An organisational assessment is defined as a process undertaken systematically to obtain valid and fruitful information about organisational performance and the factors that have a hand in affecting that performance. Organisational assessment is essential as it helps to identify the areas of competence, possible risks, areas that need improvement and that need decisions about restructuring and further investments.
Meaning of organisational assessment
The organisational assessment aims to understand and identify the performance of an organization and not a policy or a project. It is an essential tool that answers the fundamental questions about how the organization is doing, what things it is good at, and why it is not able to achieve as per its set standards.
The organisational assessment identifies the strengths and weaknesses of an organization, and hence it is essential to undertake this process at periodic levels.
Understanding organisational assessment
The organisational process can be either internal (self-assessment) or external (through a hired team from outside the organisation) assessment or an approach that is an amalgamation of both internal and external. The management must identify the process that will prove beneficial for their company beforehand.
In the case of internal assessment, a minimum of two individuals is chosen from within the organisation so that they can conduct an internal organisational evaluation. Sometimes the company opts for external organisational assessment and hires it based on its credibility and performances. The internal team in some cases serves as the support team of the external team and helps them in their assessment. The assessment team has to understand the operations of the organisation and then adopt a systematic approach to generate viable information on the programmatic performance, the efficiency of management systems and the values that drives the organisation towards its goals, objectives, and success.
It is essential to look for the qualities of the organisational assessment team so that you can appoint the right individuals. The team members should have
- Technical know-how – The organizational assessment team should have an understanding of the services, policies, programs, and data analysis skills as it will help them in taking a proper approach that will prove beneficial for the organisation.
- Credibility – The organizational assessment team needs to have the right balance of insight, responsibility, and authority so that they can correctly wield their power. This will lend credibility to their efforts.
- Objectivity – The team should be objective and must have the ability to balance the perspectives of all the people
- Communication skills – Communication skills are essential soft skills for an organisational assessment team to have. Make sure a team that the organisation is appointing have such abilities that will help it in communicating any relevant information in a manner that will be understood by one and all
- Availability – The organisational assessment team must have enough time to undertake this responsibility adequately. The organisational assessment process is lengthy and time-consuming. If the team does not have the necessary time to work diligently on all the steps, then it will not be able to provide the desired results.
- Interpersonal skills – The organisational assessment team must have the ability to interact with anyone and everyone sensitively and effectually so that it can encourage team bonding and work as a part of the team amongst all the members.
The advantage of using an internal team for organisational assessment is that the ownership level becomes higher and its disadvantage is that the workforce has to leave his present work and undertake this responsibility which can prove too much for him.
The advantage of using an external team is that the company does not have to over-use its human resources as this is a time-consuming process. Moreover hiring an experienced external team will provide an impartial view and process that will prove a blessing in the long run. The disadvantage of hiring external teams is its high financial cost and the ownership factor, which will be less if compared with the internal team.
The audience that will use the results obtained through the organizational assessment program is
- Outside your organization-The reports of organisational assessment is beneficial in attracting investors for the firm. It will provide a better understanding of the working of the firm so that relevant decisions will be easy for the donor or investor.
- Inside your organisation – The board of directors and individuals at the top position will use the organisational assessment report. It will prove beneficial during strategic decision-making and organisational change efforts. The report will also help in understanding the roles and responsibilities within the organisation
Reasons for organisational assessment
The various reasons for the organizational evaluation are as follows-
- One of the essential reasons for undertaking an organisational assessment process is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation. It becomes a part of a critical cycle that includes planning as well as feedback mechanisms.
- It offers the stakeholders vital information about the performance of the organisation so that the investors can know about its competence and do not hesitate in times of funding.
- The tool identifies human as well as other resources which would prove helpful for the organization in improving its performances
- The reason for organisational assessment is that it helps the company and the management at the top to make decisions regarding financial feasibility. Is there a need for new investors, is there a need to diversify the funding resources, how should they be undertaken to gain maximum benefit and is there a need to identify new fundraising approaches are some essential queries that can be answered successfully via an organisation assessment process.
- An essential reason for allowing organisational assessment is that the company can now respond to its need or desire to change its performance
- The organisational assessment concept helps in generating information that will prove a blessing in the process of planning as well as decision-making. It also helps to evaluate whether the alliances and partnership with any other company will prove fruitful or not
- The reason for organisational assessment is to identify the needs that the organisation must address via specific actions
- An organisational assessment is an appropriate key when the company has to make strategic decisions for instance during critical moments like merger, expansion or changing any relevant policies
- The organisational assessment will help to understand how the organisation is faring as a whole entity
- The reason for organisational assessment is that it can offer an appropriate mechanism to reflect upon program decisions. It answers relevant questions, for instance, is there a necessity to expand the program or integrate one with another, is there a need for a new program or you need to replace an older one with a new and better version are some questions that are answered appropriately by the help of organisational assessment.
