Why Caring in the Workplace Matters

on Feb 09 in Workplace tagged by

Do you care about the people with whom you work? In a recent article by Louise and George Altman, their studies show that more and more people are caring less. Do you believe this to be true? If so, what can we do to change it? Don’t we all want to work in an environment where we feel those around us care about us?

“The question in an imperfect competitive reality is: how do we move forward together? How can enterprise touch and improve life?” Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi

It is understandable that people today are stressed and are experiencing “emotional fatigue” considering the economy. And, we know stress does not bring out the best in us. “Self-absorption in all forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. The more attentive we are to others, the more keenly we will sense their inner state and pick up on subtle cues.” Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence

If we don’t care about each other in our workplace environment, what is the chance the business will survive and what is the likelihood we will stay? The answer for both is not very good.

“The Bottom Line is People Need People.”

In a Gallup study of 8 million people, workers who believed that someone at work cared about them were “more likely to stay with an organization, have more engaged customers, and be more productive.”

Below Altman lists beliefs which will keep you from developing workplace relationships:

  • “Objectification of Others” – Believing people are things will make it much harder for you to develop successful relationships.
  • “Results Only Thinking” – Many times this is similar to objectification and those who feel this way have a mindset of “I don’t care, anything goes to get things done, they’ll get over it, nothing gets in the way of my goals.”
  • “Judgment” – When we judge others, it is usually the only way we see them and we are sending the message, “You’re not doing it right.”
  • “Cynicism” – Cynicism will keep us away from others, erode our trust, and skew our perceptions.
  • “Low or No Trust” – Not trusting others or allowing them to know what your trust requirements are will keep good working relationships astray.
  • “Beliefs” – Our beliefs control all of our behaviors and if we believe we can’t have workplace relationships, it is to no one’s advantage.

Developing effective workplace relationships takes talent and dedication. It’s not an easy task. Many of us have experienced bad bosses, bullies in the workplace, difficult coworkers, and the infamous workplace gossip mill. “No question about it – the average workplace is a real emotional stew.”

“Why Caring Matters”

“Relationships are the foundation of any business. Business happens because people make it happen. This activity is completely dependent on relationships.”

Motivation comes from within and based on how we feel is generally how we tend to act. Although studies may show coworkers are caring less – “the heart of the engine that makes most work happen is that people DO CARE.” And if you don’t care, find common ground with your coworkers. Value them and treat them the way you would want to be treated. If we trust that people care about us at work and we show that we care about them, the benefits can be tremendous.

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One Comment

  • Good to see a post on the critical importance of caring in the workplace. My point in the post you quoted was that based on our anectodal experience in the workplace, more and more people were expressing their lack of caring and concern for their colleagues. I think their are many factors that contribute to this. Most workplaces are very stressful, all the time, and people feel exhausted. I also believe that trust levels are at all time lows and it is often an unconscious act of emotional self-preservation to say you don’t care about other people. Having said that, I also think there is a lot of empathy fatigue out there in the general culture that gets exacerbated by the pressure cookers that many workplaces have become.
    Your important point that without caring not only can’t the engine of business thrive but all of society suffers.

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