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Talent Report: Empathy is the most essential leadership quality

Talent report show that increased empathy from leadership is a cost-effective, and often overlooked, productivity lever within an organization. 

The Annual Pulse of Talent report* finds that increased empathy from leadership is a cost-effective, and often overlooked, productivity lever within an organization.

Almost half of respondents (48%) agreed that their organization empathizes with employees. Among those who disagreed, 90% said having leaders show more empathy would make a positive difference in their work life, including improving their job satisfaction (52%), improving their job performance (39%), increasing their productivity (37%), improving mental health/levels of burnout (48%), and making them more loyal (41%).

Additionally, more than 8 in 10 (81%) workers surveyed said their employer made organizational changes in the last year. While change and innovation are central to today’s workforce experience, organizations can mitigate some of the challenges created by transformation to benefit both employee and employer. The report, which surveyed 8,751 employees at companies with at least 100 employees from around the globe, found that:

  • Stress is high: 70% of respondents say more aggressive performance goals/targets have increased stress levels. When employees didn’t reach performance goals, 43% said it caused them to lose motivation.
  • Burnout and flight risk remain big concerns: More than 8 in 10 (81%) respondents said they experienced burnout in the previous 12 months, nearly the same level for three years running. Flight risk (69%) was essentially flat from last year despite growing uncertainty in the job market.
  • Trust is lacking: Only half (56%) of respondents say they trust their employers, and only 55% say their employers trust their employees.
  • Understanding and action are needed: 91% of respondents said employers can take actions to help increase their productivity, including creating better work-life balance (37%), hiring more people on their team (32%), skills development (29%), and more flexible work schedules (29%).

“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. “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.”

The survey found 85% of respondents approved of upgrading workplace technology, with 69% saying new tech investments have increased their productivity in the past year and 39% reporting they have decreased their stress.

In addition, 50% of respondents think that artificial intelligence (AI) can improve their productivity at work, and 80% of surveyed employees were at least slightly interested in their employer using AI to recommend new internal career and skills development opportunities.

14th Report from Dayforce, Inc.

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