Developing compassion in the workplace has become a focus for many companies today. It has been shown to increase productivity as well as employee morale. Instead of feeling underappreciated and being disengaged from the overall goals of the company, employees are now happier. Many are willing to put themselves out there for the good of the team.
If you’re ready to develop compassion in your workplace, here are 17 ways to get started.
1. Take time to know your colleagues
Connection is what builds a solid team. Take time to get to know each of your colleagues on a more personal level. If someone is new to the team, make sure you introduce yourself and ask them about themselves. Find about their families, their hobbies, and how they came to work at your workplace. Be sure to call them by name every time you see them and ask how they are doing from time to time.
2. Offer a hand to a colleague working on a deadline
Deadlines can put a lot of pressure on you and on your co-workers as well. If you see someone swamped with work and attempting to meet a deadline, ask how you can help.
If you can, why not take on some of their work to ease their burden. Offer to pick up lunch for them, or grab them a cup of coffee. Show you understand the position they’re in and that you genuinely care.
3. Cultivate collaboration
When everyone is invited to collaborate on a project, they feel valued and an essential part of the group. This leads to loyalty and determination to find solutions and create the necessary steps to move forward. Stay open to new ideas and respectfully consider suggestions offered.
4. Acknowledge others in front of the group
Acknowledge and praise the good works and suggestions of others. Do so in front of the group openly. Feeling appreciated is a tremendous morale booster.
5. Help a Co-Worker through a rough patch on a project
Sometimes things don’t go as well as planned, and you may see a colleague struggling.
Think about how you can help, either with specialized knowledge you have, tips for productivity you’ve learned, or possibly software that can help. Don’t forget those who work remotely. Often they feel left out.
6. Understand what constructive criticism is and is not
Be aware of how to present constructive criticism and also train your team in how to give it, and receive it. Many people feel as if they are being attacked when given such feedback. Be sure to create a supportive environment so that this doesn’t happen in your workplace.
7. Think before you speak
How often have we all said something we later regretted? To develop compassion in the workplace, be sure you examine reasons and motivations for your spoken words.
Staying conscious of this will prevent unnecessary strife from coming off as insensitive, condescending, or making false statements.
8. Participate in team-building activities
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and all are beneficial to the team in some way or another. Organizing team-building activities can help show this. Team members will begin to see what the others have to offer and respect them for what they bring to the table.
9. Inspire compassion with actions
Inspire your group to show compassion. You can do this by establishing a day for random acts of kindness each week, volunteer opportunities, or other compassion-related activities. Ask for suggestions and allow colleagues to be creative.
10. Maintain an open-door policy
Maintaining an open-door policy is another way to show employees you are involved in what is going on in the workplace.
Many times, they are looking for someone to listen to what they have to say and not always act upon it. They may even be trying to make sense of some new protocol or change in the office structure.
11. Recognize a co-worker’s mood changes
Notice if a colleague’s mood suddenly changes. Without getting overly personal, let them know you support them in whatever is happening, even if it is personal. If they open up to you, have resources to provide to them, such as the contact number for your Employee Assistance Program.
12. Allow option to transfer available leave to a co-worker in need
Occasionally, circumstances arise that affect a colleague. Sickness or caregiving responsibilities are two in particular, where a colleague may not have enough paid days off available to cover what they need. In this instance, allow colleagues to donate a day of their available paid leave.
13. Implement ergonomics throughout the workplace
Show you understand how ergonomics will help colleagues in the long run, health-wise, and productivity-wise. Make sure they have access to equipment, such as stand-up desks, that provides the most comfort for their work style.
Not in charge of such matters? Suggest it to your manager or a decision-maker in the company. Ask for guidance on how to pursue such measures in the office. Maybe even volunteer to lead a lunchtime lecture on desk and chair ergonomic best practices.
14. Consider what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes
If it’s near the end of the year or quarter, and the accounting team is running around frantic with little patience for your questions, step back and attempt to understand where they are coming from. Keep in mind that it’s a busy time for them. Yes, snapping at you should never be excused. However, you can show compassion by considering what it is like to walk in their shoes.
15. Create a daylong retreat
Acknowledge all team members’ hard work by scheduling a day log retreat. Whether offsite or not, you can make it feel special. Bring in speakers on topics such as mindfulness, and even juggling. Make sure everyone gives it a try.
16. Designate space for stress relieving activities
Create a space for yoga classes, or perhaps a meditation room. This will allow those under stress to take time during their breaks or lunchtimes to proactively relieve their stress.
17. Show compassionate leadership
And finally, lead by example. It’s an important leadership skill that everyone in the company should have. You don’t have to be the CEO or even a manager to lead by example. Whatever role you play, treat everyone in your workplace with compassion.
Developing compassion in the workplace will benefit both the company and its employees. This may be in the form of employee retention, stress reduction, and increased health of all those involved.