What is Organisational Fitness?

1 Jan 16 | Blog

We’ve known for a long time about the importance of measuring organisational culture and ways of working. Intuitively, we know how to achieve great things – hire motivated people, equip them with great tools, then work towards a common purpose.

It’s also common for companies to say that their people are their greatest asset. But HR isn’t really considered a strategic function, and there aren’t many boards that devote considerable time to their people strategy. Why?

Look at it this way – how many CEOs come from an HR background versus a finance background? Robert Half, a recruitment consultant, estimates that 52% of FTSE 100 CEOs come from a finance background, while only two CEOs have served any time in an HR function. When it comes to measuring organisational performance, that’s not optimal.

To change this, we need to prove that HR is a strategic function. We need to show that improvements in organisational models and people practices are linked to what matters most – growth, profit and customer NPS.

A new way of measuring organisational performance: Organisational Fitness

Organisational fitness is a way of measuring company performance developed by Qlearsite. It gives you specific metrics for every area of your business and culture, linking them to growth, profit and customer NPS.

It doesn’t matter how complex the topic is – Organisational Fitness can track everything from inclusion and communication, to leadership and motivation. The ultimate goal is to make sure your people strategy is solid, and that your entire company is driven and united behind it.

What is organisational health compared to Organisational Fitness? The difference is our approach: it’s about continued, sustained efforts to improve performance, rather than finding temporary solutions to any ‘sickness’ in your organisational.

How to measure organisational performance

Over several years, Qlearsite has been measuring Organisational Fitness using employee surveys. We’ve asked hundreds of questions to hundreds of thousands of employees. Over that time, we’ve discovered some questions are highly predictive of organisation performance and future employee behaviours, while others are not.

Using these insights, we distilled down all of the questions to just 16. We removed overlapping concepts, structured them into a framework to make them actionable and the result is a new measure called Organisational Fitness.

Fitter companies perform stronger

When asked in a short survey, these 16 questions can collectively predict and are directly correlated to growth, profit and customer service NPS.

For example, companies that show high levels of fitness are:

  • 4.6X more likely to have high levels of revenue growth.

  • 16.0X more likely to have the highest levels of customer service NPS.

  • 1.4X more often to be the most profitable in their sector.

Fitness Score

These 16 company culture characteristics are indicators of Organisational Fitness. We show them in a map or matrix so that the results are visual – which makes it easy to communicate priorities. Once everyone has the same goal in mind, it’s much quicker to start changing culture within an organisation.

Qlearsite Organisational Fitness Matrix

The scores of each indicator can be used to measure the overall fitness of an organisation. But, it can also show scores that can be improved across a whole dimension (culture, for example) or for a single important indicator.

Each organisation then has a systematic path to improving the business KPIs by making meaningful change to their people model. You can do this by building on strengths, or prioritising investment in lower scoring indicators.

We believe this is the key to developing HR as a strategic capability.

We understand this is a big claim. That’s why, as organisational scientists, we validated our findings with an independent test. It was conducted by a leading research agency, who asked our 16 questions to 2,027 organisations. They also gathered data on each organisation’s performance.

Sickness absence management: a guide

Sickness absence management: the ultimate guide

In your organisation, do employees have to call in when too unwell to work - rather than send a...
What is absenteeism?

What is absenteeism, and why should you measure it?

Absenteeism refers to a pattern of unplanned time off from work, often due to sickness or other...
6 reasons to use a salary benchmarking tool

6 reasons to use a salary benchmarking tool

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll have learnt what benchmarking is, what salary...
why benchmarking salaries matters

Why benchmarking salaries matters

It’s important to benchmark your organisation’s salaries for multiple reasons - like being able to...
Everything people leaders needs to know about salary benchmarks

What is salary benchmarking?

Salary benchmarking is about comparing your organisation’s salaries to similar roles in different...
The text says "What is benchmarking Everything people leaders need to know"

What is benchmarking? Everything people leaders should know

Benchmarking is about making comparisons. You can compare your organisation’s metrics against an...
People saying bye to each other

The ultimate guide to attrition rates

People start jobs. People leave jobs. It’s just the natural order of things. You expect to see...
Man and woman working in tech

Gender ratio benchmarks: is the tech sector improving?

Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. When you think of tech leaders, these are...
Software integration illustration

How (and why) to choose people analytics software

We live in a data-driven era. That’s because we know we’ve already got a lot of the answers, it’s...

The Legal Sector and presenteeism: benchmark insights

You wake up with streaming eyes, a congested nose, and a banging headache. It’s official: you’re...

Get a live demo
of the platform 

Anne Therese Bogen, Head of HR, Thommessen

"Qlearsite’s platform is a really helpful tool to push through OKRs – it’s easier when you have statistics and concrete evidence to back up initiatives."