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Is my organisation sick, or what?


What with it being coaching and mentoring month on we wanted to cover the issue with a blog or two, but thought it would be good to come at the topic from a slightly different angle…asking the question:

How can you identify an unhealthy organisation? 

We talk about organisational health with clients all the time, and while executive coaching and mentoring can be great for the individual, what is the overall aim? Well, often in a corporate environment it is to boost the business success, improve productivity, along with motivation and loyalty.

So, with that in mind, we’ve put together the following points on how you can identify health gaps within a company, that coaching and mentoring programmes could have a massive impact on:

Employee engagement – If there was ever an award for an overused term that very few people can actually identify, employee engagement would be up there. While everyone associated with managing and leading knows that employee engagement is crucial, spotting a lack of it is tricky. In its simplest form: Are people happy?
Presenteeism – If the people within your team or company turn up to work on time and leave on time, but really don’t look as though they are ‘there’ at all, you have a problem with presenteeism. This is about turning up to work physically, but not mentally. A clear factor if determining organisational health.
Productivity levels – This isn’t as simple as: “Production has gone down, we have an unhealthy organisation.” It is important to assess why production has gone down, and if that is more to do with the people at work and the way they are being managed and motivated, this could be a symptom of an unhealthy organisation. But be sure not to jump to conclusions, it could be connected to economical factors, for instance.
Direct conversations – Ask the people within your team or company how they feel about work. The internet is a goldmine for employee surveys, so adapt one to your business and start talking. If problems are thrown up like, “I don’t feel motivated” or “I dread coming into work”, the health of the company is at risk. But these negatives can be positive, how else would you have identified them to deal with them?
Breakdown in teams – Teams are so crucial to the functionality of an organisation and have a direct impact on overall health. From boardroom all the way though, we need to work effectively together. Observe teams in action, are they cohesive and purposeful? A team-specific leadership training programme will give teams a huge boost, but it is up to company leaders and team leaders to identify gaps in the first place. Organisational health is dependent on effective teams communicating well.

I hope these are useful, we find that coaching programmes and team building programmes can get the very best out of people, but it is so important to keep a long-term view on this. What is the long-term aim? This is where return on investment is actually measurable.

James Pentreath
Leadership Development Programme

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