Robust Organizational Health maximizes profit. Organizational health can be measured by how engaged employees are in the workplace. An engaged employee is one who is actively and effectively performing on the job. Since it is common knowledge that most employees join organizations and leave managers, it is imperative that a yearly examination be taken of how healthy the organization is. One way to determine Organizational Health is to conduct a survey of its total population talent base.
The Gallup Q12 (which stands for the Gallup organization’s 12 “questions”) is one tool that serves as an appropriate intervention for gauging organizational health. Naturally, no intervention is serviceable if action-planning steps and strategies are not devised and placed into effect upon having reviewed the aggregate data (i.e. results).
If employees are given simply the 12 statements without explanation, then the survey can be completed in roughly five minutes. However, it may be wiser to supply a brief description on each statement for those employees who desire more specificity, &/or to prevent misinterpretation. Therefore, to render this intervention adequately, this would lengthen the total survey time to <15 minutes.
Here are the statements as they stand alone, followed by a brief description:
Q1. I know what is expected of me at work.
Description: Clarity of expectation is evident when a team understands from its coach how to pivot, jump, and turn, regardless of the changes. This clarity produces commitment to the work objectives. Lack of clarity can stem from little/no managerial guidance, lack of proper on-boarding, cancelled/unscheduled one-on-one’s, and/or failure of the supervisor to provide a detailed overview of how each team member’s work is connected to another.
Hard data: The average idea from the most committed employees saves companies $11,000; from its less engaged workers, $4,000.
Q2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Description: The most engaged employees report that their managers actively listen, willingly accommodate minor requests, readily argue the business case for securing tools/resources for the team, and frequently make the team’s effectiveness a top priority – usually, by pre-empting any complaints.
Hard data: Managers with high scores here save an average of 20-40% on attrition costs.
Q3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
Description: Managers can maximize the most productivity out of their employees if they invest the time to understand what really drives and motivates their employees. Just because an employee does something well does not mean that is what they believe they do best! Also, those who are single-focus &/or processors may not be able to perform their best if they are in a high-traffic area or are specifically requested to not wear earbuds to prevent noise distractions.
Q4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
Description: Many managers tend to lack appreciation and fail to offer guidance; instead, they point out how the employee “failed to do <xyz>” or “didn’t do <xyz> right.” For every one of those comments, it takes roughly 17 positive comments to counterbalance it. Honest recognition based on measurable outcomes will render higher employee engagement if offered at least once every seven business days.
Q5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
Description: Feeling disconnected or detached, from your work group leads to poor organizational health. Silos form. Outsiders are not a part of the group if they are consistently not invited to lunches or are not privy to information; thereby creating factions. If there is at least someone, especially a manager, who exhibits a personal interest in the employee, then trust and shared understandings can result.
Q6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
Description: This does not necessarily mean a promotion. This means the employee has found a sponsor who understands the unique set of skills, knowledge, and talents they have and assists in helping with a role or position that fits that combination.
Q7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
Description: Team members who cite that they feel heard, valued, and included for their insights score high here. They perceive that they have access to different levels or divisions across the organization, and that their managers work to keep those channels open.
Q8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
Description: Employees are typically drawn towards and are retained by organizations which have a clear mission and purpose. If an organization espouses a universal mission and operates differently, then the employee will likely feel out of alignment. For example, Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. If it were to place parentheses at the end and add “if you have money,” then the employees may not feel committed to the mission.
Q9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
Description: The best managers foster a team spirit that is collaborative and authentic. Competition, sabotage, and vying for a team member’s position destroy the team spirit and productivity. Managers must prevent triangulation, whereby direct reports run to the supervisor to be “saved.”
Q10. I have a best friend at work.
Description: The word “best” throws people off. Essentially, is there someone at work whom you completely trust and to whom you are emotionally loyal? As social animals, we all feel supported by alliances. The presence of friends creates a safe environment – one is free to openly make suggestions, offer opinions, and to dissent.
Q11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
Description: For managers who regularly maintain a discussion of an employee’s progress, 9 out of 10 employees usually consider the review fair. Development plans are on-going, and are best focused on concentrating on how to match the talent with the task(s) where s/he excels.
Q12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Description: The only constant is change. Smart managers mix it up for their employees as part of their planned developed. Examples: Rotational programs, formal training, a mentor or coach (internal/external), conferences, retreats, etc.
To your health!
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator. CorporateLookingGlass.com.