Sunday, July 5, 2015

Three Aspects to Measure Organizational Maturity

The overall organizational health needs to be measured via employee engagement, culture readiness, business agility, and customer-centricity, etc.

Organizations today are over-complex and hyper-competitive, management continues to keep the business running, but the lack of insight on how well their organization is doing for the long term. Is it functioning well or dysfunctional? Which management metrics shall you apply to measure organizational overall health and maturity? Who and what tools are being applied to measure if an organization is healthy or sick? Proactive or reactive? Intelligent or dumb? Customer-centric or operational driven?   

Employee Engagement, Culture Readiness, and Performance Measures: From performance reviews to surveys of employees and management, taken together, these can help define the organization's health. Some groups meet their management goals based on overwork, angry, team members who will quit as soon as the time is right. So the health of the organization is not good. Other groups/team meet their goals based on good teamwork, the strong work ethic of people who love their job. So: perceived stress, engagement level, are hard indicators. It may be one method of assessing the health of an organization, but only if the turnover is appropriately qualified. Not only should you look at overall turnover, but first-year turnover alone can be very telling. Also, take a look at senior leader turnover by itself - especially first-year senior leader turnover. Turnover 'could' be a measure, but if every organization in your location or industry is suffering high turnover, what will this tell you? High turnover for the right reasons is not a sign of poor health for the organization and neither is low turnover for the wrong reason a sign of good health. What constitutes high vs. low turnover is also subject to opinion and must be compared to something - historical averages for the company, compared to the industry, market, national averages, etc. There are more indicators such as:
- "hard" indicators, like sickness, requests for internal job rotation, claims regarding treatment/ performance, and subject of disciplinary measures, etc
- then there are the engagement surveys
-also, culture readiness and assessment
-finally had been introduced a perceived stress level survey
Sector and company average values are used. All measurements/ evaluations/ information need to be benchmarked before any interpretation, to the purpose to isolate the "real" signal.

Agility measures: HR departments sit on tons of data, the use of which hits the server and just stagnates. From an HR perspective, the vendor of a company's HRIS system needs to be leaned on to look at those that may tell stories. Beyond the HRIS metrics, many companies are using various things to help measure organizational health. Just as with individuals, one can be healthy, but not necessarily productive. All the metrics may point in the right direction, yet productivity and performance may trend in other directions. What needs to be injected into the daily life of an organization may require more pointed investigation. Specifically looking for aspects of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and trust amongst other things, that relate to, but would not be a complete sampling of, organizational health. Attrition can be helpful and healthy for an organization, so it is important to define the context in which it is occurring. Only then will you know if the result is high or low, healthy or unhealthy. Overall, keeping track of the following factors will help improve organizational maturity:
-Safety Net: Know what it means to be on track; know when you've gone off track; know how to get back on track.
-Communication Management: All communication, especially cross-functional, is collaborative. Trust, Transparency, Team satisfaction, Individual motivation, Individual Morale, etc.
-Team Performance: Be guided by values and principles; have knowledge of practices. Work as a team rather than a collection of individuals.
-Complexity Management: Eliminate unnecessary complexity (organizational structure), enhance necessary complexity (design complexity, social collaboration)
-Knowledge Management: Inbuilt knowledge transfer, context management, information management., etc.

The customer-centricity measures: An Organization’s Customer Centricity (CC) score is the measurement of the gap. On one side of the gap is how well you understand your customers, and on the other side is how well you deliver to your customers. The narrower the gap then the more CC you are. Once recognition of the gap exists then the journey starts towards CC starts. Measuring how well you are delivering to your customers is relatively easy, but developing a true measure of how well one understands their customers is the hard part. It is akin to measuring the difference between somebody knowing something versus understanding something.

The problem with measurement is that more often, the metric is very subjective. That is, from a scientific methods perspective, there is no way to run a real experiment to try one process against another. Each organization is different, but this will not stop an organization from measuring components of things that are measurable, just keep the measuring process not too rigid, focus on measuring things really matter, with the ultimate goals to improve organizational performance, health, agility, and maturity.


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