ASK : “There are so many metrics for measuring the performance of breakthrough teams. What are the common characteristics of employers of choice?”
APPLY : I was honored to attend the 2010 American Psychological Association (APA) Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award (www.phwa.org) ceremony in Washington D.C. in March where five organizations received national recognition for innovative practices. One of the recipients, Leaders Bank, was recognized for both the national PHWA award and as one of ten prestigious best practice honors. Delivering the award, the APA said, “Leaders Bank supports a healthy teams approach that emphasizes trust, inclusion, clear goals, shared leadership, productive conflict, direct communication, willingness to take risks, openness to feedback and commitment to the best interests of the group.” Citing Leaders Bank’s change management program as a best practice, the APA praised the organization’s “understanding of the functional components of change, examining the effects of stress, and learning techniques for effective coping during periods of significant change.”
ACT : Healthy organizations have essential characteristics in common. Below are a few the criteria by which employers of choice are often measured. Assessing your own status in these categories can provide direction for future investment in your workplace culture. As you consider these markers, identify the strengths and vulnerabilities of your team. Communication: transparent communication builds trust and solidifies commitment to the organizational vision. Customer Attention: an intense focus on the client strengthens long term partnerships. Family Atmosphere: organizational leadership creates a sense of community among employees. Learning: the organization supports comprehensive career path engagement in developing employees. Stewardship: engaged employees are committed to the long-term success of the business by acting like owners in the deployment of organizational resources. Succession: team bench strength builds from within as the organization invests in their workforce to create future leaders. Sustainability: a long-term perspective adapts to both prosperous and challenging business cycles. Teamwork: teamwork as a core competency is infused in organizational performance goals and metrics. Values/Mission/Vision: workplace culture is anchored by clear values, consensus mission and a unifying vision. Wellness: work-life-fit is empowered by a holistic approach to healthy lifestyles, stress reduction and effective management of change.