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What Is This Service?

Our Organizational Health service empowers successful mid-size service firms to get healthy, stay healthy and take control of their future so they have a long run of success. This service unlocks your growth potential and pushes through stall-outs. The Shattuck Group has served more than 70 mid-size service firms, those with 25-100 staff and 10-50 million in revenue. We’ve noticed that certain firms just seem to do better: high employee engagement, low turnover, long-term stability, plans that actually work and above average productivity and profitability. What makes these organizations different? In a word—health. Their employees love the firm and want to see it succeed.

By comparison, staff in unhealthy organizations experience almost the exact opposite. There are constant crises and anxiety, leading to burnout. Turnover is frequent. Leaders openly clash. Strategies almost never come to fruition. No one seems to believe in long-term plans because they’re not sure they’ll be around to see them work out. There’s no sense of ease and little camaraderie between staff. Instead, there’s a death-tight grip on the seriousness of it all.

But here’s the other thing we’ve observed. Organizational health is not an accident. It’s available to almost any organization that will prioritize it, invest in it and commit to it for the long-term. The practices that allow for organizational health are not some dark secret. You probably already know many of them. But knowing what to do and actually doing it are two very different things.

While many of our other services focus on your leaders, this service focuses on your team members. Why should your firm prioritize and invest in organizational health? It’s the number one factor that will likely determine your business outcomes. Healthy teams:

  • Are far more productive and profitable than unhealthy teams.
  • Retain their best people far longer.
  • Are resilient and adaptable in today’s uncertain business environment.
  • Make better decisions because they practice a “best idea wins” mentality.
  • Are stable, reliable and far more peaceful than unhealthy teams.
  • Are just a lot more fun to be around.

What are the tell-tale signs that an organization is healthy? Team members:

  • Trust leaders, at a really deep level—with their careers, their dreams and their future.
  • Believe that leaders are transparent about the state of the firm and where things are going.
  • Feel like they are known and respected by their leaders.
  • Are emotionally connected to a team they like and trust.
  • Believe they will fulfill their personal potential from being coached by leaders they admire.
  • Feel like they have a voice in the future of the company.
  • Share information freely and openly, even when it’s bad news.
  • Believe the company is as committed to them as they are to the company.
  • Believe their long-term dreams for their life are likely to come true because of their association with the firm.
  • Refer friends and family to job openings, expressing advocacy for the firm.
  • Love the company.

How does your organization compare?




Why Do Firms Become Unhealthy?

Many of the clients we’ve served started small, realized success, added employees and then, somewhere along the journey, realized that something vital had changed. They lost their “secret sauce.” Usually this happens about the time they add their 35th employee. Up to that point, a single dynamic leader can have direct relationships with almost everyone in the company.

But once teams and departments form and crystalize, the culture changes. New circles form, almost imperceptibly at first. Conversations that formerly were open to entire groups now become limited to networks that don’t always map to org charts. An invisible set of relationships begin to form and exert power and influence in ways that may not be what the leaders want to see.

Rumors spread quickly through these networks, which are often granted the credence of providing the real scoop about what’s going on around here, rather than carefully crafted messages from leaders. Left unchecked, these networks break down into tribalism, distrust and politicking. Productivity suffers. Profits dip. The fun-factor virtually disappears. Growth stalls.

In most instances, we’ve seen leaders who face these situations make the wrong diagnosis. Usually, they tend to believe that they have a strategy problem, not a culture problem. Their solution for reigniting growth lies in adopting better sales and marketing practices and strategies. We know a lot about this because we’ve deployed cutting edge sales and marketing practices for dozens of firms. We can say, with absolute confidence, that this will not fix the growth stall. If you want to reignite growth, you need to get healthy and stay healthy.

How Service Firms Get Healthy And Stay Healthy

At The Shattuck Group, we recommend five steps for achieving and maintaining organizational health:

  • Prioritize organizational health by talking about it and investing in it. This sends a message to your company that you intend to get healthy and stay that way. When leaders throw their weight behind these initiatives, staff follow suit. The results show up, on average, about 6 months later.
  • Understand where you are today. Put systems and tools in place that allow you to gauge organizational health objectively. Most leaders at service firms operate with blind spots in this area, acting on assumptions rather than factual information. This is often why they pull the wrong levers and fix things that are not broken. A classic example is that they offer more benefits to employees who are already satisfied with their current benefits package—instead of offering employees what they really want: a heathy work environment.
  • Adopt objective standards. Organizational health means different things to different people. Too often the interpretation of what it means to be healthy is based on subjective perceptions rather than objective assessments that everyone can recognize and agree upon.
  • Fix only what’s broken. We’ve seen many organizations attempt sweeping measures or make overly broad changes. Usually this does more harm than good. A better approach is to identify root causes and then to address them judiciously, with precision. You can only do this if you are actively measuring organizational health for your unique company.
  • Follow a proven formula: measure, analyze, act, measure, recalibrate, act. The challenge with organizational health is that the job is never done. Leaders who commit for the long-term and follow a proven formula have far better results than those who do not.

To learn more about how we do this, please click on Our Approach above.

Who Needs This Service?

Professional service firms who:

  • Have noticed undesirable changes to their culture but don’t know what to do about it.
  • Want formal means to measure, assess and track organizational health.
  • Desire objectives standards that everyone recognizes as valid by which to gauge organizational health.
  • Have seen an uptick in in-fighting, decreases in collaboration and downturns in productivity.
  • Have experience higher-than-average rates of turnover, especially amongst staff they want to retain.
  • Have seen dips in profitability over time, for which there is no reasonable explanation.