Why Empathy in Leadership is a Good Idea

 

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Why Empathy in Leadership Is a Good Idea
A 2019 University of Oxford study found that workers are 13 percent more productive when happy, providing a conclusive link between happiness and productivity. As fear- and shame-based business models fall away, millennial-led trends of kinder, happier working environments and empathetic leadership are fast becoming the norm. Here’s how and why being an empathetic leader is vital.

Much more than being “nice,” empathy is understanding what someone is going through by looking at the situation from their perspective. In terms of leadership, empathy is understanding the varied, complex communication styles of each employee as well as acknowledging they lead separate lives outside of work.

By stepping outside themselves and into the shoes of others, empathetic leaders value open communication and relationship building. They also create a safe environment where employees can communicate their stress without fear. It’s not about talking through the minutiae but rather working together to make the personal work experience less stressful by playing to strengths, working on weaknesses, and clarifying uncertainties, much like an experienced coach and a well-oiled team.

Empathy also means facilitating problem-solving over reactivity. Steering clear of bad management pitfalls such as sending negative after-work emails, pointing fingers, and scolding, an empathetic leader addresses the issue holistically. Allowing room for mistakes and subsequent problem-solving means that employees feel comfortable coming to you with challenges and will, in turn, be more transparent in their work.

When you lead empathetically, the workspace opens up to new perspectives, bright ideas, and constructive solutions. With a positive feedback loop, empathetic leaders view diversity and inclusion as part of the fabric of a successful business. Inclusion-focused workplaces often find it easier to acquire and retain talent, increase performance, and boost employee engagement.

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Boost Your Bottom Line with an Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude cultivates more prosperous organizations. It strengthens relationships by inspiring connection and authenticity across your entire business ecosystem. Examining this attitude of optimism and thankfulness, studies have shown the positive impact of gratitude on overall wellbeing on both the individual and corporate levels.

With 81% of employees reporting that they feel more motivated and work harder when shown genuine appreciation for their efforts, it’s no wonder that gratitude contributes to overall greater productivity and job performance. In turn, this benefits our customers and leads to better customer service, loyalty, improved business outcomes, and long-term profitability.

Here are some ways to foster a culture of gratitude within your organization and with customers:

See the whole person. Employees and customers want more than just transactional relationships: they want to feel meaningful and valued. Remembering and mentioning specific details about our employees’ and customers’ lives and channeling our efforts through this to showcase our appreciation will help them feel truly cherished.

Focus on the positive. There’s a tendency during reviews to focus on ways to improve performance. Shift the balance to focusing more on how your team is already performing and each person’s positive contributions.

Take a time-out. Encourage a thankful mindset by scheduling time for your team to practice gratitude. Have team members reflect on their week and write down and share their appreciation for their fellow team members.

Keep in touch. Don’t wait for your customers to contact you: be the first to reach out. Check-in on their experiences and personalize communication with details about their history with you.

Listen to feedback. When customers take the time to share their opinions, take them to heart. Implement changes to processes based on customer feedback, and be sure to follow up to let them know how grateful you are for their input.

Create checkpoints. Implement “gratitude checkpoints” in your processes that ensure you don’t miss an opportunity to say “thank you.” For example, create a stopping point in your sales process to send a handwritten thank-you note.

Let’s Connect

Worth Reading

What’s More Important for
Your Business, Productivity
or Efficiency?
By John Rampton
Entrepreneur
The push and pull between productivity and efficiency has both its up- and downsides. While one may come with a benefit, there’s always the cost of what’s not being achieved with the other. By breaking down and addressing the factors that affect productivity and efficiency, Rampton explores ideas to help walk the tightrope between the two worlds. The secret: working smarter, not harder.
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How to Build a Powerful Email List That
Brings You New Business
Email has a tremendous capacity to grow your business. With all of the inbox clutter, how do we stand out from the crowd? If we view email blast recipients like we would a gathering of friends, getting noticed is much like being a good host and creating a warm, welcoming home.

House hunt. When selecting an email marketing platform, determine reasonable goalposts for your results and customer acquisition rates. Keep budget and energy investment in mind as you select your foundation and framework (hint: for small businesses, effective no- or low-cost solutions are very much available).

Invite them. Create an opt-in form on your homepage and on other high-traffic pages by simply offering an opportunity to subscribe. To go a step further, focus on obtaining new subscriptions at high-interest, high-fit points in your online sales process. For example, insert a checkbox to automatically opt into your newsletters at checkout.

Lay out the welcome mat. Develop your own exclusive club that invites your subscribers back with welcome emails that foster further engagement. Tell them what to expect, why they should keep a lookout for your emails, the tailored offerings they can look forward to, and how to navigate your website between communication.

Pamper the party. Offer incentives for your customers’ attention. Coupons are very much alive: the recommended standard is a 20% minimum discount to get consumers to act. When emailing current subscribers, you never know who will forward your email to their friends. Always include a “call-out box” that incentivizes new subscribers to share.

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Links You Can Use – Customer Appreciation
Expressing appreciation can further expand customer loyalty and grow your bottom line. Here are tools and resources to develop and automate a highly customized customer appreciation strategy:

18 Customer Appreciation
Ideas Your Customers
Will Love

Customer appreciation plays an important role in retaining customers. Here are 18 different “big picture” ideas of how you can make your customer feel valued.

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7 Types of Customer
Appreciation Emails
You Need to Send

ABCD: always be customer dating. Here
are reasons to be the first to reach out
and show your customers how much
you appreciate them.

Read More

How to Write Thank You
Letters to Your Customers
to Show Them You Care

The written word adds a powerful
personal touch that leaves a
lasting memory. Unleash the
power of a handwritten note.

Read More

6 Customer Loyalty
Programs for
Small Businesses

Showing appreciation and creating loyalty go hand in hand. Here are customer reward programs designed for small businesses to take that extra step.

Read More

Customer Appreciation: Why It’s Important
and How to Get It Right
Did you know that increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% could lead to almost doubling a company’s profitability?

However, according to Small Biz Trends, 68% of customers report leaving a provider as a result of not feeling appreciated. Considering that the cost of acquiring new customers is, on average, seven times more expensive than simply retaining one, the urgency to balance these scales becomes palpable.

Here are five strategic tips for building a successful customer retention and appreciation program:

Know your customers. Keep a directory of captured customer data. Include basic contact information and personal details (such as birthdays), and also log purchase history and interactions with your company. This fosters highly customized communication, leaving your clientele feeling special, valuable, and appreciated.

Focus your efforts. Studies show that loyal consumers spend 60% more with every purchase and increase their purchasing frequency by 90%. Utilizing your customer database, you’ll easily be able to identify and focus on this target group, maximizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your program.

Create evangelists. Reward this target group with loyalty programs they find valuable to turn them from customers into evangelists. These evangelists sing your company’s praises as they share their delight through word of mouth and online reviews, creating a synergistic loop of happy customers and organic lead generation.

Say it. Put the human behind the appreciation. A handwritten note or a simple, personalized follow-up email to say “thank you” is a good starting point. Up your ante by including discounts for their next purchase or a small gift, or even make them feel like a VIP with samples of your newest
products.

Be proactive. Remember, you are always “dating” your clients. Don’t wait for customers to contact you: create an excuse to reach out. Send a birthday wish with a gift card. Check in on their experiences and open the door for feedback. Another idea: put them in the spotlight to allow your customers to promote themselves alongside you (as an added bonus, this also creates a customer success story that doubles as a marketing tool for lead generation activities).

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.

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