For companies to achieve long-term success, they must create and maintain healthy environments in the workplace. Healthy organizations understand that it takes a collaborative effort to compete in their market segment and produce continuous profits. Healthy organizations have certain characteristics ingrained in their corporate culture. Recognizing and understanding the characteristics of healthy organizations can help you detect problems in your company if it is unprofitable and take corrective steps to operate a successful business. Traits of a healthy organization are:
Healthy companies know how to develop teams that collaborate to achieve common goals. Employees and managers readily offer their assistance to each other to meet corporate objectives.
Healthy organizations possess high employee morale. Employees value their positions in the organizations and desire to work there for a long time. Productivity is high and organizational events are enjoyable and successful.
Companies provide on-the-job training and opportunities for employees to enhance their work-related skills. Organizations bring in other individuals to provide necessary departmental and corporate-wide training.
Good leadership is one of the main characteristics of a healthy organization. Employees have good relationships with management that are based on trust. Managers know how to get employees to function together. When correction is needed, employees readily accept the constructive criticism offered by leaders.
Companies confront poor performance instead of ignoring it. Organizations take corrective actions to improve performance. Upper-level management values the input of employees who make suggestions on how to improve productivity and achieve high performance rates. Companies may even bring in specialists to detect problems and offer solutions.
Healthy organizations understand the risks they are open to and take the necessary steps to protect themselves against them. When an event happens due to organizational risks, a healthy organization learns from the event. Companies use precaution but understand that risks are necessary to facilitate growth.
Healthy organizations know how to recognize and seize good opportunities. Healthy organizations always look for opportunities to grow. They also know how to adapt to technological or operational changes. They try to stay ahead or inline with changes in the industry and business environment.
Effective businesses use open communication channels on all levels of operations. Industry Week defines an open communication culture as a business operation "in which information flows freely and is easily accessible to both insiders and to the public at large." Allowing open communication of non-confidential information creates a work climate encouraging participation by your management, workers and clients.If you were to grade your company based on the traits listed above, what grade would you give? Perhaps it’s time to assess, evaluate and consider the following:
As a company leader, you notice when your company and its employees are not functioning in the healthiest of ways. As difficult as it is to address this problem, I have found a fun and innocuous way to work on healthy team functioning. I have used Cooperative Games to promote groups working together to overcome a common problem or to obtain a goal. The interactive challenge and the elimination of competition allows for many possibilities to explore group process.
Here’s an overview of some of the cooperative games I utilize:
These five games and the discussion that they generate could take about an hour or hour and a half. They're so much fun, but they actually engage the participants in deep conversation. I have been teaching them to the first-year graduate students in Drexel's Masters in Creative Arts in Therapy and Counseling Program since 1996 because the application of Cooperative Games reaches beyond counseling. In my experience, the exercises and resulting dialogue addresses elements necessary for healthy company functioning.