The HR technology leader’s eighth annual State of Workplace Empathy study reveals HR empathy levels hit record lows while mental health challenges climb.
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (May 17, 2022) —Businessolver®, a leader in SaaS-based HR benefits technology and services announces the release of its 2023 State of Workplace Empathy Study. The eighth annual report reveals that empathy levels among HR professionals and employees have plummeted to their lowest levels since 2017. In particular, the data from HR professionals saw double-digit declines in empathy with a 24-point gap between how HR and CEOs view empathy in each other.
“Alarming. That is the word for this year’s data, especially as it pertains to HR’s empathy perceptions and mental health challenges,” said Jon Shanahan, Businessolver CEO and Founder. “Last year the cracks started to show. This year a great divide has emerged in more ways than one. While we anticipated a decline in empathy due to factors like inflation and return-to-office policies, we did not foresee so many double-digit swings in the data, nor the severity of HR’s diminished perceptions.”
Employee empathy perceptions have been steadily declining over the last few years—reaching an all-time low this year. HR’s feelings of empathy toward their organizations, however, saw a sharp decline, plummeting 23 points from 2022.
Key findings include:
Broad gaps in CEO and HR empathy perceptions of each other :
Declining mental health, especially among HR professionals:
Workplace flexibility leads the list of top empathetic benefits while remote workers report higher empathy perceptions than non-remote workers:
“In the end, the gaps in perceptions that this year’s findings reveal should be a wake-up call for leaders to check their perceived realities against the workplace realities of their employees, as the data shows far more disconnect than alignment,” said Shanahan. “But leaders alone are not accountable for closing the empathy gap. Everyone has a responsibility to be stewards of empathy and employ ‘perspective taking’ to turn micro-empathy moments into macro-empathetic cultures.”
To view the full 2023 State of Workplace Empathy Executive Summary visit www.businessolver.com/empathy.
About Businessolver’s Annual State of Workplace Empathy Study
Since 2016, Businessolver has surveyed a diverse cross-section of more than 3,000 employees, HR professionals, and CEOs across six industries to examine the behaviors and benefits that make a workplace empathetic. In the survey, empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and experience the feelings of another.” In February, a third-party firm fielded the online survey for the 2022 study among employees, HR professionals, and CEOs within financial services, government, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, and technology. To qualify for the survey, respondents needed to be 18 years or older, U.S. residents, employed full-time or part-time within their respective industry at an organization with 100 or more employees. Learn more and find historical trend data from 2016 to today at businessolver.com/empathy.
Since 1998, Businessolver has delivered market-changing benefits technology and services supported by an intrinsic responsiveness to client needs. The company creates client programs that maximize benefits program investment, minimize risk exposure, and engage employees with easy-to-use solutions and communication tools to assist them in making wise and cost-efficient benefits selections. Founded by HR professionals, Businessolver’s unwavering service-oriented culture and secure SaaS platform provide measurable success in its mission to provide complete client delight.
Head of Marketing and Product Solutions