FRIDAY 19 MAY 2023 1:43 PM


Employees say they would be more likely to remain in a role and work harder under empathetic leadership.

Research by Oak Engage research finds 74% of employees believe leaders need to be more empathetic, especially during periods of change. While 18% would consider leaving their job if faced with organisational uncertainty, half of respondents associate empathetic leadership with higher staff retention and increased productivity.

Further findings show almost half (43%) of employees believe their business is not prepared for change and 40% claim the prospect makes them anxious. Over a third of respondents (37%) are resistant to change altogether, with 18% prepared to leave their job if faced with organisational uncertainty. Over 1,000 employees were included in the study.

Hostility to organisational change stems primarily from a lack of trust in leadership, as cited by 42% of respondents. Additional concerns are a lack of awareness (38%), a change in job role (27%) and exclusion from important decisions (23%). Poor communication from business leaders ranks higher in North East England, being highlighted by 43% of respondents compared to just a third on average.

Oak Engage offers advice for navigating change at work, in partnership with Hilary Scarlett, author of Neuroscience for Organisational Change. The importance of remaining consistent, ensuring the workplace feels ‘human’, being well prepared for periods of change and ensuring leaders and coached and supported, are all emphasised by the report.