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    Message of the Week 28 - 1 April 2022

    Week 13
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    Compassion vs Performance

    The business world is constantly grappling with the duality of demands to achieve strong results, while still showing empathy, humanity and trust. As a result, although they inherently understand the need to drive performance while concurrently supporting their employees, many leaders fall into the binary thinking of having to choose one over the other.

    While these outcomes may seem incompatible, the truth is they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The key to delivering both compassion and performance lies in set up, data, collaboration and prioritisation.

    According to the article Leaders Don’t Have to Choose Between Compassion and Performance: “Compassionate leadership isn’t simply about taking away work and giving people whatever they want. Nor does achieving high performance mean ignoring the needs and well-being of your employees. Leaders who strive for sustainably high performance — particularly in today’s environment — need to put in the time and the effort to ensure they’re enabling their employees to achieve it.”

    The article goes on to explain that the answer lies in approaching this balancing act through combination of regular data collection, prioritisation, transparency and collaboration.

    Data: Figure Out What Matters: Instead of assuming that they know what employees care about, leaders need to collect data by asking clear questions over one-on-one conversations.

    Prioritisation: Make Time for Compassion: Line managers are usually in the best place to prioritise, as they understand the work and the people who are doing it. Leaders need to empower managers to free up time to focus on what creates the most value.

    Setup: Increase Transparency: Leaders need to help their employees understand that compassion leads to well-being, which, in turn, enhances measurable, performance-related outcomes.

    Collaboration: Co-Create Solutions: By collectively owning the problem, employees and managers understand that well-being and engagement is a challenge that organisations must own and solve together.

    By following this advice and consciously incorporating care into our business engagement, we will soon realise that compassion is actually key to performance, not merely a nice to have or an ‘either or’ situation.

    Michelle Frenzel - HR Manager - KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa

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