People vs. profit | Have bosses ditched the empathy they showed during the pandemic?

Have bosses ditched the empathy they showed during the pandemic?
Have bosses ditched the empathy they showed during the pandemic?

Like most people, you’re likely sick of casting your mind back to 2020, and the dark days of the COVID pandemic.

However, whilst repeated lockdowns, social distancing and Government-sectioned remote working may be behind us, there are still poignant lessons to be unpicked from this eerie time in human history.

The most obvious impacts of the pandemic within the world of work are the elements left with us. Remote working is far more prevalent than it was before. Fluctuations in the talent market continue to challenge firms. And, worker wellbeing is now a far more visible issue.

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It was this threat to physical and mental wellbeing that drastically altered the approach that many bosses took to dealings with their employees. Unlike ever before, bosses connected on an empathetic level.

Why did empathy in leadership rise in the pandemic?

We saw into our boss’s homes and personal lives. We heard about the challenges they were facing, and were encouraged to voice our own challenges. Bonds that went far beyond the archetypal view of a worker-leader relationship were formed.

This has a marked effect on workers. According to KornFerry statistics, a huge 99% of workers felt that they were working for an empathetic leaders in the pandemic. That’s more than twice the amount that was reported pre-COVID. It also profoundly affected leaders; BambooHR data states that 87% saw empathy as a vital element of their leadership in this time.

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