Empathy: It’s absolutely essential to fostering positive relationships – inside and outside of the workplace. Understanding the reasons why employees are dissatisfied or disengaged is key to creating a productive and motivated workforce and retaining top talent. Once managers and HR professionals realize the frustrations that their employees feel, they can strive to eliminate them, creating a win-win for everyone.

Eliminate the disconnect

According to multiple research reports, there is a disconnect between what employees think about their jobs and what employers think they think. One study found that while employers thought that the No. 1 source of stress for their workers was poor work/life balance, employees actually felt that insufficient staffing was the top cause of stress. Other studies have shown that employers overestimate how engaged their employees are and underestimate how open they are to leaving. As an HR professional, you want to improve employee engagement and make people as happy as possible; a key first step to achieving this goal is to make sure everyone is on the same page about what employees really want.

Today’s HR technologies can help improve the employee experience, resulting in greater loyalty and engagement throughout the organization.

Know how your employees feel every day

Imagine if each time an employee logged into an employee self-service tool, they could share their current mood. While it might seem like a small and trivial action, it could help you and front-line managers identify trends within the organization – either at the individual or department level. For example, you could determine if employees’ moods change during a particularly stressful quarter, or if there are certain job titles or departments particularly prone to dissatisfaction. Innovative HR solutions that offer this capability, along with other advanced polling and analytics functions, can provide valuable insight into the feelings and attitudes of your organization.

Help employees grow

Whether a company takes the time to nurture and develop its talent is a major factor in job satisfaction, especially for younger workers. Gallup found that 87 percent of millennials say that professional development opportunities are very important in a job. It is important to know what employees want from their career in order to provide the right tools and training to help them succeed. This is one reason companies are shifting away from traditional performance reviews to more collaborative and continuous feedback. HR technology can facilitate this ongoing exchange between manager and employees by capturing performance data along with notes/comments, knowledge and skills and salary history. With a comprehensive view of an employee’s career progression and history, you can more actively provide a more personalized experience.

You know the human element of HR is not gone. Empathy is a skill you need on a daily basis. Having access to tools that provide insight into how the employees in your organization are feeling, or what they need/want/expect from their career, can help you transform the employee experience with empathy and understanding.