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How you can improve organisational health in the new world of work

At a time when remote or hybrid working has become more of a rule than an exception, it’s becoming more and more difficult to develop connections with existing colleagues, let alone successfully onboard employees.

In this new world of work, organisational health, a company’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than its competitors, is in need of a boost. Connecting and engaging employees in such a way that they can excel in their jobs, leading to the empowerment of an entire workforce, remains possible even in medium-sized and large companies. But how can it be achieved?

What is ‘organisational health’?

Organisational health is built on a balance of short-term performance and long-term wellbeing. It depends on having happy and productive employees, combined with satisfied and loyal customers. Far from being just another buzzword, ‘organisational health’ is fundamental to a company’s success. In fact, organisational health was deemed so important by McKinsey & Company that the consulting firm carried out a 10-year study of over 1,500 companies across 100 countries. The results included the discovery of direct link between health and company performance.

Although there is no secret formula to guaranteeing good organisational health, there are some important considerations to bear in mind. Alignment is key to ensuring that everyone - from the CEO to the newest recruit - is working towards the same goal. Attention to employee wellbeing will also ensure you have a happy workforce, while supportive workflows increase productivity and enhance the employee experience. In addition, ensuring your employees have access to a personal development pathway means they will be less likely to seek new pastures. If you keep these factors in mind, you can maintain a good state of organisational health and reap the rewards of the strong collective performance it delivers.

A focus on employee-centric solutions

It is often said that employees are a company’s most valuable asset - but it doesn't always feel that way. Boosting employee-centricity at your organisation is about much more than just deploying the latest HR solution; it is about creating an entire ecosystem that improves engagement in a multi-faceted manner. Of course, any digital platform you use to deliver this should have an HR dimension, but it should also have a broader agenda.

Organisations have to restructure how they connect with their employees. Instead of remaining satisfied with a myopic focus on human resources, the multi-generational workplace of today demands an employee’s total experience be considered. Perks or salary increases will not lead to higher engagement levels. Instead, organisations should seek a deeper understanding of their employees’ motivations and ambitions - co-designing experiences around them. The right digital solutions can deliver the things that your employees truly care about. They can ensure workplace slogans around “engagement” aren’t dismissed as mere buzzwords but have tangible impact.

Data-based decisions

The ubiquity of digital solutions means that companies now have access to more data than ever - the challenge is how best to use this data to improve organisational health. Access to reliable data can help empower leadership and enable HR and communications staff to better understand employees - their strengths, challenges and goals - and greatly improve engagement.

But data won’t lead to better decision-making or improved organisational health by itself. Companies first need to better understand the people behind the data. Ask open questions (or even closed ones) that are personalised and directly relevant to the employee experience. Try to understand your employees more deeply by using technology for personalised conversations at scale rather than the one-size-fits-all, standardised employee questionnaire. Don’t just send out the same old boring survey. That might provide you with plenty of data - but it won’t be much use.

Creating your employee personas

Europe-wide, a staggering 46% of employees feel as though their employers don’t understand them or their potential. Although organisations would love to give each of their employees a voice, many feel as though it just isn’t feasible. The scale and geographic spread of their workforce (particularly in the age of hybrid working) makes gathering useful employee data a challenge. But not an insurmountable one.

By grouping employees into different personas based on factual data, organisations can quickly grasp employee perspectives and make better decisions as a result. Personas let you connect with workers wherever they are, helping management quickly connect with their teams, set relevant agendas, and nourish communication.

Make your strategies actionable

Even if you’ve collected plenty of relevant data, it doesn’t actually mean much sitting on the page. It won’t boost engagement or improve your collective performance unless it’s transformed into action. For businesses to improve their organisational health in a tangible way, they need to be able to interpret the data they acquire.

Improving organisational health doesn’t depend on one-off surveys or an occasional feedback meeting. It comes from continuous engagement, whether this stems from an employee app, a cultural change, or a digital transformation project. Approximately 80% of companies that took concrete action on organisational health saw an improvement, with earnings and total returns to shareholders also increasing by 18 and 10% respectively compared with the S&P 500 average. These may be impressive returns - but they were achieved through action - decisions, not just data.

How Plek can help

There might not be any shortcuts to good organisational health, but that doesn’t mean companies have to manage the transition to the new world of work on their own. Plek helps businesses to improve cooperation, alignment, internal communication, employee involvement and knowledge sharing.

The various solutions that Plek offers, from people analytics to smart conversations and social intranets, contain modules for onboarding, personal development, and innovation. Whether you have tens of employees or thousands, make the most of your collective talents. Find out how Plek can secure better results for your organisation today.

Do you want to know how Plek can boost organizational health in your organization? schedule a free strategy call with Robert-Jan Simons.

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