Harvard Business Review: The Most (and Least) Empathetic Companies

In choosing where to invest their time and money, companies might be skeptical about investing in empathy as a skill to improve commercial success. But to remain competitive in the new world of work, according to the Lady Geek Global Empathy Index, that’s exactly what they should do.

“The top 10 companies in the Global Empathy Index 2015 increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50% more earnings”

– Belinda Parmar

As people become more and more invested in transparency and authenticity in their purchasing decisions, empathy is becoming even more important. The “cognitive and emotional understanding of others’ experiences” is important both to consumers and employees, and companies who can demonstrate a high level of empathy at work are more likely to see commercial success than companies investing in other priorities.

While you might not think of technology companies as places that foster empathy, they dominate the top of the Empathy Index. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has prioritized empathy at work, and this certainly factored into their high ranking in both the 2015 and 2016 Index. You’ll also see other technology giants in the top 15, including Facebook, Alphabet (Google), LinkedIn, Netflix, and Apple. All of these companies are taking tangible actions to increase empathy in their offices and with their customers.

“Finally, as with all activities aimed at change, it’s important to measure empathy - a task that’s easier than it sounds as long as you measure what matters.”

– Belinda Parmar

While Lady Geek will continue to generate a new Global Empathy Index, author Belinda Parmar points out that any company can do the work to implement strategies to increase empathy and track their success. “The first step to being empathetic is to diagnose where the problems and strengths of the organization are in order to focus the resources.”

To read the overview of the 2016 Global Empathy Index, click here.

You can also find the 2015 Index here.


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