I can already feel you shaking your head “yes” as you sadly relate to the title of this blog. We’ve all been there . . . a part of corporations, teams or departments that are misaligned and unhealthy in some way. As a result, business priorities and sense of direction may be in chaos or at least a constant state of flux. Employees start to feel more like a number and less like a valued member. Motivation and morale plummet. Mutual respect and trust suffers. Workplace gossip thrives while productivity sags.
How can any of this be positive for you or the organization? The answer is “it’s not.” But you know what? The sum of an organization’s health is the sum of its people . . . meaning YOU can impact the organization’s health as much as it can impact yours! Really!
We All Have Responsibility for an Organization’s Health
My message, folks, is that we all have a responsibility – and vested interest – to help make our organization, teams and departments as healthy as possible. If you do, then we all benefit. In fact, it’s only logical. You’re already working there investing 40 – 60+ hours a week, why not become as pro-active about our corporation’s health as possible? And in so doing, you have a better chance of improving your own health, lowering stress levels and creating the real work-life balance you want and deserve.
I know this may sound like a tall order or, at the very least, a complete oversimplification of corporate culture. To be clear, I am not suggesting that your efforts can “change the world.” But I am suggesting that you can impact your circle of influence which is a first step. And just imagine the positive impact if every employee in your company took this first step!
So how do you get started in making sure your “little neck of the woods” is healthy? By addressing what I call the Five Core Areas of Corporate Health.
The 5 Core Areas of Corporate Health
Before we dive in, I’m not trying to alienate anyone who doesn’t consider themselves part of a “corporation.” On the contrary, by “corporation,” I mean anyone who is associated to a group, regardless of whether or not it’s a for-profit or not-for-profit group. These core areas apply universally regardless of business size or mission.
So let’s get to it. Healthy organizations – and its people – pro-actively focus on taking care of the following 5 core areas. In doing so, the organization becomes healthier and its people become healthier.
- The Company
- Your Function and/or primary responsibilities
- Your Stakeholders
- Your Team
How to Take Care of these Five Areas
While the areas seem simple enough, making sure each area stays healthy is not. Like the colors of a rainbow, the complexities and intricacies involved are limitless. At least for now, let’s brush over each area and get you, at the very least, moving in the right direction. The key is asking and answering these questions, assessing them honestly and doing something better around the not so healthy areas.
- Take Care of Your Company:
- Do you know why your company exists? How do they “keep the lights on,” pay their bills? What are their primary products or services they offer to their customers? Who are their primary customers? What does their culture stand for? What is its mission/vision? Not knowing the answers to these questions makes it impossible for an individual contributor, leader or team to effectively take care of their company.
- Take Care of Your Function and/or Your Primary Responsibilities:
- Do you know what your company considers to be the MOST important contribution of your function as a department leader . . . or as an individual contributor? The difference between knowing and not knowing is huge when it comes to how to spend your time, how you prioritize, and even how you will be recognized in the long run.
- Take Care of Your Stakeholders: Stakeholders are any individuals/groups outside of your team who depend on you to deliver a product or service to them.
- Who are your key internal stakeholders? What do they MOST need from you to be “happy and healthy?” Who are you external stakeholders? What do they need from you to be “happy and healthy?”
- Take Care of Your Team:
- Whether or not you are the leader of the team or a member of the team, what are you doing to take care of your team? What does your team need from you to be healthy? What does your team need from you to feel empowered, supported and valued?
- Take Care of Yourself:
- What are you doing to take care of yourself personally? No one is any good if they are operating on empty. Work is a part of your life, it is NOT your whole life. What are you doing to fill your cup, re-juvenate?
- What are you doing to take care of yourself professionally? Are you investing in yourself professionally, pushing your area of expertise, keeping up with the times? We are in a world of constant and rapid change, how are you doing at changing and upping your game?
- Are you growing as a leader? To be clear, everyone is a leader, even those without any reports. We all have areas and responsibilities that we must own and by default lead. And we all must exude leadership skills when we interact with others. How are you doing here?
Whew…that’s a lot to chew on! No worries, we are going to tackle and break down each area in future blogs. For now, your goal – and responsibility – is to keep each “Health” area on the forefront of your minds and actions when working within your corporation.
Your Leadership Challenge:
Assess each “health” area for yourself. Identify your low areas and create a simple plan to start tackling it now. Your health – and your organization’s health – depends on it!
I’m Here to Help You Own It
Privately send me your challenges, questions and comments. I can’t guarantee I’ll have all the answers, but I will be candid, truthful and genuine. All of us can inspire, lead and achieve and drive higher performance and organizational health if we simply work at it.