Want to cut business costs? Try compassion
The trait is the need of the hour for every business owner
Did you know incivility has a financial cost? Strong leadership nurtures an environment of cooperation and respect.
A few days ago, I was reading an article by Harvard Business Review about how people in leadership positions are coping with this pandemic through anxiousness. I think we can all appreciate that it's much more difficult for people in leadership roles, who have been hit by global economy woes, to keep up a smiling, reassuring front and lead their team with calmness and positivity - despite being under tremendous pressure themselves.
Fortunate then are those who have the emotional intelligence to do just that. Those with the ability to put themselves in others' shoes in order to understand the latter's emotions and yet be able to manage their own is a personality asset we must laud. Even if we are inundated, now more than ever is the time to be considerate, kind and compassionate.
Many of us are working in new and suboptimal conditions. We're dealing with unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. And the future of our jobs, companies, and the economy is uncertain. Any external stress can manifest between co-workers. All of this lays the groundwork for tension.
It's quite difficult to remind ourselves to be compassionate towards others, especially during a stressful situation such as the pandemic we are going through. During times of stress, we tend to fall back on familiar self-coping patterns as opposed to thinking about colleagues and co-workers. Thus, we strain our relationship with co-workers, which causes even more negativity. The cost of inconsiderate behaviour is lack of productivity for the organisation. In other words, if you are a business owner, it is your loss.
Most organisations have encountered unpleasant colleagues and bosses, but incivility is more than just a human resources problem: it has a financial cost.
In a book called , authors Christine Pearson and Christine Porath examine the toll that rudeness can have on otherwise well-functioning companies. Consider the statistics: 12 per cent of all employees said they left jobs because they were treated badly. Fortune 1000 executives spend roughly seven weeks per year resolving employee conflicts. And an astonishing 95 per cent of Americans say they've experienced rudeness at work.
A few years ago, the Associate Press and international polling organisation Ipsos conducted a rudeness study surveying Americans about behaviour. The poll asked Americans their opinion about etiquette; 83 per cent of Americans agreed that they'd witnessed rudeness to others but only 8 per cent of them agreed to have come across rudely in certain situations. It's easier to see rudeness in others than to see it in ourselves. The study concluded that American corporates lose close to $300 million per annum as the cost of bad behaviour.
To conclude, a calmer frame of mind and dealing with tough situations with ample EQ and compassion is the only way to increase productivity and cut unprecedented costs that could instead be saved through encouragement and smart leadership.
Till next week, #beextraordinary.