Dee Agarwal on How to Practice Empathy in the Workplace to Boost Employee Performance

Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, a notable C-suite executive and entrepreneur, shares how to practice empathy in the workplace to boost employee performance.

ATLANTA, GA, 5th April 2023, ZEXPRWIREApproaching employees with mindfulness and care is a basis for building strong relationships in the workplace, and in turn, helps create a work environment conducive to driving results and ensuring the success of the business by naturally boosting employee performance. In fact, research shows that a happy and positive workplace results in a 12 percent spike in employee productivity.

Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, a successful entrepreneur and long-time C-suite executive, shares key ways that empathy can be instilled throughout a business’s practices and operations to maximize efficiency while prioritizing employee sentiment. 

Embrace Empathy Through Active Listening

Active listening is crucial for empathy to thrive. It involves focusing entirely on what an employee is saying and understanding the situation from their point of view. When employees feel heard, they are more likely to feel valued and motivated, which in turn can improve their performance.

“Active listening is a fundamental building block of a healthy, productive, and empathetic workplace culture. By fostering a culture of empathy, organizations can create a supportive and inclusive environment where employees can feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work and where diverse perspectives are valued and respected,” Dee Agarwal says.

By embracing active listening, the performance of employees and the business as a whole, are set up for success. When employees feel heard, they’re more likely to turn to leadership when challenges arise and act transparently, which is likely to aid the business in meeting performance goals. 

Practice Empathy Regularly

Empathy is not just a one-time effort; rather, it requires consistent practice. Regularly putting yourself in your employee’s shoes, understanding their challenges, and considering their perspectives can help to build strong relationships and foster a positive work environment. For example, supporting an employee who has made a mistake on a project by showing understanding and encouragement is a simple way empathy can be shown in the workplace, as opposed to the alternative of reprimanding the employee for an error or revoking leadership responsibilities on the project.  

“Empathy allows leaders to understand their employees’ perspectives, feelings, and experiences. Practicing empathy regularly leads managers to build better relationships, and supports good communication with their employees,” Dee Agarwal emphasizes.

Instill Empathy in the Goal Setting Process 

While empathy is important, it is also paramount to have clear expectations and performance goals in parallel. By setting specific, measurable goals and regularly reviewing performance, you can ensure that the business is meeting its objectives and that employees are held responsible. Empathy can be instilled through this process by showing understanding if an employee is facing a roadblock keeping them from achieving these goals, and supporting them to overcome it to boost performance.  

“Setting clear goals and expectations helps leaders provide structure and direction for employees. This clarifies the desired outcomes and the steps needed to achieve them, which helps employees focus on what is important, reducing confusion and frustration,” Dee Agarwal says.

With that being said, it’s also important to evaluate the circumstance or situation the employee has been in when measuring their performance against these goals. Did they run into an unforeseen challenge with a client that kept them from a goal? Was their team supportive throughout the process? Questions like these need to be answered to do a fair assessment. 

Ingraining empathy throughout business practices, by taking into consideration employees’ situations and sentiments, is a core component of propelling a business forward and meeting goals. Implementing exercises such as active listening, and consistently practicing empathy throughout the business’s operations such as in the goal setting and reviews process, will not only improve relationships with employees but drive the success of the business.

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