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Adaptability and the measures that the AQai adaptability assessment provides look at three dimensions: Ability, Character, and Environment. Within the Environment dimension, Company Support is a critical measure of the extent to which your employees feel the organisation values their contributions and cares about their well-being.
The global average score of all the individuals who have taken the AQai assessment is disappointingly low, around 62%. The challenge is that most organisations are focused on their organisational outcomes and ensuring that individuals are as aligned as possible to the organisational outcomes and have less emphasis on valuing the success and goals of individuals working for them or supporting them to resolve issues that are directly important to the individual.
Why does Company Support Matter?
This undermines the adaptability of the whole organisation. High levels of Company Support not only correlate to job performance, employee satisfaction and lower employee turnover (in other words, employee engagement) but also employee commitment toward change. If employees don’t feel the company supports them, then they are less likely to respond to the challenges of change. They will hesitate to commit to adapting to the evolving needs of the company and the evolving needs of their role. On the other hand, if the employee believes the company values both their success and the pursuit of their own goals, they will expect this to be demonstrated by the support the company offers when there are tough issues to overcome. Now, they are more likely to align their own goals to the company ones.
If your Company Support scores are consistently high across individuals and teams this will massively improve the potential of individuals, teams, and the organisation to adapt. Where there are low Company Support scores, team managers and senior leaders should review the way they engage with employees. Employee engagement is probably already low and the additional challenge of change is likely to further alienate them resulting in resistance to change or high staff attrition.
There are all sorts of sophisticated tools that measure employee engagement. Employee engagement is a great starting point to understand risks you face. However, employee engagement tends to focus on aligning employees to what the company needs, rather than, ensuring that the company helps individuals to perceive that their success, their goals, and their challenges are going to be supported by the company.
What can you do if you have Low Company Support Scores?
Firstly, you should review the other Environment scores which may provide a broader picture of employee perceptions of company culture. Low Team Support, high Work Stress, low Emotional Health and low Work Environment scores indicate wider problems, which may need to be addressed first. Secondly, you should consider the extent to which you are actively listening to employee needs for training, development, new career opportunities and flexible working. Even if you are actively listening, do you have a commitment to acknowledging and accommodating these needs? Are the attitudes of managers and the policies you have adopted, undermining company values that support and encourage your employees to thrive? Or do your company values fail to explicitly recognise the wider ambitions and needs of your staff?
Thirdly, you should examine the profiles of those with lower scores. Do certain Character types feel less supported? Are particular teams or departments scoring lower than others? What is different about those that score higher?
At first sight Company Support appears to measure the extent you are prepared to indulge your employees’ hopes, desires and personal needs. However, the growing literature on employee engagement demonstrates the bottom-line benefits of successful engagement. The Company Support score provides a sophisticated measure that directly relates to the Adaptability capacity of your organisation. You ignore it at your own risk!
If you’re interested in understanding more about adaptability and the AQai assessment, please contact me at Charles.email@example.com
Charles McLachlan is the founder of FuturePerfect and on a mission to transform the future of work and business. The Portfolio Executive programme is a new initiative to help executives build a sustainable and impactful second-half-career. Creating an alternative future takes imagination, design, organisation and many other thinking skills. Charles is happy to lend them to you.