We’re living in a time when the word “health” is on everyone’s lips and the age of Covid has brought with it a greater focus on, and prioritisation of, both mental health and physical wellbeing. As a result, we’ve all tried to take steps towards improving our health: we take vitamins and supplements, do more exercise, eat healthier, wash our hands, and wear a mask. But in order for us to know what we need to do to improve our health, we have to visit a doctor, be aware of potential risks, or take note of our symptoms.
Are you approaching the health of your organisation with the same level of maintenance and evaluation as you do yourself?
Perhaps you’re reading this thinking, “Well, we are a top performing company so obviously we are in good health.” But the reality is, even top-performing businesses have times – could be a day, could be a week, could be a month – when their productivity is not where it should be and a few cracks start to show. A regular health check ensures you’ll be able to notice any possible flaws in your systems and processes, and implement strategies or practices to ensure the cracks don’t become permanently damaging.
Or, maybe you’re from a smaller organisation, still trying to find your feet. Mckinsey & Co found companies that work on their health demonstrate tangible performance gains in as little as 6 to 12 months. They define healthy organisations as being “high functioning and highly successful over long periods of time”. So getting a health check while your business is still growing its potential could be the kickstarter you need to boost your competitive edge.
Organisational health is not only about employee engagement and workplace culture
Don’t get us wrong – those two factors are really important. In fact, of our 4 key learnings from 2020, two of them had to do with employee engagement and team culture. But the health of your organisation is also dependent on other factors, such as its ability to continuously innovate, benchmark against industry trends and implement smooth operational and reporting processes.
Scott Keller & Colin Price, authors of Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage, define organisational health as “the ability of an organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition to sustain exceptional performance over time”.
So what does an organisational health check entail?
It’s vital that you’re routinely checking in on your engineering firm’s functionality, systems, and culture, and don’t just trust in your financial metrics as the determining factor of organisational health.
Although it may seem like financial success should be the determining factor in your organisation’s performance, the top quartile of publicly traded companies in McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index (OHI) delivers roughly three times the returns to shareholders as those in the bottom quartile. In the words of Jon Wolske, the culture evangelist at Zappos, “Your financial metrics can be great, but if dragons are all over your organization, eventually the village will burn.”
An organisational health check is an external assessment at the organisational level that evaluates your company’s systems, processes, operational structure, and workplace culture, compares how you fare against others in your industry, and highlights areas where you could implement strategies for improvement.
A healthy organisation is one that has:
- internal alignment across departments;
- clear and consistent innovation strategies;
- an effective operational workplace system everyone is onboard with;
- leadership that models the values of the company through their behaviour and attitude;
- employees who feel valued, engaged, and inspired;
- an environment that encourages open communication and feedback;
- efficient communication systems for remote workers;
- and more.
Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?
This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.