Why Empathy Is More Important Today In Corporate Culture Than Ever?

Posted on Feb 3, 2021 by Delveinsight

Empathy and Corporate world

It is all about finding echoes of others within us!

Holler folks! Welcome to Let’s Hear It. Today, we bring you the second post of our series Let’s Hear It. Earlier, we had a beautiful piece authored by our COO that highlighted the importance of Mental health. In this fast-paced life, we often forget or say neglect our physical health, and about mental health – we don’t even talk fearing the taboo.

Today, we are going to hear our COO’s thoughts when she herself was in here initial stages of career. Let us take a dive into her journey and struggles that transformed her into a beautiful woman she is today. Let’s dig in!

Having worked for thirteen years in different organizations, and six years in our own startup has groomed me not only professionally but even personally. Going into details, I have worked in four different firms in which the last one was allowed me to work remotely. I was associated with this firm for four years. Why am I telling you all this now? Because of the current situation. Because I know and understand the pains of managing work, family with the added imposition of restrictions on the movement, not as an employer but as an employee. The years, when I was working from home, has taught me a lot. Working from home was not easy then, and is not easy even now. And look at us. No one would have had an inkling that a day would come when we all would be forced to do the same thing. Well, I will talk about it someday too, however, under a separate heading.

Today, I am here to talk about something close to my heart.

Honestly saying, I never changed companies frequently, and whenever I did, I always made sure to introspect and analyze the reasons behind my urge to change, which helped to get a clear picture of my goals and helped me part my ways amicably. I always have this good habit to note down the points, which touch me be it good or bad.

When my partner Dr Vishal planned to establish a startup, I automatically became a supporting pillar.  Although I had no defined role, yet I was part of most of the domains. Yet the one which struck the chord with me the most was the connection with our extended family. I do not know why but somehow, I could not ever relate myself with the word employer, whenever I think that way, I rather feel myself more to be a senior employee with more years of experience, so better I comprehend it like we all are a part of the extended family with the roles assigned as per the best of each one’s ability.

I would like to write in more details in the ways I connect, or better to say I empathize:

Everyone who is a part of DelveInsight, feels one.

It is like unsaid, unspoken rule of the industry that one should always keep the personal and professional aspect of their lives completely apart. This notion always makes me delve deeper into my thoughts, that if there is something which is troubling a person on the personal front would he/she be able to focus on their work. I don’t think so.

Are we, as seniors/more experienced persons in the industry, not responsible to at least try to address genuine individual problems? I understand that not every problem has a definitive solution from the official viewpoint. But here are a few points which I, along with the senior employees at DelveInsight, tried to implement, and fortunately got encouraging results.

  • First and foremost, we make them believe that we are there in case they need any help. COVID time has really been very harsh for some. We made sure that if they need any financial help during this time, we are there with proper plans, and that they need not worry at all.
  • Being a mid-sized organization not everyone in our company had laptops assigned. Neither many had personal computers at their home. Thus, we couriered the desktops to their respective places throughout India so that they could work smoothly from their home environment.
  • In spite of working from home, many times they needed long leaves due to an emergency in their family. They were granted those without any hindrance from the company. We also ensured that they get paid even if they were able to work part-time during that period. Extra work was very smoothly got distributed among rest of the members, because every team member was ready to lend a helping hand in the hour of need, and this culture of ours is what sets us apart and binds us a family.
  • I ensured regular calling and talking to my employees from time to time encouraging them to invest some time in their hobbies; in the things they love, be it painting, photography, NGO work, creativity in any form and post on the common social media group, which was purposely created for the same within the company. Gradually everyone started posting their creative side and getting appreciated for their talents. Seeing them happy and energetic, made me feel rejuvenated.
  • We hired one motivational speaker who took fortnightly sessions and pepped everyone up with the positive vibration. They were encouraged to speak their heart out. It helped them come out of their shells of negativities and embrace the positive outlook. The best comment which I got from a few of them was “Even our parents look forward to those sessions and keep on asking when is the next session”, it was highly encouraging feedback.
  • E-greetings and e-wishes have replaced the old loving feelings of getting a postal greeting card. However, on Deepawali, I made sure that everyone gets a handmade card with a personalized message from us for them and their family as most of our members are staying with their loved ones. To add more colors to it we got them made through one of our employees, who is very creative, and sent it through country postal service to each employee. It served a dual purpose, the one who designed got appreciation plus remuneration for the good work and those who received were very happy to receive a handmade card after years through post. Their personal messages to me were heart-warming. One of them wrote “Hello Mam, Good Morning…Thank you so much for the beautiful card…The best part was…It came via India Post…. When postmaster came, the first thing which I noticed was a handwritten address and postal ticket…. For a while, it took me back to years when we did the same in our teenage years…. Thank you once again.”
  • On each festival and occasion, and otherwise, also, we organized several team activities virtually which proved as an icebreaker and brought a gust of freshness within the team. Winning teams/members were awarded duly.
  • Throughout the pandemic, we did not reduce any of our team sizes rather we did timely appraisals, increments and also offered them a bonus to reward their hard work and extra hours that they were putting to keep the company sailing through the time of utmost crisis. This instilled their faith in the company.

I remember receiving their individual calls from time to time to strengthen us to believe that we all are a team who would either do or die together. I really feel overwhelmed with the support and empathy, we, as an employer (if I have to say so), received in return of whatever we could do for each one.

Employers at times tend to forget that they too were employees at one point of time, or say the teachers were students too, and the preachers were listeners too. If only they could reflect upon the hardship, they faced during their career growth/initial days, they can deal with the present very well.

This could not be done in a day but I always remembered the points, which I had noted in my diary as an employee. I sincerely hope it helped you in one way or the other.
These are few out of several things that DelveInsight has started with. We have started taking baby steps to ensure that we as employers feel and understand the pains of our employees. For us, for me, we are a family, and I am willing to walk miles to ensure that all of my family members are healthy, physical as well as mentally.

Signing Off.
Preeti Agrawal
COO
DelveInsight

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