Businesses can be places where genuine camaraderie thrives; they can be workplaces where “solidarity” and “empathy” are not foreign concepts, but rather a key part of the business dynamic.

Whether you are a line manager, leader or employee, we can all play a role in creating a more compassionate workplace. A compassionate organisation is where people trust each other and feel it is acceptable to talk about their problems and to seek help and support. In such an organisation people know that if they talk about their problems, other colleagues will not judge them and will listen and try to help. There are also mechanisms in such organisations that people can use to seek help and support for themselves or other colleagues.

Compassion also can help with growing trust between individuals and creates psychological safety. This can create a willingness to discuss and learn from errors and failures, talk about them more easily and learn from those mistakes which can result in more innovation.

The ability of a leader to be empathetic and compassionate has the greatest impact on organisational profitability and productivity. So, when asked what makes a good leader, you might think that delegation abilities and hard work are key, but it turns out that being an empathetic person is crucial, especially to employees.

There’s some research that shows that not compassionate organisations are like ego systems. When leaders are not compassionate people become isolated. They drive their own success and they don’t think about the success of other people. They might trample over their customers’ needs in order to sell more or get ahead. Compassionate organisations are ecosystems where people realize that they’re interdependent, tied together, they depend on each other for success. They may measure success in terms of team or group or collective success, or they might define success larger and include more stakeholders.

The ability to be compassionate and connect with others is critical to our lives, both personally and professionally. Demonstrating empathy – a key part of emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness – also improves human interactions in general and can lead to more effective communication and positive outcomes, in both work and home settings.