- Employers can boost retention by showing employees they care, a new Limeade Institute white paper reported. According to The Science of Care, 60% of workers who said they felt cared for plan to stay with their companies for three or more years, as opposed to only 7% of those who said they don't feel cared for. The report defined "care" as providing what's necessary for the "health, welfare, maintenance and protection" of someone or something and their needs.
- Among employees who said they feel cared for, the overwhelming majority (95%) said they also feel included, compared to only 14% among those who said they don't feel cared for.
- Caring for employees may have recruiting benefits, too. Ninety percent said they're likely to suggest their company as an exceptional place to work, compared to 9% who said they don't feel cared about.
Employers can't afford to ignore the importance of empathy in the workplace, and not just for retention's sake. A 2018 Binghamton University study revealed managers can boost workers' performance by showing them compassion, especially when they couple their support with clear goals and benchmarks, the report said.
But how can employers show this care to their workforces? Leaders must connect with employees and listen to their concerns to determine how they prefer empathy to be expressed, according to a previous statement from Businessolver President and CEO Jon Shanahan. "By learning from their employees, leadership can keep them engaged, productive, and onboard with their organization for the long term," he said.
Other experts, like David Rodriguez, executive vice president and global CHRO of Marriott Hotels, have reached similar conclusions. Speaking at Workhuman 2019, he said organizations whose culture includes human connection and empathy in their culture have a successful strategy for attracting and engaging talent, as well as retaining it over the long term.
Limeade's CPO and Chief Science Officer Laura Hamill referenced several actions leaders can take to show workers they care. "Care is about those day-to-day human interactions. It's about being flexible and understanding when an employee needs to leave work early to pick up a sick child or fostering positive manager-employee interactions over a cup of coffee," Hamill said in a news release. "While things like margarita Mondays and pet insurance are nice-to-have perks, we believe showing employees care through organizational support is the ultimate foundation for the employee experience."