The power of empathy in the wild world of startupsEach year, we conduct an all-network survey to help us understand more about the people who work at our companies, what are thinking about, and how we can help. When we ask these employees to share testimonials about how the network helped them the most, we rarely hear about specific examples where people applied what they learned in an actionable context at work. Instead, what we hear are echoes of the importance of connection and community. Here’s one of my favorite responses:
“I'd describe the most impactful takeaway as simply the reminder that there are other awesome companies experiencing their own challenges. Sometimes it's not even about the analogy to my work, but more so just comforting in some shared entrepreneurial journey kind of way. Knowing that you're not alone is a helpful feeling.”Of course, this “not feeling alone” thing can be a pretty tricky thing to quantify. As my friend pointed out yesterday, “How do you quantify the value of a vacation day policy?” But everybody who takes time off will tell you how wonderful it was to “take time off” or “disconnect” or “recharge.” I believe this sense of connection and community is just as valuable as vacation. Here’s one hypothetical examples about how this connection might play out.