Add Empathy and Kindness to Your New Year's Resolutions for 2022 Empathy and kindness don't go out of style. Try adding them as a company wide resolution to be impactful in 2022

By Paul L. Gunn, Jr

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

New Year's resolutions are often rooted with great intentions, but they often fall off because of lack of discipline and follow-through. But business leaders will find adding empathy and kindness as company wide resolutions might be great way to foster a culture-building effort that leaders and team members alike are able to participate in. There are creative ways to be cohesive as unit in its application, and here are a few that might be helpful.

Leadership reads on compassion and empathy

Those who are not aware of what empathy looks like in a business setting or from leadership might benefit for reading books written by those who have shown it. Sometimes reading on how others practice empathy and kindness in a business setting can be enough to spark a chain reaction in your teams. Having leaders commit to a resolution to show more empathy and kindness in a business creates model for others to mirror. Those who hear the word "empathy" tend to think that it leaks to weak decision-making, but this is a poor assessment. Being compassionate in responses and having a high-level degree of cognitive empathy makes for a successful environment. This presents itself with making an identified goal for the company in the short term while addressing with compassion the improvements that are needed to be made by team members.

It would be wise to suggest four books for the year for your team to complete. As a group, select a book for the team to read by the end of each quarter. Have a short group meeting about the book and what was learned. Allowing leadership to hear from their teams what was learned and can be applied to their own company setting might be a start to creating a culture that can allow for others to be accountable. There are many lists that detail great books on compassion.

Related: What Is Empathy, and Why Is It So Important for Great Leaders?

Accountability with purpose

For founders or leaders within your organization, living an example that exemplifies empathy, kindness and compassion sets the foundation to challenge your teams. Challenging your teams to be accountable to interacting with each other with more compassion and kindness might breed a culture that executes well in hybrid work setting models. Combinined with reading on leadership based on empathy, seeing leaders inside your organization and your colleagues begin to practice these principles will help a resolution for 2022 to become a way of life in your business.

Hybrid working models are causing leaders and businesses to rethink how they engage with each other. Empathy and kindness as a fabric woven through your company is even more critical now than in the past. Valuing team members for their contributions while respecting their humanity is an efficient way to maneuver this pandemic era of business. It appears simple to follow. Leaders who show empathy will understand that it requires a great deal of energy and time to ensure that a business can function in this manner. Hold your teams, managers and leaders accountable for their actions. Employees are watching leadership, and they are making evaluations based on how they are being treated to validate if working for your team is worth their mental and physical health, despite what that might mean financially for them. The Great Resignation might be enough social proof that this is not something to take lightly. Utilizing empathy and kindness in leadership allows you to interact with your team so that you are able to gauge the pulse on these types of concerns.

Related: Holding Employers Accountable for Workplace Culture

An empathy virtual reality game day

Reward your teams for their efforts to improve on themselves. Virtual reality games or remote features to accommodate for social distancing might be a great way to create an enjoyable outing for your teams. It can allow for a cross-generational talent team to learn and have fun at the same time. There are sports and thinking games that allow for VR options. Learning what works for your team in creating an environment for them to practice empathy and then rewarding them for building a culture that is thriving is testament to how well you've "bought-in" to kindness as a resolution for 2022.

A resolution for your company to improve in 2022 with actions based in empathy and kindness might be the reaching action that allows for an improved culture for 2022 and years to come.

"Empathy has the power to bring together people who would otherwise never meet. It has the power to teach us and to reach us in moments of isolation when we think nobody understands." - Vivek Murthy

Related: KFC and Walmart Are Using VR to Train Employees. Here's Why Your Company Should To

Paul L. Gunn, Jr

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder & CEO of KUOG Corporation

Paul L. Gunn, Jr. is highly skilled in procurement, logistics and supply chain for the Department of Defense and private sector. He is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.

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