The Vital Signs Tool Set

EQ Durban, EQ South Africa
Written by: Avril Kidd
Practical emotional intelligence starts with observing how you feel and behave to create awareness. This then allows you to take responsibility for both your feelings and behaviour to create a more positive impact on all areas of your life. From here you are then able to practice responding rather than reacting which assists in practicing empathy with yourself and others.

By noticing what is going well and what you feel grateful for in your life you can create a positive environment which then becomes contagious to those around you. Finally, remember that EQ is a lifetime process which requires ongoing practice in order to reap the benefits.

Let’s make improvements

It can often be challenging to create a positive environment and notice the good in your life when things around you are going wrong. Being grateful during these times is hard but we need to remind ourselves that the challenges we face in life make us stronger in the end. I remember someone wise once said that the situations we go through in life can either make us a bitter person or a better person. In the end the choice is ours. So come on, let’s create positive environments by focusing on what is going well and what we have to be grateful for.

As we strive to improve ourselves and our performance, there is a really great tool set I would like to introduce you to that focuses on the effectiveness of individuals, teams and organizations as a whole. The Vital Signs measures and improves the drivers of effectiveness in order to create a high performing workforce.

Did you know that 70% of organizational change efforts fail, primarily due to the people side of performance? With the use of the Vital Signs tools we are able to stay within the 30%.

What are Vital Signs?

Vital Signs is an organizational model and integrated suite of statistically-validated assessments that are geared to improve effectiveness in individual/s, leaders, teams and the entire organization. If we consider professional sports teams, they have very specific measures for every aspect of each team member’s success and members are selected and trained based on these parameters. The same should apply in business. Built on solid business logic as well as sound science, the VS assessments connect people’s perceptions and attitudes with hard business outcomes in an actionable, practical framework.

Key Factors

  • Research shows that high performing teams share key factors or pulse points which is depicted in the model below.
  • Motivation is the source of energy to overcome challenges, pursue a goal, or maintain commitment.
  • Change is the readiness to innovate and adapt to succeed in a continuously evolving situation.
  • Teamwork is collaborating to pursue a goal; it requires a sense of shared purpose and belonging.
  • Execution is the ability to achieve strategic results by implementing effective tactics.
  • Trust is a feeling of confidence, faith, and safety which enables people to take risks, share and innovate, and go beyond their comfort zones which in turn facilitates success in the other climate factors.

Based on research and experience, we know these key factors drive critical performance outcomes – such as productivity, retention, future success and customer focus – which are also measured by the VS tools. While the core drivers are consistent, individual leaders, teams, and organizations are focused on slightly different outcomes.

In a nutshell, the Leadership Vital Signs gives insight on leadership impact and effectiveness. The Team Vital Signs identifies opportunities and obstacles for optimal group performance; and the Organizational Vital Signs measures key indicators of organizational climate across the enterprise.

Vital Signs assessments

The Vital Signs assessments provide a snapshot of current organizational climate – an overview of employees’ relationships with the organization. The climate in which employees work strongly influences how they do their jobs. Where would you perform at your best, in an environment which is toxic and lacks trust so that you are always watching your back, or in a place that you look forward to going to every day and where people work together as a team?

Measuring climate and engagement gives leaders the insights necessary to improve management practice and organizational performance. Gallup research shows that globally only 1/3 of staff are are actually engaged whilst the majority are disengaged or neutral, which makes it challenging for companies to reach their targets when 2/3s of their staff are not adding real value. This low engagement is costing the USA $500 billion per year. Can we afford this in our organisations in Africa? Further research showed that if we work on improving these 5 factors, identified in the VS model, we can significantly impact work place performance irrespective of company size, location or industry.

There is a series of short, interactive workshops, known as the Management Essentials, that are geared to equip every manager with the most important tools for the people-side of their job by giving a framework to understand how to manage people, and practical tools to make it happen.

Should you wish to know more about the Vital Signs tool set and the Six Seconds Management Essentials program, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly explain them to you in more detail. There is also a Vital Signs Tools set for Education, known as the Educational Vital Signs or EVS.