One of the more important aspects to creating and sustaining a successful business is developing and maintaining organizational health. Patrick Lencioni, in an interview with Forbes, stated, “The seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has less to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are.”
One of the first action steps Acara proceeds with when working with a new company is to test the state of the business’ organizational health.
We’ve identified ten questions that each and every company needs to consider when assessing organizational health:
- Is there a vision and mission statement that has been reviewed and understood by the current team?
- Is ownership and senior management visible and accessible to employees at all levels; both informally and through formal events such as regular staff meetings?
- Do employees receive recognition (either formally or informally, such as a simple ‘thank-you’) for their contributions and achievements at work, and feel valued by their superior[s]?
- Is employee leadership encouraged and developed through the provision of training via courses and other resources?
- Are employees encouraged to develop their careers and apply for higher-level positions within the company?
- Do organizational and departmental values include treating employees fairly, with respect and dignity?
- Do employees undergo regular performance reviews and receive appropriate performance feedback?
- Are there procedures and systems in place to help people do their jobs and maintain a good sense of control over their work environment?
- Is there a process in place (i.e. an employee feedback system or suggestion box) that enables employees to provide input and ideas on how to improve their work environment? Are these suggestions considered and implemented, when appropriate, within a timely manner?
- Does management support teamwork, innovation and provide employees with challenging work?
If your organization can answer yes to the above ten points, it is both properly and healthily equipped to promote sustainable success. When inevitable roadblocks arise, your business will likely be able to traverse them and recover more rapidly. As Lencioni notes, “…healthy organizations are void of politics and confusion. This allows people, beginning with the leader, to learn from one another, identify critical issues and recover quickly from mistakes.”
By adopting a holistic, comprehensive approach to improving organizational culture, policies, and processes, a business stands to capture a distinct advantageous position relative to the competition.