The month after Elon Musk’s iconic “the bird is freed” tweet announcing his purchase of Twitter, the social media platform’s worldwide headcount was drastically reduced.
Musk’s stated goal in doing this was to increase Twitter’s efficiency, but the manner in which he implemented the layoffs was widely condemned as exhibiting a lack of sympathy for staff.
Instead, Twitter should need leadership that shows greater compassion and empathy. Compassionate CEOs have been shown to improve morale and output among employees while also improving the public profile of their companies and brands.
A compassionate leader is one who cares about their team members and actively works to improve their situation. More than ever, we need leadership of this kind. The prolonged impacts of the epidemic and the general increase in prices have made current economic conditions challenging for businesses. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the United Kingdom has seen a slowdown in productivity growth and a drop in the quality of living, and experts predict that this trend will continue over the next two years. The UK leaving the EU has not improved matters.
Leaders of organizations must have the compassion, competence, good judgment, and effective coordination necessary to get them through these difficult times. This is equally true for those in positions of power. In the wake of “partygate,” reports of bullying and harassment in government offices, and the disastrous effects of recent leadership choices on the economy, the United Kingdom has seen a dearth of this in recent months.
What makes an effective leader?
Studies have shown that organizations with strong leadership are better able to compete and perform better overall, especially in the areas of innovation and adaptability. Research suggests that leaders may gain followers thanks to their judgment, experience, and coordination abilities. These traits enable leaders to set an example for their followers.
However, not every leader has these qualities. Recent research throughout Europe indicated that 13% of workers had “bad” employers, with employees rating their managers worse on competence than on consideration. However, low-quality management may have a chilling effect on employees’ morale, happiness, and output. According to a meta-analysis of relevant research, organizations and their leaders can do more to promote employee well-being by giving employees more say in company matters and giving them more opportunity to have their views heard and contribute to decision-making processes.
Many studies to date have focused on competence and coordination; my study, however, demonstrates the need for “soft leadership skills” as well. This is about kindness and making people feel valued, especially workers but also suppliers and consumers. Leaders with these “people skills” are knowledgeable in their fields, but they also have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others affected by a decision.
More than 3,000 businesses and over 35,000 employees were surveyed for my newly published study, making use of nationally representative data from 2004 and 2011’s workplace employment relations survey. In order to gauge a leader’s fairness, trustworthiness, and empathy, employees were asked to rate their bosses on a scale from one to five.
Workers were asked whether their supervisors:
- trusted to follow through on commitments
- were genuine in their interest in hearing workers’ feedback
- treated workers fairly
- recognized the importance of workers’ personal lives and commitments
- motivated individuals to improve their abilities
- handled workers with respect
- and kept the staff on good terms.
The findings imply that when managers are optimistic about the organization’s success, it has a beneficial effect on employees’ perceptions of the quality of their leadership. Better job satisfaction and less stress on the workplace are two positive outcomes of this style of leadership for employees.
Compassionate leaders, according to this study, benefit businesses by increasing productivity and morale. It demonstrates the value of investing in bettering leadership abilities. Recruiting, evaluating, and training leaders to improve their soft leadership abilities is one way to get there.
A strong leader is crucial. Compassionate leadership may be crucial to future corporate success as companies and society at large confront unprecedented challenges.