Compassion Skilling Organizations for Human and Business Excellence
Compassion is the ability to notice suffering without judgment and seeking to alleviate that suffering. Within this simple idea of noticing and alleviating suffering without judgment lies an entire plethora of human possibilities.
Compassion is a life experience- not limited by religious inclination, geography, financial status or job description. Compassionate thinking allows being able to stand in personal power and inner harmony. As HH the Dalai Lama points out, 'Compassion belongs to every sphere of activity, including, of course, the workplace.'
A compassionate workplace is a place where humans thrive. As humans thrive, business outcomes thrive as well.
SIGNS OF COMPASSIONATE WORKPLACES
Culture of respect
Fairness and Equality
More positive behavior modeling
Drive for mutual success
Less of win-at-all-cost behaviors
Less power abuse
Less manipulative behaviors
As a result we see that compassionate workplaces have more retention of talent, less health or stress related absences, greater engagement and productivity, enhanced customer satisfaction, lesser burnout, less negative HR incidents
AN UNMET NEED
As valuable compassion is as a workplace skill and as a cultural narrative, the majority of workplaces do not invest in training their workforce for compassion. There are multiple reasons for this.
For one, many in leadership do not recognize compassion as a workplace relevant or learnable skill. With so many competing priorities and hard deadlines, the idea of employees working on their personal compassion skills is not appealing to many.
For example, while 92% of CEOs see their organizations as empathetic, only 72% of employees agree with that perception. 58% of CEOs shared that they found it difficult to consistently exhibit empathy in their workplace.
The state of affairs of the current workplace is testament to this missed opportunity. 80% of the workforce is disengaged. Compounded by the pandemic, everyday work stress levels are at an all time high at 43%. Surveys also indicate that happiness and loyalty are decreasing.
This is why forward thinking companies are investing time and resources into elevating their people which will help them show up as their best selves.
(Sources: Businessolver, Gallup)
DESIGNING COMPASSIONATE WORKPLACES
Can compassionate workplaces be designed?
I believe there are three components to this.
Compassionate Leadership: Compassionate leaders set the vision, the permissions, the allocations of time and resources, empower and reward compassionate behaviors, create opportunities for compassion to thrive
Compassionate Culture: Culture is culmination of frameworks, rituals, belief systems, physical structures that create an environment within which people operate. A compassionate culture aims for win-wins created by a shared desire for minimized suffering for all.
Compassionate Workforce: Unifying a diverse workforce into shared belief systems is a ongoing effort. It starts with hiring and does not end with the leaving of the employee. The best of compassionate workplaces are driven by employees who see value in bringing quality experiences to their work time.
Compassion Training by CompassionLeaders
For the past 7 years I have made it my mission to empower compassion in workplaces.
The central framework of my teaching is the '9-Pillars of workplace Compassion'. This is based on extensive exploration of pragmatic behaviors that allow compassion to unfold in workplaces.
By systematic adoption of these skills across leadership, as cultural narratives and individual behaviors, we can achieve transformation into compassion, and consequently extraordinary positive human and business outcomes.
Immanual is a two-time TEDx speaker, former cancer scientist, teacher, and 7-time author who is a passionate teacher of compassion.
Immanual created the 9-Pillars of compassion training framework for teaching compassion in workplaces. He has taught compassion skills in organizations globally and dreams of a kinder, peaceful and equitable world.