Empathy matters to your organization more than you think. When we mean empathy, we do not just mean mental health leaves or open forums for employees -- though those things are great for your organization too. What we mean is empathy woven into your organization's work process.
Empathy should be the reason why an organization does what it does. Some of the most remarkable companies were born out of a need or a gap that needs to be filled. Great leaders know how to bridge those gaps (oftentimes, through technology.) Motorcycle ride hailing app Angkas was founded in the Philippines because its CEO was stuck in traffic for six hours. Graphic design platform Canva was created because its founder felt like Adobe Photoshop was too complicated to use for students. Uber was invented because its founder couldn't get a ride in Paris one winter night.
Empathy works for the employees too, especially since they are considered 'secondary customers'. How do you make it easier for them to deliver your product or services? You look at things from their perspective and see where gaps exist.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to put their employees' needs on the forefront and to emphasize like they never have before. What was once unimaginable or rejected in the workplace -- such as everyone working from home, easier access to leaves, or shorter work weeks -- are now needed in the workplace. Empathy is now the game for organizations. It is easier for employees to leave workplaces that cannot put their needs first.
The needs of employees and customers will constantly shift even beyond the COVID pandemic. How can organizations keep up with those needs?