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Compassion at Work: A Step Towards Building a Culture of Well-being

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Compassion at Work: A Step Towards Building a Culture of Well-being

Increasing workplace demands have led to higher employee stress levels, resulting in lower job satisfaction, customer service, and job fulfillment. These findings highlight the need for stress mitigation strategies.  One strategy to address workplace stress and enhance productivity is to focus on improving compassion at work.

Compassion plays a critical role in the workplace by helping to promote employee engagement, collaboration, productivity, retention, and organizational commitment.  It also helps reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Dr. Monica Worline, an Organizational Psychologist and expert in compassion research, cites five reasons why compassion is a strategic concern in an organization:

  1. Increased psychological safety, enabling learning, adaptability, and innovation
  2. Increased ability to respond to human pain, enabling greater service and care quality
  3. Increased trust and high-quality connections, enabling cooperation and collaboration
  4. Increased engagement and discretionary effort, decreasing empathy fatigue and burnout
  5. Increased attachment and commitment, enabling employee and client retention

Although there are several barriers to compassion at work, organizations can act on different levels to facilitate a more compassionate workplace culture.  For instance, leaders and managers can rearrange work routines to encompass compassion, such as through one-on-one check-ins (Personal check in; work update; one bite of feedback).  For more information on strategies to improve mental health well-being, download this free fact sheet on factors that impact well-being in the workplace.

Compassion is a way to connect with others by seeking to understand external perspectives, appreciate diversity of thought, promote engagement and inclusion, and increase security and comfort.  Compassion is not only external; it is also important to extend compassion to oneself and acknowledge your own feelings and emotions.

To learn more about compassion in the workplace and strategies for implementation, please see the following excellent webinar with organizational management expert Dr. Monica Worline: https://www.rightdirectionforme.com/for-you/resources/videos-podcasts/mental-health-organizational-culture-and-compassion-in-the-workplace/


Gallo A. (2020) What Your Coworkers Need Right Now Is Compassion. Harvard Business Review.

Chowdhury MR (2020) How to Foster Compassion at Work Through Compassionate Leadership. PositivePsychology.com

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