Yesterday, we feasted on turkey, gathered with our loved ones, and spent time counting our blessings. The relaxing time together laughing and reminiscing are always some of my favorite moments of the year.
This week, we hosted a panel of experts to discuss how empathy can transform workplace culture. The conversation was full of valuable insights that prompted me to revisit my own thoughts about empathy.
The blitz of coverage earlier this year about ride-share giant Uber provides a cautionary tale of the effect “bro culture” can have on the workplace. Uber wasn’t the only company making headlines, however. This past year delivered far too many alarming stories about companies with a culture of exclusivity and lack of diversity. The reality is, however, that these headline-making companies aren’t alone – workplaces across the U.S. are in a state of turmoil.
In today’s business environment, people change jobs far more frequently. In fact, the average U.S. employee has about 12 jobs during their career. Statistics also show that many of these job hoppers end up returning to a previous employer. This growing trend, known as “boomerang” employment, makes it essential for companies to ensure they have an effective offboarding strategy.
U.S. employees today are busier than ever – working longer hours and taking less vacation time. In addition, they’re feeling increasing pressures outside of the office – managing their families’ busy schedules, staying active in the community, and keeping up with personal wellness and wellbeing.
Recently, Jon and I were discussing the importance of diversity and inclusion here at Businessolver and he said something that really struck me: “Diversity in the workforce drives diversity in ideas. It’s not just about meeting certain criteria, but about fostering innovation and growth.”
Did you know that roughly 85 percent of employees’ mental health conditions go undiagnosed or untreated? Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. (43.8 million people!) experiences mental illness every year? Did you know that mental health conditions cost employers more than $100 billion and 217 million lost workdays each year?
We can’t sugarcoat it: American workplaces severely lack empathy – even though a culture of empathy improves employee retention and productivity. That’s why we couldn’t think of a better place than the famous City of Brotherly Love to add a spark to the empathy revolution with data from the 2017 Businessolver Workplace Empathy Monitor. Released last week at the second stop on our Vision 20/17 Tour in Philadelphia, our second annual empathy study reveals that only 49 percent of U.S. employees rate organizations as empathetic.
Scroll through current news headlines, and it’s clear the U.S. workforce is in turmoil. From an alarming skilled labor shortage to disturbingly low employee engagement, employers have their work cut out for them.
I recently read an article in The Wall Street Journal about “hugging CEOs” that noted the handshake has started to give way to less formal greetings, like hugs and pats on the back. The article ran through the pros and cons of a more intimate embrace. The biggest pro is that a warmer approach can foster greater teamwork and trust, which in turn can lead to better business results. A major con? Not everyone wants that level of familiarity, and may feel uncomfortable hugging it out with the person who signs their paychecks.