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Most people know that having a regular physical and wellness check-up with your physician can not only resolve health challenges but also proactively identify risk areas for you to watch out for.. I have a great physician – and that has certainly been my experience.

But what about for your organization – does it have a regular check-up? Diving deep into your organization’s health and checking its “vital signs” can highlight current problems and proactively identify where slight adjustments or more significant changes are needed.

I have repeatedly witnessed the power of this kind of “organizational health check”. One organization I worked with was struggling – with many challenges like internal politics, frustrated customers and clunky processes. I was able to partner with the senior leader to conduct a health assessment and ultimately identify several key priorities and actions to be taken to help restore the health of the organization. They were able to improve key metrics and the team’s morale as a result!

As the year is coming to a close, it is an ideal time for an organization health check. Checking on the vital signs of your organization and team can inform your future strategy and goals, which impact your annual business and people results including financials, customer experience, employee experience, quality and so much more.

Where do we begin?

Organizational health is determined by four primary vital signs. Based on the results of your health check-up, you can more accurately diagnose the needs of your organization or team to better determine the future prescriptions and interventions.

Vital Sign #1: Clarity of Purpose and Direction

Your organization’s purpose and direction are like your central nervous system – they should direct everything you do and help you clarify what you will notdo. When team members at all levels of your organization are clear about this, they know intuitively what they should do without being micromanaged. To quote from the US Marines’ playbook, they can “improvise, adapt and overcome” in the moment – they are agile. This clarity is a foundation for an effective organization.

Consider thesekey questions to evaluate this vital sign:

  1. How clear are our organization’s purpose, vision, strategy and goals?
  2. How clear are our team members at all levels of the organization, especially those closest to our customers?

Vital Sign #2: Organization Alignment

The degree to which your organization is aligned to the purpose and direction is the degree to which you will effectively execute and deliver results.

Think of a rowing crew. The more in sync their movements are, the faster they will glide across the water. If there are a few crew members rowing backwards, they’ll slow everyone down. It is the same for an organization.

Consider thesekey questions to evaluate this vital sign:

  1. To what degree is our purpose and direction aligned with our customers’ and shareholders’ highest priorities?
  2. How smooth and efficient are our processes vs. clunky and bureaucratic?
  3. How well does our organization structure and talent support us executing our strategy?

Vital Sign #3: Employee Experience

Your employees execute on your purpose and serve your customers. They deliver the results. If your team members’ experience is positive and meets or exceeds their expectations, they will tend to be more engaged, perform better and deliver greater results.

Consider thesekey questions to evaluate this vital sign:

  1. To what extent are our employees delighted by working for us? How do we know?
  2. How well do we execute at key points in an employee’s journey with us? Recruitment, First Day, Onboarding, Training, Career Development, Rewards & Recognition, etc.
  3. To what extent do our employees contribute their very best? How frequently do they recommend others to work here?

Vital Sign #4: Results

If you can’t deliver the operational and business results you won’t be in business long. The common mantra is true: “No margin. No mission.” Solid results allow you to fulfill your purpose and sustain your business over time.

Consider these key questions to evaluate this vital sign:

  1. How are we doing at achieving the organizational results to satisfy or delight our customers, shareholders, etc?
  2. How well are we positioned to sustainably produce superior results year-over-year?


The end of the year is a great time to take stock of your organization’s health and make plans that will bring progress and positive results. Don’t delay! Solve today’s problems and prevent tomorrow’s by evaluating your organization’s wellness.