When you think of organizational health, what comes to mind?

Is it morale? Employee engagement and attitude? Financials? Collaboration and positive growth?

Maybe organizational health encompasses all of the above – plus more.

In his book “Images of Organization,” Gareth Morgan describes eight metaphors for an organization. To me, the most accurate representation of an organization is a living organism, such as a human being.

An organization is similar to the human body in that it has phases of growth and stillness, has moments of great health and great fatigue, has the ability to adapt to new environments, and is laser focused on change.

Just as everyone wants to inhabit a healthy body, employees want to work for a thriving company that is well positioned in the market. But how do you know whether your organization is healthy?

In “Origin of the Species,” Charles Darwin’s research and observations suggest that it is not the strongest who survives, but the one that can adapt the most. The same is true with respect to organizational health. The ability to adapt and remain flexible is crucial.

From an individual standpoint, organizational health is about a person’s capacity to adapt to changes, develop the skills required to succeed in new roles, change perspective, and raise the level of education.

From an organizational standpoint, it is about adapting to new customer needs and requirements, identifying market changes, remaining alert and innovative, and engaging in forward thinking. The ability to analyze data, gain insights, and use them to deliver results is critical to an organization’s health. Using a workforce tool such as Caliper Analytics will help your company do just that.

The concept of organizational health has many facets, from good thinking to good planning to good goal setting to good communication. But one fundamental component is employee engagement. People who believe their work matters are more engaged; engaged employees are more focused and energized; energized people are more productive; and companies with productive employees experience greater organizational health.

In the end, isn’t it all about people and the value they deliver for one another, for businesses, and for the world in general?

Let us know: What is your metaphor for an organization?  How do you define organizational health?