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Compassion Is Our Bottom Line: How Empathy Increases Retention, Motivation, and Results

“At the end of the day, we live in a world of human beings,” Peter Mendez, our president and founder, says.

That sentiment is one Peter utters often: what we do, what we provide, and what we aspire to accomplish is all for the benefit of human beings.

Putting people first also boosts our partners’ and clients’ outcomes. Their teams have higher morale, deliver strong results, and overcome one of the most significant challenges facing employers: retention.

“Human beings need to be at the crux of any effort,” Peter says. “People come through our doors with a certain need, and we’ve invested ourselves in finding optimal solutions.”

At the heart of a good solution? Compassion.


Compassion Makes Better Business

Though mask mandates diminished and the rhythm of everyday life resumed throughout 2022, the impacts of the pandemic still reverberated throughout the economy. At the end of last year, people predicted staffing would be the next big boom, and companies accelerated hiring.

The first few months of 2023 revealed that most employers had been operating with ambitious forecasts, and demand wasn’t keeping pace with previous years. But the bigger barrier that hiring managers and companies continue to face is that the workforce is more selective about the positions they accept. Driving for Uber or Amazon offers more comfortable, less physically demanding work than being a barista or working in a hotel.

“The greatest challenge in staffing is not recruiting or finding people. We can recruit almost anywhere. The challenge is employee retention,” Peter says.

Employees may accept a job and work several shifts before looking for other options, which might require less physical labor or time on their feet. The solution, Peter maintains, is to refrain from tapping the same market, hoping for different results. It requires enriching and enlarging that market through extending resources and equitable opportunities for growth.

“There is an opportunity for employers to invest in training, development, and incentives for retention,” Peter says. “There needs to be regard for the individual.”

That philosophy is present in every touchpoint at 1st SOS Staffing: when new employees are brought on, they receive training for a more seamless, empowered beginning to their job. They continue to have access to training while working with us, cultivating skills that lead to promotions and upward mobility. Through the 1st SOS Institute, we offer access to various resources, including housing, transportation, and daycare assistance, legal aid, and English language classes.

“All those things we invest in for the human being are a reflection of our compassion and the empathy for that individual’s condition,” Peter says.

In the general working world, there is much to be done to help individual employees learn and advance. True business growth, as Peter has witnessed at 1st SOS Staffing and among the corporations we’ve partnered with, occurs when personal development is prioritized. While many corporations funnel funds to recruitment, Peter believes those resources should foster employees’ skillsets and talents.

“It yields phenomenally great results and impactful changes,” he says. “It cultivates great loyalty and it does great things for that employee.”

It also benefits the larger community. Advancing an individual’s opportunity through a job has a positive ripple effect, providing increased opportunities for social and financial mobility.

Identifying Potential

One of the largest hurdles to success is how we view ourselves. Our account managers personally work with every person who comes through our doors to assess their specific strengths and skills and tap into what makes them unique. They find the throughline between how experiences play into new skillsets and how candidates can build a career that resonates with their interests.

Before meeting with 1st SOS Staffing account managers, candidates may lack a strong sense of what they can do. Some may wonder if they’re qualified for a position with us at all.

An infamous story within our offices is when one of our account managers spent time getting to know a candidate. She learned about the candidate’s passion for cooking and how she had nourished her family for years through home-cooked meals. For the candidate, this didn’t seem like a standout skill: it was simply what she did.

That candidate is now a successful chef, forging a career from her experiences, abilities, and heart.

At 1st SOS Staffing, we meet with individuals to identify their unique potential — and we help them overcome the barriers preventing them from reaching that.

“It’s easy to want to contract someone who has demonstrated success. The challenge is investing effort in identifying the human value that every individual has and empower them to optimize that,” Peter says.

We help you build teams that transform lives and your business. Let’s get to work.