Poor organization health can wreak havoc on an organization's culture resulting in inefficient work, unsafe behavior, high employee turnover, and unanticipated expenses; all impacting the company's bottom line.
And just like with your own health, the first step on the road to a speedy recovery is identifying what is wrong. Any medical professional will tell you it is important to see a doctor regularly, even if you do not feel ill. Benefits include finding serious illnesses before they cause a problem, improving the odds of a favorable outcome with early treatments, and avoiding higher expenses associated with not treating serious issues right away. The same reasoning is true for business organizations as well.
To that end, there are several things all organizations should consider when assessing their health.
- What is your current data telling you about your organization?
All organizations track and monitor metrics to gauge performance. Much in the same way your blood pressure and heart rate provide information about your body’s condition, KPIs related to production or equipment provide critical information about the organization’s performance.
But like blood pressure and heart rate, they don’t tell the whole story. For example, your organization may have zero open action-items related to accident investigations. On the surface this would indicate you have taken the necessary steps to correct the identified issues, but how many of your recent incidents have causal factors in common with each other? Different incidents with similar causes indicate a systemic issue rather than an isolated “operator error.” More importantly, it’s a signal that the actions you are taking are not fixing what’s wrong.
- What do your employees really think?
Are your employees open and honest with you? Are they informed when it comes to business decisions and how their actions are connected to the organization’s near and long-term goals and objectives? Do they know what the organization’s mission, vision, and values are and do they believe the organization lives up to its values? Accurate answers to these questions can provide tremendous insight into an organization’s culture and how to improve it. The best way to find out what your employees are really thinking is to give them ways to provide anonymous feedback. Many people avoid having routine medical lab work done because they are afraid of what the results will tell them. Organizations resist providing feedback opportunities that are truly anonymous because they fear not being able to address identified issues at the “source” (the employee raising the issue).
Well-meaning organizations can inadvertently sow mistrust within the workforce by awkwardly addressing issues raised by employees during anonymous surveys, and sometimes it just seems easier to do without. But anonymous feedback is critical in assessing your organization’s health. If you do this right, you will hear things you do not like. It is important to remember that whether the feedback you receive is an accurate reflection of reality or not is completely irrelevant. The fact that the perception exists is the issue and understanding why is your first step towards improving your company’s culture. This type of insight is difficult to attain without anonymous feedback.
- Communicate what you’ve discovered and what you intend to do about it.
Just like any doctor visit you’ve ever had, at some point you expect the doctor to tell you what she’s found, what’s working well and what she thinks you need to work on. The same is true with your employees. They all have a vested interest in the success of the company. Healthy people want to be part of healthy organizations, and if there is something wrong, they all want to know what it is so they can help make it better. It is important to provide everyone in the organization with open, honest, and transparent feedback about what is wrong and how you intend to fix things. This can be difficult, especially when addressing issues that stem from the top. But to gather buy-in and align everyone on the same objectives, open communication and transparency is essential.
If you are curious to learn more about evaluating your organization’s health, Vetergy Group can help. Our Operational Resilience Evaluation (ORE) is like a routine medical exam for your organization. Our methodology includes interviewing personnel, facilitating Focus Groups, engaging personnel in the field, and researching and cataloguing data to analyze and expose key findings with recommended corrective actions. Our Operational Resilience Index (ORI) Benchmark Survey uses quantitative and qualitative data to aid organizational leaders in assessing the overall health and readiness of their operations. We invite you to take our complimentary, custom self-assessment for your organization where we will give you a glimpse into our ORI Benchmark Survey. Click here to learn more.
If you are concerned about the culture at your organization, or just want to gain a better understanding of what is driving decisions and prevailing mindset at your company, contact Vetergy Group to learn more about how we can help your organization.
Click HERE to start your self-assessment for a glimpse into your organization.