Jeffrey Saltzman's Blog

Enhancing Organizational Performance

2014: OrgVitality Year In Review

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As they say, time marches on, and 2014 was a year which saw OV marching along as well.  It was a very busy year, an interesting and a good year. As we get ready for 2015 we wanted to share some of our 2014 goings on with you.

Growth Continued in 2014: We celebrated our 5th year anniversary in 2014! Since our founding in 2009, revenue has more than doubled every two years, with commensurate gains in number of industries and clients served, jobs created, and product line diversity.

In order to accommodate that growth, we have again increased our staff in San Francisco, New York, and Tel Aviv. The occupations we hired included programming staff, project management and consulting.

Samples of the kind of projects that have fueled that growth include:

  • Several client’s desired to have their survey programs revamped to more directly link to business strategies and outcomes. We were able to accomplish these goals and this work put our staff on the road. Our travels took us to all corners of the USA, plus China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Ireland, Israel, France, Germany and the UK.
  • To reach global and diverse employee populations, our employee surveys were translated into over 35 languages, and reporting was done in over 17 languages. For one client we produced 68,000 manager reports, a new record high for a single project!
  • The Not-for-Profit sector has unique challenges in today’s environment and we are fortunate enough to support those challenges, with projects for Save-the-Children, Wildlife Conservation Society, Jewish Federation, TNTP and Call2Recycle. We also have projects completed or in-progress for the State of Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol, and the United Nations.
  • One client’s unique needs for assessing employee performance led to our creating a new Performance Review System to replace their current process. We designed the scientifically-grounded objective and behavioral performance metrics, and custom-designed the technology system to elegantly gather and manage the data. Each employee will receive portal access to track their performance over the course of the year, and along with data streams that are incorporated, each manager can enter performance information in an on-going fashion.
  • For clients building and reinforcing a coaching culture, we continue to provide our ManagerCoach© upward feedback and assessments which are now available in ten languages. The ManagerCoach assesses a manager’s ability to act as a coach for his or her direct reports. We also provide a corresponding training program to enhance those capabilities.
  • A wine-country client needed to revamp an employee benefits package, and came to OV to conduct an employee benefits assessment.  The results provided clear implications for changes for the overall benefits package.
  • Several clients with pre-existing survey results needed additional insight, and came to us for a deeper and more strategic analysis of the survey data.  They hadn’t been getting what they needed to direct the business, and we were able to provide additional clarity and action recommendations.

Staying true to who we are: Our continued growth will be disciplined and in-line with our principles.

We continue to believe that our strength is working with clients who want solutions tailored specifically for their environment, their organization, and their unique strategies.

We run counter to market pressures of generic solutions, uniformly packaged. If you cannot see yourself reflected in your survey or in your other strategic metrics, then you are sub-optimizing the effort.

In one area of creative experimentation, we conducted research on the usefulness of survey comments, and have identified a technique which results in generating 5 times the number of useful comments.

Additionally, our comment filtering capabilities have been enhanced and they now use algorithms which help identify the most useful comments for an organization.

Individual, Team and Organization Change: Our Coaching and 360 Practice continues to deliver enhanced and new products, including:

  • Strategic 360 Assessments:  360 feedback systems aligned to the strategies/goals/values of the organization, often in conjunction with employee surveys that identify the needs and context for change.  OV Strategic 360 Assessments are designed and implemented to support both leadership development and talent management processes.  We provide full service from behavioral model, rater selection, administration, reporting, post feedback coaching and needs analyses. Our 360 Assessments are designed with characteristics which allow them to be incorporated into performance management systems and other HR decisions.
  • Aligned Coaching: Individual, Team and Group coaching using diagnostics and planning to ensure achievement of individual and organizational developmental objectives.
  • The ManagerCoach© Feedback and Workshop:  Upward feedback and integrated workshop based on a new model of “manager as coach” that reflects contemporary trends in performance management, employee development, and leadership development.
  • Strategic 360 Forum: OV continues to serve as organizer of this consortium of organizations which use 360 feedback for purposes in addition to leader development (e.g., HR decision making). The Forum met twice in 2014 and has two meetings scheduled for 2015. The group has a small number of openings for additional members.

Webinars: We feel that the best way for people to appreciate our work and to sell our services is through education.

  • Ten webinars throughout 2014 covered coaching, employee surveys, 360s, workplace myths, the big and global social issues, and the little “nudges” that help our work be more impactful.  And of course, the strategic wrapper that holds it all together.
  • We have an exciting line-up planned for 2015, including some of the best sessions from 2014, as well as new looks at organizational innovation and performance.  Look for the schedule to be released shortly.

Innovations in Practice and Science:

  • Our values were reflected in the release of Walter Reichman’s book:  Industrial and Organizational Psychology Help the Vulnerable, Palgrave McMillan (2014).  It is an industry-wide call to action to use our scientific and change management prowess to contribute to society.
  • Jeffrey Saltzman and Scott Brooks are under contract with Palgrave McMillan for a book to be publish in the spring of 2016. The working title: “Building and Leading a Vital Organization” – it is a compilation of our organizational science and wisdom regarding how to drive current performance while simultaneously building future potential.
  • Dave Bracken and Jeffrey Saltzman continue to publish popular blogs. Dave’s blog can be found here and Jeff’s here.
  • Our research on making survey comments more useful will be presented in scientific and applied conferences this year in Philadelphia and Amsterdam.  This work is led by Victoria Hendrickson and academic partner Professor Emily Hause.
  • Other presentations and scientific contributions include more research on the Manager as Coach, 360s, and creating a coaching climate (led by Dave Bracken and supported by Dana Costar).
  • We even dipped our toe in the water of Workplace Gossip, with some research done by Victoria Hendrickson.

Support to the UN and Our Global Community

  • Walter Reichman provides representation for the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) to the UN.  He was co-chair of Psychology Day at The United Nations, and OV helped to sponsor that event.
  • At a global conference in Paris, we focused on Humanitarian Work Psychology, exploring how industrial psychologists make a difference, with presentations focusing on how we can help build a truly global approach, address international issues, and maximize organizational strategic success.

Please visit our booth this year at The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, #314.

If you would like to learn more about us, do not hesitate to call or email: 1.914.747.7736,

All the best,

The OrgVitality Gang


Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

January 7, 2015 at 1:06 pm

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