28th August 2023,Mumbai: Building Trust Through Empathy
Indian-American entrepreneur Vishal Garg, co-founder of Better.com, made headlines in December 2021 when he delivered news of over 900 employees’ termination via a Zoom call. In an exclusive interview with TechCrunch, Garg revealed his journey towards becoming a more empathetic leader and treating his team with the same kindness he extends to customers. He emphasized that for customer delight to flourish, employee satisfaction is equally vital. Garg acknowledged his efforts to transform his leadership style, highlighting that the company’s current workforce comprises just under 1000 individuals.
Leadership Evolution: A Path to Trust
Recognizing the significance of trust within and outside the organization, Garg invested substantial time in leadership training. By doing so, he aimed to fortify the foundation of trust and collaboration among team members. Garg’s commitment to cultivating empathy and kindness not only reflects his personal growth but also resonates with the evolving expectations of leadership in the modern business landscape. Through his dedication to enhancing his leadership skills, Garg sought to ensure that Better.com’s mission to make homeownership more affordable and accessible remained aligned with a positive and respectful work culture.
Fueling a Mission-Driven Workforce
Garg revealed that the company’s workforce is fueled by a shared commitment to the mission of democratizing homeownership. The employees’ dedication to this cause underlines the importance of a strong sense of purpose in driving organizational success. The alignment of individual values with the company’s mission enhances employee engagement and fosters a sense of unity within the team. As Garg puts it, “Can’t honestly tell you…”
Uncertain Horizons: Future Layoffs and Market Dynamics
Addressing the pressing question of potential future layoffs, Garg maintained that the company’s decisions in this regard would be influenced by the dynamics of the mortgage market. This candid response reflects an awareness of the unpredictable nature of business and an eagerness to adapt to external changes. Garg’s recognition of the need for strategic workforce management underscores his commitment to maintaining a balanced and efficient organization. Despite uncertainties, he expressed confidence in Better.com’s current staffing levels and even hinted at upcoming headcount additions to drive growth.
A Transformative Leadership Approach
Vishal Garg’s journey from a high-profile Zoom call to a transformational leadership approach is a testament to the evolution that leaders must undergo to meet the demands of a rapidly changing business environment. His realization that customer satisfaction hinges on employee well-being showcases a holistic understanding of organizational success. Garg’s emphasis on empathy, kindness, and trust-building highlights the critical role of emotional intelligence in modern leadership. As Better.com continues to shape the landscape of homeownership accessibility, Garg’s commitment to nurturing a mission-driven, empowered workforce serves as an example for leaders aspiring to foster enduring success.
In a world where leadership styles are continually redefined, Garg’s willingness to openly discuss his journey towards becoming a more empathetic leader is both insightful and inspiring. The Better.com co-founder’s pursuit of growth, not only in terms of business but also in terms of personal development, showcases a nuanced approach to leadership that values both results and human connection. As the company’s workforce evolves and adapts to changing market dynamics, Garg’s transformation will likely play a pivotal role in shaping Better.com’s future trajectory.
-by Kashvi Gala