The “Great Resignation” challenged C-suite and Human Resource managers to find ways to comprehend and curtail potential business challenges. The importance of people strategy is at a multi-generational peak.

Employees are returning to the office and are alive to their need for a Culture of Empathy.

What is empathy and why is it important?

Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. A person’s need for empathy is met when another person is fully present to what is alive for them, with full presence and acceptance.

Empathetic leaders master the art of listening fully, identifying people’s observations, feelings, needs and requests. They give their full attention to the other persons message, and they ask before offering advice or reassurance.

A recent study of 34 million employee records, published in MIT Sloan Management Review, found that 3 of the top 5 reasons for resignations were related to empathy — or lack thereof. The study concluded that to retain talent, companies need to understand and address the elements of their culture that are causing employees to disengage and leave; especially issues that contribute to a toxic culture.

What can you do as a leader?

True leaders listen and make people feel heard. True leaders are inspirational, and people want to be alongside them. True leaders treat others with care and respect. True leaders see potential and draw it out.

Employees are more in tune with their own needs in the workplace than ever before. They’re loyal to leaders that inspire and foster their development, not companies. Would your team describe you as a vibrant, caring leader? Or could you do more to excite, challenge and develop your people?

Retaining Talent

The talent competition is more aggressive than before as the demands for creativity and execution continue to evolve. Retaining and attracting talent through a top-down approach of generic benefits and financial incentives are no longer sufficient. Employees demand more from their employer and the culture.

A bottom-up approach to engagement is the key to successfully attracting and retaining talented people. Employers must understand each individual’s needs – their motivations, ambitions, how they work best, and what’s not working.

Leaders can show empathy via regular check-ins that encourage open and honest conversations. Once issues are identified, solutions and changes can be implemented more organically and personally, increasing engagement, productivity, innovation and retention.

What can you do as an organisation?

Develop empathetic leaders and a tailored people strategy.

Employees want to feel understood and appreciated. The one size fits all approach is failing to retain talent. Individual needs may be simple or complex to deliver, but by listening to what individual people need you can change each person’s work experience for the better. When people feel better, they do better, and this is when businesses thrive.

Empathy can guide an organisation with creativity, diversity, and agility. Support your leaders with good coaching, training programmes, and incentives that help build your firm’s culture of empathy.

Who are True Partnership?

True Partnership is an Executive Coaching and Business Consultancy focused on supporting the leadership needs of individuals and organisations. We create tailored services and intentional partnerships. If you’d like to discuss how we can further your development, please send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.


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Tom Ungi