22 September 2021

How Business Leaders Are Harnessing Compassion and Empathy to Lead in the Modern Work Environment

How Business Leaders Are Harnessing Compassion and Empathy to Lead in the Modern Work Environment

Leadership is a constantly evolving role, highlighted more than ever in the new world of work. With hybrid working becoming the norm, we spoke to experts in the tech and data field to understand how their style has changed. Not only has the era of the superman leader become obsolete, but those managing teams now stress the importance of creating a caring environment for their workforce.

Communication

Speaking on MBN Solution’s new podcast, In Focus, Engine B’s Chief Operating Officer and co-Founder Donne Burrows stressed how she focuses on clear communication to ensure her teams are managing stress.

“I think just checking in with people and communicating is the key. Making sure people know you’re there and that you’re available and also, that you care. Every business is a people business. If you’re not managing your team and recognizing that people might be going through different situations and some people might be struggling with this whereas others are totally fine, then you’re failing as a leader I think.”

Empathy

Leaders across the tech and data industry are recognizing this shift in tact. With Donne noting that clear communication is key to this new leadership style, Aggreko’s Director of Insights, Elizabeth Hollinger, leads with empathy.

Elizabeth says, “I’ve tried, as much as I could as a leader, to promote compassion across the team.”

To achieve this, Elizabeth has sought to understand how her team feels about the changing world of work. For example, she gathered her team's thoughts and ideas about hybrid working before its implementation. With offices around the country opening up again, ensuring employees feel comfortable about where and how they’re working is the key to a happy workforce.

Culture

For Aleks Tomczyk, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Exizent, people were put at the heart of the company from its beginning. Aleks highlighted that at Exizent’s birth, along with working out the company’s long-term strategy, the organisation’s culture, purpose, values and vision were also understood from the very beginning.

When talking to MBN for the In Focus podcast, Aleks highlighted how openness, transparency and diversity were key attributes of Exizent from the start, “from a leadership perspective, you really want to be completely consistent and authentic.” That then “generates trust and it generates strong communication, which means the inevitable bumps in the road aren’t as big as they could be.”

While these three leaders all differ slightly in their execution, they are united in the fact that they place people at the heart of their business. Through clear communication, creating strong values from the very start and leading with empathy, leaders can ensure employees are treated properly. This benefits the organisation itself, with happy teams staying at the company for longer and becoming more productive in a work environment they’re comfortable in.

In Focus is a UK data science podcast, hosted by Sebastian Mackay and brought to you by MBN Solutions. Each episode of series one of In Focus is an exploration of leadership and leadership styles through the view point of CEOs, Managing Directors and Heads of Department. Catch up on all episodes now.