Empathy plays a crucial role in every organisation. It influences teamwork, motivation and strategy. If you encourage empathy in your business, you should benefit from increased productivity, profit and employee loyalty.

However, research from Gallup indicates that only half of today’s employers empathise with their workforce. Yet empathy is relatively easy to understand. When integrated into your organisation, it can significantly improve your business.

What is Empathy?

Empathy is an important element of emotional intelligence. It is an exclusively human quality that cannot be imitated by artificial intelligence. It derives from three elements; thought, emotional response and action.

Empathy encourages greater communication and understanding among the entire workforce. Its value to a business cannot be underestimated. According to ESH Today, a business structure based on empathy is 33% more likely to have positive working relationships. This improved collaboration, particularly within teams, is vital to success. Up to 85% of managers believe that a highly communicative workforce is the key to effective growth.

Three Elements of Empathy

Empathy generally falls into three distinct categories. To gain the most benefit from empathy, you need to be aware of all three:


This valuable element includes inspiration and lateral thinking. It also heightens your ability to recognise the emotional needs of colleagues or employees. Perception is a prime attribute in collaboration.


Empathising with colleagues emotionally is often based on experience. For instance, you may have found the solution to an ideal work-home balance. Understanding other people’s difficulties encourage stability and harmony among colleagues.


Businesses thrive on positive action. To make the best empathy-driven decisions, you need the values of all three elements. An idea or inspiration backed by experience should lead to innovative ideas and actions.

How to use Empathy in Your Business

Empathy is inextricable with personality. Pay close attention to the unique character traits of employees. Their natural strengths and weaknesses can help you determine which assignments they are best suited to. It can also help you build teams that are well-balanced and harmonious. According to a Gallup survey, they should also gain around 21% more productivity. DISC profiling can help identify personality types within a workforce.

How DISC Profiling Works with Empathy

Recognising the personalities of your employees through the DISC system has many advantages. It helps you identify and avoid potential personality clashes which can be detrimental to effective teamwork. Managers who take the time and effort to assess their employees’ characters generally achieve between four and six times greater productivity. To gain the most from empathy, managers need to identify basic DISC personalities.

Using DISC Personalities

DISC profiling has been influencing businesses for almost 100 years. The system was devised in 1928 by William Moulton Marston. His book, “The Emotions of Normal People”, has helped countless businesses achieve chances of greater success through empathy. Marston’s DISC personality guide is usually used by every conscientious career coach.


Many businesses have at least one dominant personality. On the negative side, they can be overbearing and demanding. But when you empathise with these characters, you encourage their positive traits. Their confidence and assertiveness can energise and motivate a team. Known for their direct, ambitious approach, dominant personalities can make great progress in moving projects forward.


This personality type is a great asset to a business. They are predominantly friendly and welcoming. They thrive on harmony and can quickly remove tensions amongst colleagues. A survey by ESH Today indicates that 41% of workers perform more effectively when communication is foremost. With an I-type personality around, your business should achieve increased collaboration, leading to faster project completion.


Reliability is at the heart of every steadiness personality. Their generally calm, collected personality is ideal for keeping team members on track. In a crisis, an S-type personality is your greatest asset. Never known to panic, they’ll keep a clear head, while finding a solution through determination and resolve.


If your business projects are particularly detailed, include a compliant personality in your workforce. They’ll happily throw themselves into research that can only enhance your business. Generally self-motivated, they require little supervision. Best of all, they’ll usually deliver their assignments on time enabling projects to move at speed.

The Advantages of Empathy and Personality

It’s wise to remember that nobody fits neatly into a DISC profile. People generally possess a mixture of personality traits covering more than one DISC category. However, with finely-tuned empathy skills, you should be able to gauge an employee’s main traits.

You can then assign the employee to the most suitable role. For instance, the energy of a D-type personality can be a great asset in any sales or marketing department. If your business is particularly fast-paced and involves a high degree of pressure, try to recruit a calm S-type personality.

How You Can Develop Empathy Skills

Empathy usually begins with being aware of other people’s sensibilities. According to a GlassDoor survey, a particular grievance of around 92% of employees is that they feel undervalued. You can easily use empathy skills to reassure them. Praise their work, especially when there has been a determined effort to complete a project. An effective method used by 70% of managers is to make improvements to the facilities of a business. If your budget can’t meet the installation of gym equipment, introduce a healthy eating initiative. Simply offering a range of healthy snacks and beverages can make a difference in the working day. According to GlassDoor, up to 61% of employees should feel their health and enthusiasm have improved.


Empathy’s three elements are thought, understanding, and action. Combined with DISC profiles, they can bring greater efficiency and productivity. An awareness of empathy is often an undervalued branch of business psychology. When used effectively, empathy can improve the atmosphere of your workplace. It also enables you to fill roles with the most suitable personnel. Empathy can also significantly improve working relationships and teams, leading to greater business success.