Importance of Empathetic Work Environment

Defining Empathy In The Workplace

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to other people’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences. Furthermore, people with high levels of empathy are skilled at understanding a situation from another person’s perspective and reacting with compassion.


Moreover, empathy at the workplace means that your employees can establish genuine, empathetic connections with one another, which helps build strong peer relationships and enhance productivity and performance.

In this Medical Resource by the Canada Medical Exams Society, we will explore the importance of empathy in the workplace, clarifying the difference between sympathy and empathy. Followed by providing techniques and steps to help you encourage empathy within your organization and become an empathetic leader. Lastly, how an emphatic environment can increase productivity and help business growth will also be highlighted.

The estimated read time is 4-6 minutes. 

Sympathy Or Empathy

It is essential to understand the differentiation between Sympathy and Empathy, which are often confused and considered in the same context. 

Sympathy is when you feel pity for someone without understanding the feeling they are going through by putting yourself in their situation. On the other hand, Empathy is your ability to imagine yourself in one’s situation and feel the pain, ideas or emotions of that person. 

Empathy in the workplace is vital as it increases productivity and builds a supportive environment. 

How You Can Encourage Empathy In Your Organization

Empathy is a skill set which can be learned. To some leaders, it comes naturally, which helps them build a strong relationship with their team members and gain an advantage over other managers. However, most leaders fall in people with low to no empathy. 

However, if enough time is given, one can learn this skill with training and development opportunities and initiatives.

Thus, to help you encourage empathy within your organization, we have selected the following five (5) ways and techniques you can adapt.

  1. Openly Talk About Empathy – Signal Its Value
  2. Teach Listening Skills
  3. Encourage Genuine Perspective-Taking
  4. Cultivate Compassion
  5. Practice Global Hiring
Empathy At Work

How You Can Become An Emphatic Leader

Emphatic Leader

Empathetic leaders are assets to organizations. A compassionate working environment is essential to effectively build and maintain relationships, which is a critical part of leading organizations anywhere globally. Furthermore, displaying empathetic leadership can take many shapes and forms. Therefore, we recommend leaders take the following four (4) steps to show greater empathy in the workplace and become emphatic leaders to the team.

  1. Watch Burnouts Signs In Others
  2. Show Sincere Interest In the Needs, Hopes And Desires Of Your Colleagues
  3. Demonstrate A Willingness To Help
  4. Show Compassion At Other’s Loss

Empathy Leads Towards Business Growth

Encouraging Empathy in the workplace is the way forward. Especially during these post-pandemic times, when your employees are in most need of your support, leaders who excel in empathy will more easily build long-lasting relationships with their employees. Furthermore, if your workers feel safe and supported within your organization, they will reciprocate with loyalty and dedication. Thus, empathy within the workplace is important; it’s good for your team and will undoubtedly result in advanced productivity and business growth. 

Help Your Colleague When In Need of Support

When you find your colleague in times of distress, the best you can do is empathize with their pain or loss. However, emphasizing them will not be the solution to their hard times. They may require medical help to recover. Therefore, we have gathered some of the best go-to help centres that specialize in helping people suffering through a distressing phase of life. Please check our selection below and find a centre near you. 

  1. Canadian Mental Health Association 
  2. BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services
  3. Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention Centre of BC
  4. Coast Mental Health
  5. Access & Assessment Centre
  6. Homewood Health

Did You Know?

CMHA Mental Health Week is May 2nd – 8th, 2022.

Individuals and Businesses throughout Canada are supporting this cause and raising awareness of the Mental Well-being of Canadians. The Canada Medical Exams Society advocates the wellness and growth of individuals, employees and students across Canada. Therefore, we strongly support Mental Health awareness raised by CMHA and urge all our readers to provide their support too. Utilize the power of social media. Share your support! #GetReal #MentalHealthWeek

CMHA Mental Health Week

Thank You for reading our Medical Resource on the Importance of Empathetic Work Environment. We hope you found our article informative and important. We have more blogs for you to read, gain information and enjoy.

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