Engaging Compassion in Training Builds a Supportive, Positive Work Environment for Retention and EVP
Compassion is the outward ability to express comfort through words and behaviors towards others. This is an important aspect of connecting with people, as humans we are wired for connection from before birth. Therefore, the ability to connect can create an environment of caring and by building this into organizational training it not only allows those in attendance to learn through understanding the content better it brings everyone together in balance. Relationships are built on connecting and our brains absorb by cognitively processing information to retain it for use.
Why is incorporating a compassionate take into any organizational training important to an EVP (Employee Value Proposition) and how does this impact retention? The EVP is centered around creating a work environment that shows how each employee adds value to building the organization and appreciating their efforts for what work they do. If employees do not feel cared about, that their work contributions are not feeling recognized or seem to become overlooked, then they can be easily disconnected to the company and their importance of their reason to come to the job every day. Simply saying thank you, speaking in a consistently kind manner, and asking employees how they are doing will probably go just as far as an award or spending money on a big EVP program. The reason being is people want to feel cared about, needed and know that they make a difference in the workplace. The feelings are engaged by incorporating compassion into a training which can build a trusting knowing their job duties and have a safe workplace environment that employees enjoy coming together in. It works by building each other up positively, the connection is the strongest retention tool an employer can use. When we speak kindly, support others in a work team we get so much further as it is a natural safety net. It drives everyone, not one person who tells everyone what to do. This also mitigates negativity and conflict as well, because if everyone is learning to care about those they work with, anyone going against this is very easy to identify and coach if they bring negativity into the environment through words, tone, behaviors and actions. No one wants to feel shamed or uncomfortable at their job, the purpose of a career is to support your life outside of the work environment and we want to have a positive morale while doing our jobs.
If you take a look at many of the statistics studied around successful retention efforts, and what create the best results they come from working in a comfortable environment that feels like a family. Compassion works to improve the training by engaging the brain to connect to the content to understand it and build relationships when everyone is part of the training, either by asking questions, answering questions, doing exercises together, etc. A training can easily become relatable with a good story with examples of compassionate behaviors such as:
Acts of kindness,
Allocate time to bond,
Say encouraging words,
Using the word thank you,
Offering to help someone,
This does not matter how complex the material is, if the audience cannot understand it, they will never connect to the material and learn it unless they memorize it which is not really training. A good trainer knows their content because they are comfortable with it and can express the information for everyone to understand. The hardest trainings to attend are those where someone reads off of slides or papers and is not making eye contact, does not know material or is anxious about content as this will put the audience to sleep. Strong trainers are understood and provide opportunity to ask questions and learning is provided with communication to the target audience, many times they will provide the same content a few times in different ways, so it is absorbed. The trainer will tell a story people can relate to, they may ask questions for participation, have a few visuals for relatability and have an exercise for engagement all on the same topic so everyone is paying attention, can identify with it and relate to use material independently. The way the speaker or trainer uses words, tones, behaviors and body language to convey the information can change how the audience connects to it, and with others in the room in person and/or virtually. The results are in the way the attendee the material in the work environment which can improve their confidence and security of the knowledge they take away to prepare them better to work as part of the organization.
In closing, connecting, building relationships and the way people feel impacts the way they perform in the workplace. Training has less to do with content and more to do with the value of the takeaway, a person can feel very disconnected and misunderstood if they do not absorb or connect to training materials and the value it will give to them to do their job. It is hard to be connected to a document or a PowerPoint. It is easy to feel connected, cared for and positively engaged to a training where the person communicates the information and makes a significant impact. The best trainers are coaches, mentors and speak about personal connections to their material which inspires those listening or engaging. Compassion drives connection, security, trust and builds relationships to content, organizations, job duties, co-workers, environment, equity, value and can make a person want to come to work every day. We should strive for standards to hold those in the organization accountable to drive compassion, as it also creates respect among co-workers to support a team environment. Without having strong standards, consistent processes, communication and support in our environment we disconnect. Employees may not feel valued and can be easily lured away to other companies for money, perks, benefits, unknown environments and unknown promises. We can create a kind, empathetic and compassionate team environment which drives value in how a person feels and is inspired in a training as well as learning the information when they leave. The impact of compassion in training is better content understanding, leads to higher retention, more employee referrals and an organic successful EVP.