A recent annual survey by Businessolver identifies some counterintuitive findings about the level of empathy by U.S. employers. For a fifth year, the West Des Moines-based benefits technology services firm surveyed U.S. employees, HR professionals and CEOs across six industries and four generations to determine how employees and leaders perceive empathy in the workplace. The State of Workplace Empathy Study, conducted pre-COVID during the first quarter, indicates an increasing gap between what CEOs and their employees perceive as the level of empathy within their organizations. While 97% of CEOs say all levels at their company are empathetic toward the mental health of employees, for instance, only 69% of employees agree. This disconnect offers leaders the opportunity to emphasize values-based benefits that can help with flexibility, health coverage and even emergency financial assistance, the report stated. The findings also showed that 72% of CEOs acknowledged that workplace empathy needs to evolve. Businessolver CEO Jon Shanahan said that empathy has never been more important than it is now. "CEOs now have to embrace their dual role: as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Empathy Officer," he said. “Taking the entire individual into account is a major step towards creating a culture of empathy now and in the future. With anxiety levels at all-time highs, this must become a top priority."