Compassion in the workplace 


With the increasing number of functioning workplaces, there is a shift in the work culture and working environment within. More attentions are drawn towards making workplaces fundamentally better for people across the globe. On the management point, it is essential to develop and maintain compassionate cultures for transforming workplaces to promote human contentment and interests. Compassion in an organisational context is often defined through the working guidelines or the service rules. It comes as a decree rather than a natural human response. The goal is to build a comfortable work environment by encouraging inclusiveness, embodying the core-values of the work around the welfare of the team and aligning the objective of the company with its commitment to encourage happiness not just at personal but also group/team level.

Citing the studies in ‘seeing organizations differently: three lenses on compassion,’ an article by the Pacific Prime restates, organisations that operate with compassion have employees with greater job satisfaction and less stress. Workplace compassion also promotes employee engagement, dedication, and loyalty.

For understanding the meaning of compassion, the Compassion International organisation explains that compassion, originating from compati, literally means to “suffer with.” The Latin root for the word compassion is pati, which means to ‘suffer’ and the prefix com means ‘with’, it further elaborate for easier interpretation. 

Theologian and American author, Fredrick Buechner has quoted, “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”

Compassion as a classroom management tool or Human Resource Management strategic approach can be practiced but not necessarily taught. It cannot be prescribed in the form of work codes unless the person has a heart to be compassionate by choice and intention. With the challenging requirements and increasing command to fit in the competition and to secure the top rank, workplaces can be very demanding and stressful. Often the employees or the team under stress possibly will fall into the trap of victim-mentality, which will create a toxic environment, and ultimately demerit the objectives and goals of the management at the place of work. 

For that reason, compassion would generate its intended consequences only when individuals build up and sustain the ability to see the world and others from a compassionate perspective. The core of compassion is the concern for the sufferings and the misfortune of others. 

The expression ‘to be moved with compassion’ is not shallow or surface-level sentiment but to be in a position of kindness, empathy, selflessness, loving and all those expressions that motivates dedication, productivity, security and happiness. Every heart that is moved by compassion has the potential to demonstrate the love to the world around us. 

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