Why Empathic Leadership Is Important for Healthcare Employees’ Wellbeing
In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an increase in mental illness among American adults. This was largely due to pandemic-induced problems such as massive job losses, death of loved ones, isolation, safety concerns, and tough economic times. While almost everyone was a victim, healthcare workers suffered the most considering they were on the frontline in the war against COVID-19. Given the pandemic is still a threat, healthcare workers continue to face difficulties at the workplace, and that’s why it is prudent to exercise empathic leadership.
Why Empathic Leadership is Necessary in Healthcare
Various studies show that a staggering 90% of employees prefer working for an empathetic employer. On the other hand, leaders and employers also understand and acknowledge the importance of exercising empathic leadership at the workplace. Even so, only a handful of them implements it. This explains why only about 49% of American workers view their employers as empathetic.
Considering the high rate of mental health issues among healthcare workers, empathic leadership can help enhance their well-being by enabling them to:
- Express their concerns freely – Healthcare employees face a lot in the line of duty. As such, they need a platform where they can vent their frustrations, which can help lower the cases of absenteeism, presenteeism, and even suicide. By practicing empathic leadership, you can give your employees a sense of freedom to come to you at any time and express themselves freely without worrying about possible consequences.
- Feel understood – According to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), feeling understood in your social interactions can help elevate your mood and relieve physical symptoms. Empathetic leadership enables you to understand better what your employees are going through in life. When the employees feel understood, they will see the need to keep sharing their concerns, and this will contribute to their health positively.
- Feel motivated – Empathic leadership creates a rapport between the management and healthcare workers, promoting a cohesive working environment. The sense of belonging that employees gain from this motivates them to work harder and become more productive.
It’s worth noting that empathic leadership also benefits the company by increasing productivity and promoting a peaceful working environment.
Tips to Promote Empathic Leadership
The following tips can help promote empathic leadership in an organization:
- Being approachable and present at times when employees need your attention
- Showing concern about what employees are going through
- Prioritizing your employees’ safety
- Seeking employee opinions and contributions when making decisions on crucial matters of the company
- Taking immediate action to address complaints from employees
- Being honest and transparent in your leadership
- Creating a flexible work environment that enables workers to achieve a healthy work-life balance
- Promoting equity at the workplace to attend to employees’ individual needs
How McKnight Associates Inc. Can Help
If you need a consulting firm for legal, salary, and other human resources issues, contacts our experts at McKnight Associates, Inc. today. We are always willing and ready to offer hands-on human resources consulting to medical centers, colleges, universities, and organizations of all sizes.