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5 Benefits of Humanity as a Leadership Strategy

Embracing humanity should be at the core of every leadership team. EDA CEO Ed DeAngelis explains how prioritizing empathy and respect in the workplace can enhance employee happiness and productivity.

It seems almost impractical to think that discussing the leadership concept of instilling respect for humanity in the workplace may be considered, by some, to be innovative. What could be less innovative than being… human

Yet, with the pressures and demands of operating a company, it is not uncommon for humanity to, at times, take a backseat to client demands, inventory management, change management, facilities and operational concerns, and the list goes on and on. Still, humanity in an organization feels like it should be the most important thing on the minds of leadership. What could be more important at work than humanity?

According to a study titled The Future of HR is RH: Respect for Humanity at Work, referenced by the American Psychological Association (APA), infusing Human Resource Management (HRM) with a psychological concern for human dignity results in respect for humanity at work, as well as advocacy for employees and their communities.

In my opinion, and I am proud to say the opinion of every leader, manager, and supervisor at my organization, there is nothing more vital to respect and support than the humanity of a workforce. Though a business operates with many stakeholders, clients, vendors, partners, and suppliers, it is the interactions occurring between employees that enable everything. 

Guess what... employees are human beings.

By nature, and by inherent right, all human beings deserve to be treated with mindful respect and sincere consideration. With that in mind, a leadership strategy must value humanity in order to flourish, not only as an organization of commerce and fulfillment, but as a community of care.

Here are Five Benefits of Infusing Humanity as a Leadership Strategy:

  1. Employee Wellness: Prioritizing employees’ physical and mental health fosters a positive work environment, reduces stress, and enhances productivity. When leaders show empathy and respect, employees are more likely to stay with the organization and remain engaged.
  2. The Ethical Workplace: A workplace that values humanity, values ethical practices, transparency, honesty, and respect for all. Where there is humanity, there exists ethical practices that protect and preserve the dignity of all workers.
  3. Psychological Safety: The workplace that values humanity provides a psychologically safe workplace. In a psychologically safe environment, workers feel supported and respected, allowing them to collaborate with transparency, and without fear of repercussions if they have a workplace complaint or concern. 
  4. Dignity for All: Actively supporting the humanity of a workforce builds a culture that values the dignity of the individual, recognizing that all have the right to demonstrate vulnerability, admit mistakes, share perspectives, and seek organizational support, particularly if subjected to disruptive behavior in the workplace.
  5. Happier Employees: By embracing humanity as a leadership strategy, an organization increases the probability of employee retention and loyalty, as employees appreciate working in an environment that sets clear boundaries while, at the same time, provides an atmosphere that allows team members to express their authenticity. 

By encouraging humanity as a leadership strategy, an organization will strengthen trust, collaboration and innovation, while providing an environment that allows for the organization, and its very human employees, to thrive.