These are two important, closely linked concepts often mentioned in the same breath. Understandably so. They are complementary and together they add huge value in the workplace. While empathy gives you the skills to work with someone to understand how they see things, emotional intelligence is about managing your own emotions, to help you see things clearly and constructively.
The Motivation Agency Blog
Empathy in the workplace has always been needed, and this won’t change. Some may feel there are organisations that have been successful without it. Think though, about how much more successful they could have been if they had empathy.
There’s a reason why empathy is firmly on so many agendas at the moment. People talk about it improving the workplace, maximising employee retention, even tackling the Great Resignation conundrum. So, do you really know what it is and what it can do in the workplace? Because if you don’t, you’re probably missing a trick.
The saying goes that people don't leave bad jobs, only bad managers, and a lack of proper training could be costing organisations.
It is true, there has been much talk about ‘The Great Resignation’. The term has been a prevalent topic for well over a year. A combination of factors, accelerated by the recent pandemic, has created a catalyst for people to take action on their careers, rather than opting for complacency. For many, their job was one aspect of their lives they could control while many other elements were being swept away. The Great Resignation may well be happening, but should it have surprised us as much as it seems to have done, given the circumstances in which it has arisen?
In the last 18 months, we’ve gone from working 100% in offices to making the huge shift to remote working. Of course, for many there was no impact at all, they didn’t have the protection of working from home, to these frontline workers, who tirelessly maintained their status quo, we must thank you. Now, as restrictions gradually ease up and we reached the revised ‘Freedom Day’ on 19th July 2021, we’re facing another new norm of hybrid working.
In June 2015 I wrote an article for the Tourism Society Journal entitled Customer Service: Britain's Tourism Iceberg, in which I reflected on the sad reality that, while Britain's image overseas then ranked three in the world as a "nation brand" (behind Germany and the USA), for "quality of welcome" we were limping in 13th place. As I wrote at the time, “Whilst London 2012 unsurprisingly boosted our ranking, we have now fallen back to where we were in those dark, pessimistic, pre-Olympics days.” I argued that our failure to provide a world-class welcome threatened our long-term competitiveness as a major tourism destination - hence, the iceberg analogy.
The mythunderstanding that’s probably been corrected 10,000 times is still being perpetuated, even in some quite learned works.
As our frustrations of the pandemic finally start to lift there is a sense of excitement and panic as restaurants find themselves fully booked for the next year, holiday apartments sold out, people booking flights to foreign countries… and business leaders scrabble to “hit the ground running.”
And I fear we have learned nothing.