New Research Shows Empathy as Top Driver to Innovation at Work

A new study by Catalyst found that empathy is not just a soft skill, but an imperative strategic element in a business’ long-term success.

Catalyst found that if companies want to boost productivity, cultivating empathetic leadership needs to be a top priority.

According to the study, empathy in the workplace is a driver in increased innovation, engagement with work, retention at work and inclusivity.

In the study, researchers asked respondents of nearly 900 US employees working across industries, including healthcare, how often their managers and senior leaders displayed specific behaviors in their interactions. The behaviors were measured to the three parts of empathy: cognitive (head/thinking), affective (heart/feeling), and behavioral (action/doing).

One of the key findings was that 61 percent of people with highly empathic senior leaders report often or always being innovative at work compared to only 13 percent of people with less empathic senior leaders.

One of the biggest reasons empathy is so important in the workplace is to help with the decrease of mental health from the impact COVID 19 has had on the workplace.

A global study conducted by Qualtrics found that since the pandemic:

  • 42 percent of people have experienced a decline in mental health
  • 67 percent of people have an increase in stress
  • 57 percent have an increase in anxiety

It’s no shock that the hit to mental health is happening across all workplaces, including the senior living industry. Empathy could be a key solution.

How to Incorporate Empathy in Your Workplace

According to Berkeley’s Greater Good Magazine, Emotion researchers generally define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions, accompanied with the ability to image what someone else may be thinking or feeling.

Cognitive empathy, or “perspective taking” can be a great way to improve outcomes with your team or with your residents and their families, and ultimately, help increase your occupancy.

For example, SeniorVu’s contact center is set apart from the rest because of 3 things: we are senior industry specific, we typically come from senior living, healthcare or social work, and train to take an empathetic approach with every family that reaches out about our clients’ community.

SeniorVu trains our Family Advocate Mentors, or FAM Team, to meet each senior or family member exactly where they are in their unique situation.

We know families and seniors can be under stress when they are put in touch with our contact center, so the FAM team is trained to understand and ask questions around what is important to the potential resident at that moment, and as they consider senior living including their likes and hobbies.

While it may seem easy to pass over this part, empathy is important to delve deeper into the conversation on what is happening in each person’s life. We are all humans and want the best for our loved ones.

Empathy could also be an important factor to the staffing issue facing the senior living industry. Leadership and managers who take time to listen to employees wants and needs are shown to improve work-life challenges and provide more of an inclusive environment. Catalyst found that senior leaders with empathy is an indicator for a lower intent to leave.

You can go here for three work perks that matter most to caregivers.

In summary, your workplace culture has a direct impact on retention, productivity, and inclusion. While many companies have always known empathy has positive impacts, this new research suggests now, more than ever, companies should incorporate empathy into their long-term business strategy.

Happy Holidays

Answering inquiries for your community is what our Family Advocate Managers (FAM team) love doing, even on most holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only two days we close up shop. We believe all of our team members deserve time with their families. By the next morning, FAM is right back at it to follow up on any inquiries that may have come in the day before.

What about all those other holidays? Rest assured SeniorVu has your time zone covered from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on each of the following holidays:

Black Friday
Christmas Eve
New Year’s Eve & Day
Martin Luther King Day
President’s Day

Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Veteran’s Day

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