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People are returning refreshed from their mid-year holidays. The energy is high and people are filled with optimism that the second-half of the year will be a good one.

As time passes our enthusiasm and energy generally starts to slow down and eventually tapers off, which is often when a work intervention is needed. Routine, structure, deadlines, and new projects become our reality. It is not unusual for companies to use this time to strategise about the next twelve month’s goals and plans, setting the direction and determining the measurement indicators that will show that they are moving forward and by how much. So, as part of the annual strategy process do companies take the time to go for a regular health check; one that determines where their employees are right now?

In reality this seldom happens, if ever at all. For some unexplainable reason companies think that their employees’ overall health is constantly good, but is it? They put together strategies without checking if their employees are whole-heartedly behind it. This is a costly oversight that will become evident in the months to come. A strategy is only as successful as the people who need to execute it. But what is the organisational health check?

A work intervention or organisational health check comprises of the following checks:

  1. Does our vision statement still excite our teams?
  2. Do our people get a sense of belonging?
  3. Is the mission worthwhile pursuing?
  4. Are the values still shared and actively lived out?

There might be a gap that has developed silently and slowly. This is where the actual and the reality are no longer aligned and this process is usually gradual and can easily go unnoticed. It’s like a murmur and leaders have to be very attuned to becoming aware of any change. As an analogy we can use our own bodies as guides where we might feel the odd ache or pain which disappears for some time and reappears unexpectedly. In the beginning it’s an odd ache or pain but over time of not attending to it, it develops into a serious illness. The murmurs were there all along but we were not mindful and did not hear, see and act.

The four questions are a good starting point for any company to ask on a regular basis. Speak to your teams to get answers, and tune in and listen to the inner voice. Listen for the unspoken. If this is left undetected for too long the process to change can take quite some time – this is time during which the strategy i.e. goals are slowed down, or worse not achieved. Of course we can choose to ignore the health check results and push the strategy through, but it will backfire. If you want to successfully accomplish your company’s strategy, then it’s important to learn to take your teams with you and work collectively on the same goals.

Contact 4seeds to find out more about work interventions.