- An organisation assessment helps the management to make appropriate staffing decisions. Is there a need for the layoff of some staff members, or is it necessary to hire a workforce with specific skills and know-how are questions that are answered through the organisational assessment process.
Duration and cost of the organisational assessment process
Organisational assessment programs
Several factors determine the duration of the organisational assessment process. It is a commitment to improving the performance of an organisation. The organisational assessment team will need time and energy to find ways and means to do. The duration of the process depends on several factors for instance
- The number of strategic issues an organisation wants to explore and how many are relevant for the success of the company
- The data and information that the team will need and the accessibility factor
- The depth of the data
- Is there enough workforce so that the team can involve them in the process as helpers
- The type of report the team wants to present
The cost of an organisational assessment process cannot be determined monetarily. Yes, it is no doubt an expensive process, but the organisation has the option of creating an internal team to conduct the procedure. This will save their expenses to a great deal. The total cost of the organisational assessment will rise significantly if an external team is hired for the process.
The total cost of organisational assessment depends on the number of issues that are included in the assessment process and the depth to which the process is supposed to go.
The total cost of an organisational assessment process includes the opportunity costs, for instance, the time spent by a member on the process, the technology involved during the process and the access to the information.
The focus areas of organisational assessment
The focus area of organisational assessment is as follows-
- Management and leadership team
- Decision-making and structure
- Attracting talent and employee branding
- Employee interaction with customers
- Employee engagement via talent development, recognition, and rewards
Organisational assessment programs
The purpose of an organisational assessment program is to evaluate the various processes and the potential of employees in the organisation so that the information can prove helpful in its growth and development process. Several reputed firms have a proper organisational assessment process and a team in place that will provide periodic reports to the management.
This program will help the company in fulfilling its staffing requirements admirably. Companies require specially formulated teams that can work under pressure and can handle specialized departments. The organisations have to take the help of various assessment programs that will help them in making the correct decision. Some of the organisational assessment programs are as follows-
1. Psychological Testing
This organisational assessment program has written tests as a part of its testing program. This helps the organisation to understand the participant’s characteristics, interests, attitudes towards their work, career interests and most important their personality.
The psychological testing is a useful program of organizational assessment that helps to reveal the career needs and preferences of a potential applicant or existing employee so that the organisation can offer a job profile that will suit the personality, skill, and competencies of the employee to make a perfect fit.
2. Assessment Centres
Several recognized and reputable firms like AT&T, IBM, Bendix, and Pratt & Whitney favor the use of Assessment Centres as one of the most credible and accessible decision-making tools. The members in the Assessment Centres are put in different situations like business games, interviews, group discussions, tests, etc. and engaged in several types of exercises.
The expert panel evaluates the performances of the members. The trainers at the end of the day provide in-depth feedback on the strength and weaknesses of every participant, who are given ample opportunities later on to improve and boost their skills and know-how to move forward and attain their future goals admirably.
3. Promotability Forecasts
This organisational assessment program acts as a useful tool to identify individuals with high potential. The promotability forecasts organisational assessment program will find out such high potential performers so that they can undertake various types of jobs and boost the performance and efficiency levels of the organisation.
This technique can help the company in making early forecasts, and this is why as soon as the performers are identified, the organisation start paying particular attention to them. They are encouraged to attend training programs, conferences, seminars and other relevant programs to boost their experiences.
These efforts will make them ready for future positions as they are encouraged as a part of their grooming process for higher job profiles. Some companies have one, whereas others have several programs to groom different sets of employees.
4. Succession Planning
This organisational assessment program is a formal process that aims to groom lower-level employees for a next-higher position on the ladder of success. Every organisation has a severe problem of employee turnover where a chunk of employees will leave their jobs mid-way in search of better pastures or leave their job for some other reason like retirement.
An organization needs to be ready with a pool of employees that are equipped to step into these shoes at a moment’s notice and fulfill their new responsibilities admirably. The succession planning organisational assessment program is a continuous process where the employee is under constant surveillance to see whether he is equipped to handle additional responsibilities.
The process takes several years because the employee has to be groomed for a senior position while he is still working at one step lower. This is done to understand beforehand whether he is the right choice and will he prove as or more useful for the chosen position.
The process of succession planning includes the overall development of the individual selected for the position and continuous review of his performance at regular intervals. This is one of the most common tools to create a pool of employees for the next-level leadership role.
They are put in various positions and evaluated by experts to know about their suitability for the position and whether they have improved with time or not.