With a sample of Young Global Leaders from The World Economic Forum, The Empathy Business recently releases its 2016 Empathy Global Index. According to the research, social media giant, Facebook, is at the first spot in this year’s index. Some of you (if not all) might ask, “What’s the big deal?” or “What does it have to do with business?”
If you’re still in the dark, empathy is a powerful appendage of sensories for understanding the experiences of those around us. This soft skill will help you as a leader and boost your business in the long run.
With that, here are our top reasons for why empathy is important for businesses;
#1 Foster Trust To Support Network
When you are empathetic in your business, be it with your coworkers, subordinates, bosses or customers, the people you’re dealing with get a sense that you’re on their side, which diffuses conflict. They also feel less alone and as though it is possible to get through problems or crisis they are experiencing. Taken together, over time, these elements foster feelings of trust.
We all know that trust is necessary for building all relationships. Without it, people will generally have trouble sharing their minds and hearts, which creates inefficiency and fuels fights. The result is that you cannot build a network successfully.
In business, a lack of a network is disastrous, because it is your network that gets you the right people and resources at the right price at the right time, moving ideas to reality.
#2 Improves Communication and Out-of-the-Box Thinking
When you look at others with empathy, it is often easier to see where others excel or need some help. You’re understanding of their situation and changes in feelings, and help come up with solutions that suit you and your staff.
With more trust in the environment, people don’t feel as though they’ll always be blamed for everything, so they’re more willing to go out on a limb, try new things and communicate the truth. In some cases, this totally can redirect your business strategy, encouraging you to be more innovative.
#3 Become The Employer of Choice
One of the positive side effects of having an open, trusting work environment built on empathy is that employees actually want to work for you. They become your best word-of-mouth advertisers and put maximum effort into what they do so the entire team can succeed.
They feel more satisfied with their job and as a result, they’re not as likely to be late, call in sick or look for other positions. The combination of advocacy, increased drive and decreased turnover all contribute to a much more stable business, hiking productivity and profits.
According to Real Business, despite the good customer service, Amazon is listed as one of worst company to work for. The company makes use of monitoring technologies to track the movements and performance of its employees.
#4 Boost Clients/Customers’ Experience
It is without a doubt that clients/customers who feel a company isn’t empathetic to their needs may take their business elsewhere. Hence, you’re missing out on the opportunity to better connect with your customers and earn more business.
Take Ryanair, for example. The company is known for its bad customer experience, which is affecting its profit. Recently, the airline made a change through its “Always Getting Better” programme – listening to customer feedback and scrapping the policies people didn’t like i.e. unallocated seating, draconian luggage rules and hidden charges.
This new has helped Ryanair not only increased net profits, but it climbed 13 places in the Empathy Index.
All in all, empathy is one of the most precious yet overlooked assets in any business. You can develop this skill by listening and understand the concerns. Only then you can come up with solutions.