Why 'Empathetic Leaders' Sometimes Aren't
Empathy can be the glue and accelerant for business transformation
Leaders are routinely called upon to be more empathetic, especially these days. But what do we mean by empathy in the workplace, exactly?
It’s a little more nuanced than it’s often depicted. But before getting into that, it’s worth showing why the matter is so urgent. The Empathy in Business Survey released last month by Ernst & Young (EY) Consulting delivers a handful of striking data points. More than half of the sample of full- and part-time American workers (54 percent) left a job because “their boss wasn’t empathetic to their struggles at work.” Moreover, 79 percent of respondents said that empathetic leadership played an important role in reducing turnover, and 88 percent say it increases loyalty.
All of which prompted EY executive Steve Payne to say in a statement that the survey shows that “empathy is not only a nice-to-have, but the glue and accelerant for business transformation.”
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