Employee Empathy – The Importance of Knowing Your People

By Gloria Rose – Director, Enterprise & Channel Partnership Sales, Tapdn

Anyone that’s ever worked a job, regardless of the industry, can explain the value of job satisfaction. If you enjoy what you do, you are more likely to be productive and succeed. It’s really that simple.

What’s more complicated is–as an employer–evaluating your team to determine if they’re truly enjoying their work, and using your findings to optimize productivity, which is the goal of any business. In the past, employee surveys were the most-used method to determine how employees felt and what they looked for in a work environment. However, these surveys are generally unreliable, often reflecting an employee’s feelings on a single workday versus the duration of their employment.

With new technologies being introduced to the workplace, employers can now gather unbiased data to better understand how employees currently work and determine the best possible setup to optimize productivity across a business. But before diving into that, let’s look at the problem.

The Facts

Research into the modern workplace indicates that not only is there a problem with employee engagement and satisfaction, but it’s costly. A recent study from Gallup showed:

  • Only 32 percent of workers feel engaged at their jobs
  • Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. up to $605 billion each year in lost production
  • Happy workers are 12 percent more productive than the average worker and unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive
  • Companies with happy employees outperform their competition by 20 percent, earn 1.2 – 1.7 percent more than their peer firms and are 2.1 percent above industry benchmarks

Proximity is Everything

There are many factors that contribute to job satisfaction, and workplace setup is one of the most important. In fact, 79 percent of Generation Z employees (born after 1995) prefer a better work environment to higher pay.

Employees who feel heard, included and appreciated in a process tend to feel satisfied with their work, and as a result, are generally more willing to collaborate with colleagues. This is why it’s crucial to have a setup that encourages collaboration by keeping interacting team members in close proximity. If employees are 20+ feet away, they’re going to be more likely to send an email rather than speak in-person, which will delay communication and production. However, employees within 7-10 feet of each other are more likely to interact face-to-face, which can build relationships, boost morale and ultimately, increase productivity.

The Solution

With the latest technological advancements in the workplace, employers can understand how their employees operate within a space. New IoT platforms, such as Tapdn™, use sensors to harness and analyze real-time data to provide a clear indication of where employees spend their time and who they spend it with. With objective and unbiased results, businesses can make confident decisions when it’s time to adjust an existing workplace setup, a stark contrast from using old methods like employee surveys. With an optimal work environment, employees will be positioned where they’re the most satisfied, and ultimately, productive.