Organizational Empathy

Mike Mangino

November 2, 2021

Most of us have interacted with a company whose employees seemed as if they were just going through the motions. Maybe you’ve called customer service to ask a question about a purchase, and the agent only seemed interested in getting you off the phone. Or perhaps the employees worked for your employer. Maybe you called HR to ask a question about a specific benefit, and you felt the person talking to you thought of you as a nuisance. When company employees don’t follow the golden rule, treating others as they wish to be treated, it can be a telltale sign that the organization may lack empathy.

Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can be difficult. Last week, I got a call from an upset customer, the owner of a small organization, who was struggling to get the answers she wanted to an issue she was facing. I was in the middle of a crazy day getting caught up after a few days of travel. It would have been easy to hand the complaint off to someone else or deal with it after I caught up. Instead, I chose to put myself in her shoes.

I know that from her perspective, bringing this issue to my attention was one of the most important things she would do that day. Knowing that made it easier for me to stop what I was doing and focus solely on her problem. I spent fifteen minutes on the phone with this customer reassuring her that we were doing all we could to solve her issue. As soon as we were off the phone, I made sure somebody responded to her with the answer she needed. Finally, I worked with our support teams to understand we could prevent this issue from happening in the future.

You might think this wasn’t the best use of a Chief Technology Officer’s time. After all, I spent 90 minutes working on a customer service issue. From my perspective, I treated her issue the way I would want to be treated had I been on the other end of that phone call.

I experienced exceptional organizational empathy inside TriumphPay. Our support teams listened, and within a few hours, they had figured out the root cause of the issue. By the next day, they had created a plan to improve the turnaround time for issue resolution. They provided me with exactly the service I hoped to receive.

In a well-functioning organization, this is the norm. When I can depend on those I work with to care deeply about the work they do for others, it allows me to rely on them. I no longer need to constantly double-check that work is progressing or that tasks are done right. This gives me more time to focus on doing my best work for others as well. In the end, we get a virtuous cycle. By going the extra mile for each other, we have more time to go the extra mile ourselves. That’s the kind of organization in which I’m happy to work.


Mike Mangino

About the Author

Mike Mangino is the Chief Technology Officer for TriumphPay where he leads the development and dissemination of advanced technologies that improve and increase business for our customers and TriumphPay. Prior to joining TriumphPay, Mike was the Chief Technology Officer for HubTran where he was responsible for designing and building software to automate back-office payables for the transportation industry and built and managed a team of engineers including software development, DevOps and customer support.