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Organizations often measure revenue and profit to determine organizational success, but doing so will not paint a complete picture of the effectiveness of your organization.  Real organizational success is more qualitative and goes beyond the numbers.  Profits often go up and down, but true organizational success is about sustainability.  Businesses come and go, but those that are successful are the ones that understand that the focus must be at the organizational core in order to achieve longevity.  Below are 3 qualitative areas that are determinant of authentic organizational success.

1. Employee Engagement 

It’s no secret that organizations realize positive outcomes from employee engagement.  Gallup defines employee engagement as the extent to which employees are involved in, enthusiastic of, or committed to their work and workplace.  Employees are a critical part of any business, so determine early on how you will measure employee engagement and how frequently you will do so.  Depending on the size of your organization you can use one of many off the shelf engagement surveys available in the market or conduct a more personalized approach such as informal one-on-one meetings.  In either case, the inquiries should be geared towards understanding whether the organization is responding holistically to employee’s needs and employees must feel comfortable about being open and honest in these conversations in order for the organization to receive authentic feedback.  Organizations need engaged and motivated employees who are passionate about their organization’s success such that they will perform in ways that advance their organization’s interest.

2. Strong Customer Relationships

A good way to measure your company’s success, is to examine your customer satisfaction.  It’s no surprise that there is a direct relationship between customer satisfaction and employee engagement. An engaged employee will provide excellent service to customers thereby increasing the likelihood of a customer having a positive experience. Defined and articulable customer satisfaction metrics are essential for every organization.  Establish these metrics early on and determine what methodology you will use to measure it.  It’s not enough to just have general positive feedback from your customers, it’s important to understand exactly how customers are being satisfied as this will tell you where your true measure of success is coming from.  On the flip side, if through your analysis you are able to identify weaknesses, address these problem areas before they become unredeemable so that you position yourself for turnaround success.  Remember, satisfied customers translate to repeat business and future referrals thereby contributing to the enduring sustainability of your organization.

3. Positive Reputation 

Your company’s reputation is derived from the outside world’s perception of how ethical, credible, responsible, and reliable your organization is believed to be.  How people feel about your organization is essential to its success.  Just as customer satisfaction leads to customer referrals, a bad reputation leads to bad business outcomes.  Not to mention, the fact that an unfavorable reputation will negatively impact an organizations ability to attract and retain the best talent and thereby affect its competitiveness.  The perception of your organization is based on personal experience such as that of current or previous employees, customers, or vendors;  or from what the public has heard from other sources.  With today’s immediacy of social media platforms, businesses must be conscientious of their reputations on a constant basis and be responsive to any matter that may have an impact on its reputation.  Organizations looking to maintain a positive reputation can do so by establishing trust with their employees, their customers and their vendors.  Simply put, keep your word to your employees; keep your promises to your customers and pay your vendors what they are due – a positive reputation will follow.

While it can’t be ignored that for an organization to remain viable it must also be profitable.  However, if more organizations focused on the qualitative precepts discussed above, revenue and profit would be a natural result.  Sustainable success for any organization must be built on a solid foundation of responsible actions towards its employees, customers and the public at large.

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