A stable, effective, and healthy workplace requires many different elements to come together. While this sounds like an impossible goal, there are certain things that leaders and business owners can do to help encourage this sort of environment.
For starters, one should always try to encourage and increase empathy and diversity within the workplace. At a glance, they may not appear to have much in common; empathy and diversity often go hand in hand and often can (and will) positively impact productivity, creative thinking, and business success.
Before encouraging empathy and diversity in the workplace, it’s essential to understand how the two are intrinsically linked to one another. Every person has a different way of looking at the world.
This viewpoint has been developed through their unique experiences. This unique perspective can make a huge difference for a company, which is one of the many reasons why diversity is so critical.
However, to encourage effective communication, one must have a team with a basic understanding of one another. This is where empathy comes in. If one is entirely unwilling to listen to and learn from another team member or their experiences, the whole process becomes futile. Hence the need to encourage both simultaneously.
How To Increase Empathy and Diversity
Now that we understand the importance of empathy and diversity, it is time to work on driving both up. There are many ways to go about this. Realistically, the best way to achieve success is by trying a combination of methods.
The first step is one must be willing to listen. More than that, the practice of active listening should be encouraged within the workplace. Likewise, promote an environment that asks questions. Again, this comes back around to listening – there’s no point in asking questions if you’re not going to listen to the answer.
Managers and leaders should be generous with their time. In other words, they should be willing to stop and take the time to get to know their employees and their needs. By being available, it is easier to spot potential problems before they hit a breaking point. Likewise, they can encourage good behavior, provide confidence in individuals, and help with training.
Finally, a manager should be ready and willing to address their prejudice. That includes any potential biases they may have developed over the years. This should be applied on multiple scales, including on an individual level.