Organizational health should be at the core of every business.

Even with all of the right advantages, sometimes a company can struggle. They may have some of the top talent in the industry and the resources they need to meet goals, but for whatever reason, the company does not seem to function as well as you would expect.

For some leaders, this might signal that it’s time to clean house and bring in new employees or totally restructure the way the company operates. However, the problem might not even be with the overall structure of the organization. For many businesses, the issue that is holding them back is poor organizational health.

The Factors

Several factors go into improving organizational health. To develop a positive workplace that promotes development and optimizes performance, you need to have a strong company culture, open communication, a shared vision, and the ability to adapt when needed. This often includes a shift in management strategy that can affect how employee reviews are administered, how feedback is collected, and how goals are set.

Most business leaders recognize the fact that good organizational health will improve performance. The trouble is that many leaders don’t understand how to achieve this, and they often go about addressing problems in the workplace in the wrong way. Here are a few lessons that can help any business improve their organizational health.

Create a Healthy Work Environment

Improving organizational health is almost impossible if you do not create an environment that is conducive to such a change. Imagine you plant a tree in the desert. You can sit there and hit it with a stick and shout at it to grow, but it never will. If you remove the tree, plant it in fertile soil,  and provide plenty of sunlight and water, it will thrive.

Physical and virtual workplaces must be designed to encourage physical and psychological health. In offices, this could mean healthy snacks, motivational posters dedicated to being active, or signing up the team  for challenging physical activities. Beyond this, it’s important to create a culture that values health and vitality, open communication, and a focus on employee development.

The leadership styles present in the organization must reflect these values. When employees feel safe, they naturally bring their most creative and productive selves to work every day. In highly competitive environments with poor communication, employees may perform well in the short term but they’ll do just enough so that you leave them alone.  

Think About Organizational Health When Hiring

Every company wants to hire the best people for the job. Focusing on elements like skill sets and job history are important, but there is more to hiring the right people than looking for the person with the most impressive resumé.

If you want to improve or maintain organizational health, you need to hire people that fit in well at your company. A talented individual may do great work, but they can cause problems if their values run counter to the values of the organization. Over time, that “rockstar hire” can create conflict and contribute to a negative workplace culture.

Reinforce Healthy Values Every Day

Organizational health has to be the central nervous system of your company. Your core company values are the backbone and nerves that run all throughout your organization. Leadership is the brain that sends the signals to all the different teams. If there are issues at the core, the signals for individual teams and employees will be lost or confused.

Leaders must send signals that promote open communication, healthy workplace relationships, and collaboration. Let your employees know that you support them in their work and address their concerns when they share them with you. By reinforcing these principles every day, you help to ensure that they will become the core values held by all of the individuals that work at the company.

Organizational health is one of the keys to improving business performance. When a company has a strong backbone of values and a commitment to employee development, it will function more effectively, fostering greater innovation and improved morale. For companies that are trying to improve organizational health, it’s important to create and reinforce positive values, and commit to caring for the employees who ensure the success of the organization.