Tracking financial performance is standard practice for any business, and gives you a clear, universal benchmark that tells you how well you’re doing. However, measuring and justifying your investment in your people has typically been much more difficult.

Employee surveys can tell part of the story but how do you then prove that your investment is making an overall difference to your business? Qlearsite’s “Organisational Fitness” tool is an effective way of measuring your company’s performance and gives you specific metrics for the people-related areas of your business. Crucially, the results are linked directly to your growth, profit and customer Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Fig 1- UK QlearFit Map

The 16 questions that are most predictive of growth, profit and customer service, presented in a simple yet powerful model

Fitter organisations have a competitive advantage that drives value

What is Organisational Fitness?

The Organisational Fitness tool goes beyond traditional engagement surveys and includes 16 key areas of people-focused performance such as inclusion, leadership, communication and decision-making (as seen in Fig 1).

At its simplest, it is a diagnostic map of your organisation’s state of health. By asking one short, online survey across your company, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, prioritise the areas you need to focus on and establish the actions that will help your organisation to achieve more. From these results we can confidently predict business outcomes, link them to specific benefits and track progress over time.

Qlearsite has validated this framework through significant research with more than 2,000 UK companies, and we’ve made our findings available for free via our website. There are lots of examples which explore the 16 core areas of Organisational Fitness and benchmark data to explain how your Organisational Fitness score may affect the health of your business.

Let the data do the talking

The companies with high Organisational Fitness scores also had high growth, profit and customer NPS. In our research, UK companies were consistently strong in: Role Fit, Empowerment and Collaboration.

Our research suggests that the UK companies with the lowest Organisational Fitness scores performed poorly in three core areas:

  • Purpose and values – not reflected in the working practices. If you improve this, it’ll have a specific impact on your customer service. There’s a correlation; companies who were good at this were nearly 11 times more likely to have great customer service.
  • Listening – not making people feel listened to and respected. Improve this and you’ll find your growth goes up. If you have a good listening score, you’re nearly five times more likely to have high growth
  • Tools – making sure that systems, processes and tools are fit for purpose. We found that when people say they have the right tools, there’s a 70% chance that you also have a strong NPS. Essentially, if you give them the tools to do their job efficiently, customer service will improve.

So with one survey you’ve got an immediate and accurate snapshot of how your organisation is performing. As diagram 1 shows, it is a visual map that shows where you’re doing well and where you need to improve – overall you can create tangible KPIs; perfect for an executive summary to get buy-in from the necessary people. It’s also great for communicating to staff your plans to improve the business.

If you want to go into greater depth, there’s an option to follow up with more qualitative surveys about specific elements of your results. The questions in this second stage all have free-text answers which we analyse with natural language processing. This means your teams can answer honestly, in their own words.

A lot of companies use employee engagement surveys but end up with vast amounts of comments that they don’t have time to analyse properly. Qlearsite uses natural language processing to cleverly group topics and sentiment almost immediately. It helps to work out exactly how to improve any areas with low scores.

Organisational Fitness is the new benchmark for a truly holistic, evidence-based view of your business, giving you greater insight into people-focused areas that will improve your bottom line.

For more information, please contact Pete Clark at p.clark@qlearsite.com or to download the full research report, visit: https://bit.ly/3617FVl

by Pete Clark, Qlearsite

Turning Employee Data into Meaningful Insight to Deliver Sustainable Change

To maximise the benefits, and areas of potential improvement suggested by the insights gained from the Organisational Fitness tool, organisations need to translate the findings into real and sustainable change. This is one of the reasons OE Cam and Qlearsite work together. The issues identified are addressed by the psychology-based interventions designed and facilitated by OE Cam.

Integrating purpose and values into working practices

The first factor highlighted in Qlearsite’s research is the lack of purpose and values being reflected in working practices. This is a real ‘Fitness Opportunity’; to set goals that are important, meaningful and motivating and linking them to employee behaviours. For example, I have seen behaviours from previous colleagues that made me question whether they really had the interest of the company at heart or understood what our customers require from us. I have also worked with people who are extremely good at their job, but the way they go about it makes their colleagues reluctant to help them.

What is required is a clear approach that guides the way of working between teams and individuals in order to deliver the company’s purpose. Fit organisations embed their values into the day-to-day processes and working practices of the business. One way to do this is to develop a meaningful behaviour / ways of working ‘framework’. This does not dictate what people do or the ways they have to behave, moreover it is a framework which helps people make decisions about these things.

OE Cam is currently working with an organisation to translate their values into ways of working. Using an agile approach with the client’s project team, we have developed a framework that helps staff to understand the ways of working that will help the organisation deliver its strategic ambition in the way that supports their values. The organisation is embedding these new ways of working by using the framework as part of their continuous conversations around performance; in this way the discussion is not just what is done but also HOW it is done.

In future, the framework will also be used to help talent acquisition and reward so the lifecycle of the member of staff is impacted at all stages.

The benefits of really listening

The second factor common to organisations with low fitness scores was listening. ‘Listening’ is defined as giving genuine feedback and ensuring people’s voices are heard and according to Qlearsite’s research, listening to employees is 14 times more likely to result in the highest NPS.

As well as being important for the wellbeing of employees, the data highlights the very tangible negative impact on business performance of not listening to staff. For OE Cam, this measure is an indicator that the organisation, teams and individuals are not practising what we call ‘authentic’ listening.

Qlearsite’s research suggests that “Highly purposeful organisations are 1.5 times more likely to be highly profitable than peers”.

  • We have worked with many people in different organisations to help them understand each of the elements of authentic listening shown in diagram 2 below. Through coaching and role-play, individuals gain greater knowledge of their own approach and improve the following:
  • Makes them a more effective communicator i.e. one where the intent and purpose of the communication is clear and achieved
  • Creates a listening environment that allows individuals and teams a chance to attend to others, as well as themselves, with respect and genuine interest
  • A listening environment is not simply for personal wellbeing. It is important in optimising creativity and empowers employees to reach their full potential which ultimately improves the overall health of the organisation
  • Is a survival skill for leaders and organisations.

Richard Branson frequently cites listening as one of the main factors behind the success of Virgin (2). So, if listening comes up as an area for improvement it is important to address the cause.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply (1)

Conclusion

In the latter part of this article we have shown how OE Cam can help organisations translate the insights from two areas of Qlearsite’s Organisational Fitness Tool into interventions that will help maximise the benefits of having this knowledge.

Regardless of the areas of development that are shown for a specific organisation, the key is to do something with the findings. For more information on how OE Cam can help achieve this, please contact Julie Brophy.

julie.brophy@oecam.com

 

References:

  1. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey (2013)
  2. Virgin https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/successfully-solving-problems