Initial findings from ‘The Empathy Project’ has revealed that more than 60% of mid-junior range people are considering moving roles in the next 12 months. The same group shared how important they believed empathy was in improving job satisfaction and creating a more inclusive culture.
Early results have indicated a strong desire for wellness at work as well as an increased demand for empathetic internal cultures and leadership:
87% of respondents to date state that empathy in the workforce is very or extremely important to them
Top barriers to empathy in the workplace: time pressures and client satisfaction (79%, 70% respectively)
The study is being undertaken by Mentally-Healthy, UnLtd and Never Not Creative. It aims to uncover the current state of empathy in the industry, and offer recommendations to improve mental wellbeing.
Individuals from across the industry have already anonymously partaken in the study. In addition, senior leadership at launch partners including Jack Morton, MiQ, Special Group and Yahoo ANZ have undertaken qualitative interviews to offer a deeper contextual understanding.
Says Andy Wright, founder of Never Not Creative and co-chair of Mentally-Healthy: “The responses we’ve received so far are backing our initial theory. The industry wants, needs and values empathy. It’s so important in fostering mentally healthy workplaces.
“Early responses and analysis show that there is a significant gap in the perception of empathy levels between what leaders perceive and what people in mid-junior level positions experience. There’s no doubt that this gap is harming our industry. Leaders intentions are encouraging, but we need to work harder to drive change down through managerial levels of businesses. I encourage everyone to get involved and have your voice heard. You have a chance to shape the future of our industry.”
Says Justin Orchard, director of operations and technology at Yahoo ANZ: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of The Empathy Project. I’ve recently done the Mental Health First Aid course and it’s completely added a new level to the way I look at or think about people.
“I encourage everyone to get involved and share their experiences with empathy so that we, as an industry, can move forward for the better.”
Says Paul Cotton, creative director at Jack Morton: “Burnout and churn are rampant in agencies and usually happens when you ignore the wellbeing of your staff… which to me implies a lack of empathetic leadership, empathetic planning. Understanding that people are not just employees, they’re people.
“We know the best work is built in collaboration, and collaboration is best built on a foundation of empathy and understanding each other.”
Almost 500 people in the industry have participated to date. The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. There’s still time to participate in the survey here and help shape the future of our industry.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with mental health and needs support, please contact:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636