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Compassion in the Workplace Benefits Customers and the Company

By hire-up-staffing in Industry Resources


People do good, and that feels good – being kind to others helps us heal, become better human beings, and even make us appear more attractive. Recent studies now prove that this compassion, when applied to the workplace, can have positive effects to a business, both internally and externally.
Previously, people would not take the idea seriously, even labeling it as “touchy-feely.” On the contrary, a positive work culture would help not just the employees but the customers as well. Researchers from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the George Mason University School of Business were able to correlate compassionate behavior with work satisfaction, and ultimately, company success.
These astounding findings were published in the Administrative Science Quarterly journal. The researchers, Sigal Barsade and Olivia O’Neill, focused on the thought of a compassionate workplace culture, as can be read below:
To picture a strong culture of companionate love, first imagine a pair of co-workers collaborating side by side, each day expressing caring and affection towards one another, safeguarding each other’s feelings, showing tenderness and compassion when things don’t go well and supporting each other in work and non-work matters. Then expand this image to an entire network of dyadic and group interactions so that this type of caring, affection, tenderness and compassion occurs frequently within most of the dyads and groups throughout the entire social unit: a clear picture emerges of a culture of companionate love.
The researchers took a concentration on long-term care facilities, observing a part of a certain company in the northeast. They gathered data from 185 employees of various healthcare positions, as well as 108 patients and 42 family members, with the survey data supplying information on how work culture affects the quality of patient care.
The survey information was gathered in a 16-month period and the researchers evaluated that in 13 units, those that operated more compassionately experienced not only higher job satisfaction, but also better team work, less burnout, and even fewer unplanned absences from work. For the patients, they experienced better moods, satisfaction, less emergency room visits, and an overall better quality of life. In addition, they were found to likely recommend the care to other future patients, including their families.
This is astounding, because most healthcare professions rely on compassion on some level, seeing the results from the study and how they fared in different fields show how interconnected kindness and its benefits are.
The pair of Barsade and O’Neill saw this, so they surveyed around 3,200 employees from a variety of industries. The findings were similar – the more compassion experienced within a workplace, there were better performance, commitment, accountability and overall job satisfaction.
On their report, the pair said, “For decades, management scholars have encouraged leaders to take ownership of their cognitive culture. Similarly, leaders would do well to think about and take ownership of emotional culture.”
This data they found align with the previous research, thus showing how strong and positive an impact that good friends at work could do to your happiness levels. To build and maintain that kind of relationship at the office, one must have genuine compassion – and that goes a long way in the workplace, both inside and out.