Love and Compassion in Leadership

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Love and Compassion in Leadership

2022-01-27T09:58:09+00:00 January 27th, 2022|News, All, Company News, HR News|

Is Love and Compassion a Critical Part of Leadership?

When the number one reason that employees leave an organisation is down to feeling under-appreciated by their managers, this question becomes an easy one to answer. This is data from the US Department for Labour, cited in the book “Leading with Gratitude” written by Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick. They are co-founders of The Culture Works, a global training firm that counsels the leadership of fortune 500 companies. Elton and Gosticks’ research shows that frequent and genuine gratitude has been correlated with up to 50% less employee turnover.

Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude has historically been less likely to be expressed at work than anywhere else. This shows a fault with the way we do work; leadership need to enable gratitude to be expressed safely within a workplace. Robert A. Emmons and Davis. Emmons have found in their studies that gratitude comes with physical, psychological and social benefits. These include, stronger immune systems, less bothered by aches and pains, lower blood pressure, more motivated to exercise and take care of health, longer sleep periods and more refreshed on waking, higher levels of positive emotions, more alert and awake, more joy and optimism, more helpful, generous and compassionate, more forgiving and feeling less lonely and isolated.

Lead with Gratitude

Gratitude starts with empathy. Empathy with others can help people feel heard and valued. We have all heard the saying “walk a mile in their shoes”, but this is a very useful tool for understanding the situations and individual lives of the workforce. And understanding this goes a long way to understanding what motivates people, and this may be different for everyone.  Often people need the little touches. Managers need to see the value that’s being created around them and generate a culture where this is expressed freely.

Gratitude doesn’t need to be a top-down approach. In fact, leaders and managers are much more likely to miss people this way! Leaders can create rituals to embed gratitude within their teams. This way people will learn to express their gratitude for each other. Bring people together and talk about successes and what needs to be done, but then have people recognise each other for something. Look for the small wins, don’t wait to give gratitude at the end of the project.

Leading Remotely

The virus has hit everyone. No-one has escaped it and whilst there is huge, long list of negatives, one of the benefits of this is that it has created empathy in leaders; they are better able to understand the circumstances of the individual worker because they are likely going through very similar circumstances themselves. As a result of the virus, working remotely has become a normal occurrence but it has its own set of issues. There is less random discussion or the ability to physically see how people are doing. Because of this, leaders need to be intentional and disciplined and ensure they connect to all members of their team individually and daily. Leaders should be asking the following questions on a daily basis; How are you doing today? And how can I help? Remember the answers could change from one day to the next. Ensure everyone feels included, valued and respected; ask people for their thoughts on projects and task work, and more importantly, remember what’s been said.

Love is a verb, not a feeling

The best leaders will love and know their employees. In the old world, we believed that treating everyone the same was the right thing to do. Don’t get me wrong, policies and procedures need to be abided by, but if everyone is different, how can treating them all the same be at all beneficial? What motivates one member of a team, may be very demotivating for another and it’s having this knowledge of a team that sets apart the best leaders. Very simply, most employees want to know if their boss cares. If this is felt, and gratitude, empathy and love are given, employees are more likely to have higher performance levels and be more productive.

About Aspire HR

Headquartered in Cambridge, UK Aspire HR make Human Resources available and affordable to all companies no matter how small. Few businesses can afford a full time HR professional.

Aspire HR is your flexible HR manager; here to help you protect your business, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best – run your business. We help businesses to grow and be profitable, and we look to partner with you to build strong long-standing relationships.

Get in touch with our CIPD accredited HR Consultants today on 01223 855441.

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