In my line of work as a coach I’m always talking to my clients about ensuring the two sides of their business are thriving. Often this is met with a blank stare, so I explain.
There is the ‘science’ part of a business, starting with the technical delivery of their product or service, as well as the essential functions of finance, marketing, website, PR, buildings etc. And then there is the ‘health’ part, which describes how well it is functioning on the inside – how their staff are interacting, how effectively everyone communicates and how motivated their workforce is. All too often companies only focus on the science of their business and neglect to notice the warning signs of its ‘poor health’. And similar to a human body, this can have a huge impact on its longevity, so it is vital that business leaders and managers start to spot the signs.
Here is a list to illustrate what some of these may look like:
- Leaders, managers, and teams reporting to be constantly on the back foot, always feeling reactionary rather than strategic;
- avoidable mistakes will be happening;
- there is low staff moral;
- long standing (and therefore accepted) miscommunication or frustration within teams and between teams
- constant HR issues, including poor time management, increased sick days and high staff turnover.
There will be lots of reasons for this “poor health” and usually they will have built up over a long time period and therefore can sometimes be hard to spot as they become an accepted part of the culture.
However, to accept and “settle” for these situations is to the business’ peril, as they will start to rot it at its core; so action needs to be taken.
The best place to start before any ‘medicine’ is administered is to run a series of ‘tests’ so that we can understand the situation more clearly and therefore know which type of ‘medication’ will help. (When I say ‘tests’ I do not mean in the literal sense; it would be more accurate to say ‘exploratory findings’ but that didn’t sound as snappy in my analogy!!).
Start at the foundations:
I work with the leaders and managers of a business to find out what their goals and vision are for the organisation. We discuss their values and how they want the business to behave and be seen; this will underpin everything that they do and want their staff to do. We work together on what ‘excellent’ looks like, so that staff understand the expectations of them.
Get personal and team clarity:
I will carry out Clarity 4D Personality Profiling of all senior staff so that they can get a better understanding of themselves, their strengths, and areas for development. I follow this up with doing team profiling sessions so that all staff begin to recognize and value the differences in how they behave and communicate and how this impacts how they work together. They can use this information to start to create strategic team goals and action plans, to ensure they are all moving forward in a common direction.
Keeping the body firing on all cylinders:
Once everyone is clearer on who they are as people and teams, as well as knowing what the common goal is, I continue to work with staff, either one to one or in groups, to ensure that we are ‘feeding the body’ with the right elements in order for all the vital organs to work as effectively as possible. This would cover areas such a time management, self-management, communication effectiveness, goal setting and supporting them to ensure that all decisions and actions are taking staff and the business towards their values and goals and not away from them.
Like a human body, good businesses health is not just a goal to reach and think you are done; it becomes a way of life and should be a vital priority to ensure maximum productivity, happiness of staff and longevity of the organisation.