Owners can better connect to employees through caring
August 01, 2012
When just beginning your own business, there are many different things a leader needs to invest in to ensure business continuity. For example, a prime location, a marketing scheme to get the word out and various technologies are often elements that leaders spend a decent amount of capital on.
Another factor that is truly a business investment is the workforce. A lot of small business resources are poured into the employees that make up the backbone of the company. To keep staffers happy, even in challenging situations, the owner of the firm should always remember to make valuable connections with his workers, as this will often make job processes easier.
Empathy can make for more pleasant environment
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, the best way for a leader to remember to be kind and empathetic to workers is to imagine himself in their shoes.
One of the best ways to connect with an employee is to simply listen to them, the magazine explained. Owners must realize that every individual is different, so each person is able to bring new ideas to the company, thoughts which are often worth listening to. This can be a good way to learn how your workers function and interact with each other, the source said.
Also, owners need to be aware that expressing these feelings is highly contingent upon how they are perceived. "For leaders in particular, empathy means understanding how you come across to others and how you're perceived by others," author Robert Sutton told Entrepreneur. Even if the owner is trying to nice, but she doesn't come off as sincere, the effect will not be felt.
Finally, Entrepreneur Magazine explained that empathy and kindness are somewhat different, and that leaders cannot be afraid to hurt some feelings or do the dirty work to make the business succeed. Empathy should be used to learn about strengths, weaknesses and motivators, not make friends, the source said.
Can also garner more customers
Advertising experts at MarketingProfs reported that empathy can also be used to gain new, loyal customers. The source said that owners should teach all employees to treat customers well at every point of the business relationship.
"When dealing with an unsatisfied customer, remember to use language that shows them that you understand and care," Marla Tabaka, a representative of Inc. Magazine, told the source. Making suggestions, rather than becoming defensive and hostile is the best practice when dealing with upset individuals.