Empathy in Business – Yes or No

We are witnesses of having more and more start-up companies being made just for the sake of profit. While some prosperous entrepreneurs point out that business empathy is an important part of becoming a successful leader, it is a popular belief that some large industry players today, especially multinational corporations, lost that aspect from their sight.

Understanding your employees, customers and shareholders is an important step in achieving success in business. Is there a way to achieve that without showing business empathy with all those instances?

Recent studies have shown that companies with higher happiness rate among their employees achieve far better results and distinctly higher profits than those with the opposite situation. Cultivating a healthy organizational structure in your company will definitely require good understanding of what your employees need and want.

Clearly showing to your company investors and stakeholders that you understand their needs and desires, as well as showing that you work hard to achieve their goals and not only your personal interests and profit is a good way to have your company growing in a successful environment.

With such clear evidence that companies with higher employee happiness and good organizational health surpass their industry competitors in all areas, we can draw a logical conclusion that empathy among business leaders is not only a desirable characteristic, but a must. Those companies that make the social responsibility part of their business policy are true leaders of our society.

On the other hand, there is a popular belief that the modern business model promotes only competitive and ambitious people who climb over other employees and co-workers on their way to success. Unfortunately, to some extent this is true indeed. If we only take a look at the global economic crisis in the last couple of years and the decision of many large international companies which simply decided to fire part of their employees in order to maintain their profit levels, this theory appears more realistic. Yet, what were the results? Such actions have thrown almost the whole world into another economic depression, perhaps even more serious than the one from 1930’s.

In order to achieve success in business you need to have effective workforce behind you. While intimidation and fear of job loss can sometimes be a reason for some employees to work harder, a healthy work environment and higher employee happiness prove to outperform all other scenarios. Encouraging your employees to share new ideas and explore new technologies and ways of handling some business aspects is a driven force that pushes the whole world forward. Without such progress, our whole society would stand still.

Company success depends on the empathetic leaders who can recognize the wishes and goals of others as well as their own and incorporate such goals in their companies’ every day work routine. Great leaders must be able to easily adapt to needs of others and grow on the strengths of their team, having a clear vision of everyone’s benefits as an ultimate goal.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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