Time for a Checkup

Saturday, June 1 2013

The largest organ of the body is the skin. It needs to be nourished from both the inside and the outside if we are to be vibrant and healthy. Our skin reflects the state of our health, and just looking at someone can help a doctor make a diagnosis. In a company, the health of an organization is reflected through the attitudes and behaviours of the people who work there.

People also need to be nourished from the inside and the outside.

Inside health is how people feel. Do they feel valued, respected and trusted? Do they come to work feeling motivated and empowered? Do people enjoy working for the company?

Outside health is linked to the environment in which they are working. Are people provided with the right equipment and tools? The right training? Clear expectations? Regular coaching? A supportive team?

Good leaders contribute to organizational health.  Maximize your influence by:

  • Providing regular, effective feedback about what is done well and areas for development. Do so in a way that helps people feel valued and confirms that the company cares about them as individuals.
  • Take time to get to know people, their movtivation, and how to effectively communicate with them.
  • Deal with people in a respectful, courteous manner. Ask for input about what affects the individual’s role.
  • Provide regular coaching that provides guidance and support: day-to-day on the job coaching; situational coaching; and formal coaching focusing on the person and how they are doing.
  • Ensure that teams are set up to succeed, that they are working harmoniously together, and that all team members are given an opportunity to grow and develop.
  • Listen with an open mind to suggestions and feedback. Be willing to change views or direction when appropriate.

Most people wouldn’t go years without a physical checkup; yet, too many companies plod on for years without assessing the health of their organization. Here are some ways to check on your organization’s health:

  1. Ask people for feedback. Get direct feedback from individuals, which works as long as people trust that they can be honest. Administer confidential survey tools such as  CORE or Results-Centred 360 surveys or try using an independent external interviewer.
  2. Determine if your results are in line with your budget.
  3. Assess absenteeism and the retention of top talent.
  4. Measure performance.
  5. Review client and customer feedback.

Do you regularly reflect on the health of your organization? Do you know how healthy it is? What do you need to do to improve it? It is a small investment to find the answers, but left unattended it will cost dearly.