity among employees.

Payne concluded: ‘The ability to connect with employees and provide a supportive work environment is more important than ever. Organisations and leaders must prioritise empathy to foster innovation, inspire growth and successfully lead business transformation efforts.’

Ruby Flanagan |Reporter, Accountancy Daily

Ruby Flanagan is reporter on Accountancy Daily. Contact her on ruby.flanagan@croneri.co....

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