How Can We Be More Empathetic At Work?
I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a lack of empathy in the workplace.
I just recently heard one of my friends got in trouble for having a bad attitude at work after losing her father and uncle 8 days apart. And, another friend was criticized for taking time off work after losing her boyfriend to cancer.
Really?? When will we get back to civility?
Depending on the culture of the organization, the attitude of, "Suck it up, you're getting paid to work," still remains.
It's not like a broken sink or a backed up toilet, those things can be fixed and left for later. Loss and mental illness can stay with you for a lifetime.
Then, there's the 3 day bereavement leave. As if that's going to take care of the problem...in 3 days!
Nobody dies at a convenient time!
It's imperative to educate companies on how loss and mental illness affects people physically, mentally and emotionally.
So, what can we do to help those in crisis?
1. Being supportive of your team and getting to know them will create a healthier culture.
2. We spend more time with the people we work with than our own family. Being more empathic, compassionate and understanding will help ease some of the burden.
3. Take the time to sit down with your employee and simply ask,"How can we help?" It can be as simple as dividing up tasks amongst other team members to help alleviate the pressures.
4. Offer a mental health day to help educate staff on mental illness, suicide prevention, grief, offering resources and even counseling.
When receiving shocking news, empathy is essential.