Employees looking for empathetic leaders to help with productivity, mental health

Leaders showing empathy could help improve job satisfaction, performance: global survey

Employees looking for empathetic leaders to help with productivity, mental health

Employees across the world have underscored the need for more empathetic leaders as they grapple from stress, burnout, and declining job satisfaction, according to a new report.

A survey by Dayforce from over 8,700 employees across the world found that only 48% agreed their organisation empathises with employees.

Among those who disagreed, 90% of them said leaders exhibiting more empathy to employees would positively impact their work lives. This includes:

  • Improving job satisfaction (52%)
  • Improving job performance (39%)
  • Increasing productivity (37%)
  • Improving mental health or levels of burnout (48%)
  • Making them more loyal (41%)

Declining job satisfaction, mental health

The findings come amid declining job satisfaction levels across the world, with only 22% are satisfied with their jobs in 2023, according to an Arbinger Institute report.

The findings also came as Dayforce's survey found that stress levels and burnout rates among employees are high.

According to the report, 81% of employees said they experienced burnout in the past 12 months. Another 70% said their more aggressive performance goals have heightened stress levels.

Only 56% of employees also revealed that they still trust their employers.

"Our research shows employers are caught in a balancing act between a need for increased efficiencies to stay competitive in the market while safeguarding employee wellbeing and trust, which has been in flux since the pandemic," said Katie Meyers, VP Global Talent Management and Development, Dayforce, in a statement.

Improving productivity

Mitch Warner, a Managing Partner at the Arbinger Institute, previously pointed out that improving job satisfaction is about "empowering individuals."

"When people are encouraged to bring their humanity to the workplace and they are empowered to unleash all their creative energy to do their work in way that is focused on their impact on others, the sky's the limit for what both they and the organization can accomplish," Warner said.

Nine in 10 respondents also said their employers can take steps to boost their productivity, according to the Dayforce report. These steps include:

  • Creating better work-life balance (37%)
  • Hiring more people (32%)
  • Skills development (29%)
  • Flexible work schedules (29%)

Employees are also open to new tools and initiatives to address the challenges they face, according to the report.

In fact, 69% of the respondents said new tech investments improved their productivity in the past year, while 39% said it decreased their stress.

Another 50% of the respondents said they believe artificial intelligence can improve their productivity at work.

"The good news is that tools and initiatives are readily available to help both sides of this equation meet the challenges of an ever-changing workplace and a boundless workforce," Meyers said.

Dayforce's survey included a total of 8,751 respondents from Australia, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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