Empathy in the workplace: which companies rank highly?
Empathy, or the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is a major component to workplace success. The more empathetic a company is, the more rewards and advancements that company may undergo. Which companies rank highly?
The Global Empathy Index is a dataset which assesses which companies are the most empathic, and Belinda Parmar, CEO of the U.K.-based consultancy Lady Geek, is the brains behind the index. She insists corporate empathy is not an oxymoron, and in fact the more empathic the company the higher its growth and productivity rates.
Empathy has long been considered a valuable component of corporate development but identifying how to measure the impact of empathy has been difficult. Parmar believes, not only can empathy be measured, but a company’s empathy quotient can be used to reveal underlying strengths and weaknesses within an organization, and how one company stacks up against their competitors.
To generate their findings, The Global Empathy Index “uses a combination of publicly available information as well as proprietary information generated from our algorithm, social and financial data feeds, including textual analysis of over half a million social media interactions.”
While assessing social media interactions, Lady Geek’s team considered items like, the authenticity in brand interactions with consumers, which has become a crucial component of retaining customers. They also analyzed the impact of controversies like, ethical lapses, scandals, and fines.
More granularly, the company measured the empathy quotient by: CEO pay vs median worker, accounting infractions and number of women on the board. All financial data was provided by S&P Capital IQ and was taken over the last year. Here are their results.
Which ten are the most empathetic companies?
- Microsoft (Which is the only company to score 100 on the Global Empathy Index).
- Alphabet (Google)
- Procter & Gamble
- Johnson & Johnson
- Walt Disney Company
These companies landed in the bottom five for being least empathetic (starting with the least empathetic):
- JD Sports Fashion
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Hargreaves Lansdown
- Keurig Green Mountain
- TalkTalk Telecom
As Parmer suggests, the most empathetic companies will tend to grow faster than those less empathetic. So, is it a coincidence that five of the top 10 most empathetic companies are technology-centric, and also the fastest growing?
Empathy is free. Any company regardless of how big or small can practice empathy. What is one way an organization can be more cognizant of their empathy, or take steps to ensure empathy is a part of its culture?