Strategic Human Capital Insights

3 Part Checklist: Building and Sustaining Organizational Health

1/13/15 10:29 AM

business_successAs part of your 2015 Manager Resolution, think about your organization's health.  Take a very honest look at how you would rate the current organizational health of your group, division or company.  And as you look to 2015, how do you plan for an organizationally healthy group that starts out healthy and stays healthy throughout the year?   

What do we mean by organizational health?  Health is a fairly simple concept.  On a personal level, we use many terms to describe health.  The positive terms are robust, energetic, improving, strong, vibrant.  On the less than positive side, the terms are lethargic, sick, failing, deteriorating and declining. These same terms apply to organizational groups?  That's why the term organizational health resonates with managers.  It reflects the total dynamic impact of the interactions and contributions of all the individuals within each group.  

So what should you do to assess the organizational health of your group?  (Keep in mind, your managerial mindset needs to be totally objective & completely honest.)

Part 1: Planning Phase: Rank and Weight, In Ideal Terms, the Individual Tasks Requirements of Each Job

By doing this, you have now created your objective benchmark.  This is your starting point – your focused ideal.  In organizational health terms, this is what robust looks like, giving you a clear picture or vision.

Risk:  Many managers get lost during this phase.  They think about what the employee has chosen to do rather than consider what the employee has been hired to do.  The job morphs into the person rather than the person morphing into the job. The benchmark can easily become distorted.

 

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Part 2:  Assessing Phase: Honest Assessment Against the Benchmark

Now that the benchmark has been determined, you start by honestly assessing each person on your team against the benchmark.  By remaining honest to the benchmark, you evaluate employees against the real benchmark of the job, not the part of the job employees have chosen to do. This may be a reality check. Remain honest to the benchmark, no matter how difficult, or you will introduce systemic flaws into your assessment process and you will have violated Part 1.

Evaluate your entire team.  Be sure to account for heavily weighted tasks.  This information will create focus. 

Risk:  Anything done from this point onward, ­if it is not honest, will be flawed with follows errors and subjectivity.


Part 3: ­ Implementation Phase: Create an Organizational Snapshot

Organize the accumulated individual and team task assessments to create an organizational snapshot.  The organizational snapshot will tell you where you are now and where you need to go.  Using organizational health terminology, you can begin to determine if your group is robust or lethargic.  Are parts of your group robust while others simply limp along?  What will the ‘lag and drag effect’ of the lethargic have on the more robust members of your team?  Thinking in terms of organizational health can help you see the group dynamics of your team.

Just like personal health changes, so does organizational health.  As a manager, it’s your job to get your group healthy and keep it that way.  It is also important for you to be continually mindful of when individual changes take place.  Organizational heath is a continually changing dynamic state.  

Risk:  Organizational health must be continually monitored and adjusted.  Managers must have an implementation plan to move their group to a healthy status and a plan to make continual adjustments, when necessary!   Beware, if you take your eye off the organizational health, prepare for unhealthy times. 


So when we say ­we wish you a healthy, efficient and profitable new year - think about your organization¹s heath as part of your 2015 Manager’s Resolution.

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Topics: Organizational Effectiveness

Posted by Joanne Flynn

Joanne Flynn

In 2014, Joanne Flynn founded Phoenix Strategic Performance, a strategic human capital advisory firm. Prior to this, Joanne was Vice President at Goldman Sachs for 10 years responsible for global learning and development. She then led the consulting practice of Phoenix Group International, a consulting firm specializing in global financial service. Joanne is now taking best practices from the people-intensive financial services industry and adapting those best practices to startup and growth businesses. She is a thought leader in the areas of strategic organizational alignment, organizational agility, human capital gap analysis, leadership challenges for the new workplace and transformation leadership.

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