Do you remember the last time your industry was described as "cut-throat?" Have you heard anyone say, "It's not personal, it's business," in the office lately?
There is no denying it: sometimes the road to business success is not nice. It can be disheartening and downright frustrating. But who says there's no room for compassion in the workplace?
Leaders who are compassionate encourage their staff to engage in and grow positive social support, which can foster better health and a less stressful, more cooperative work environment. A 2012 study published in BMC Public Health showed that when employees are allowed to discuss with each other what goes on in their lives outside of the office -- from hobbies to family -- with other employees, they will feel like they're bonding. With this comes reduced stress levels and a reduced likelihood that these employees will burn out at the office.
One study by Emily Heathy and Jane Dutton, published in the Academy of Management Review, indicates that positive social interactions lead to physical health benefits, which can boost employees' immune system and boost productivity rates as well. As workers spend more time chatting with co-workers and forging relationships, an employee's blood pressure and heart rate can actually decrease.
This is particularly important at a time when some polls show that as little as 12% of employees believe their employer genuinely listens to and cares about employees, according to a survey by Maritz Research. Research shows that a workplace that is kinder can have an incredible effect on productivity, health, team morale, and business.
As you head back to the office, trade in "cut-throat" for "cooperative," and understand that if you want your business to thrive, you actually do want to be highly personal!