The heat index is a measure of air temperature and relative humidity to determine how hot a human perceives the air to be, and we know perception is reality. In organizations, the "heat index" is a combination of the collective goals and objectives and the amount of change these objectives create. As a result, employees may perceive, in any given year, more or less pressure or saturation ("burnout" or heat). For organizations to be sustainable they must adapt to market conditions while assuring employees have available energy to act. A "change index" could be useful in measuring available employee "energy" to focus and prioritize business objectives.
In most companies business and individual performance objectives are set annually. This likely leads to changes in process, people, and technology. Add to that buzz words that drive behavior like continuous improvement, excellence, flawless execution, innovation; all these terms suggest not just one change, but continuous change. And too much change can create saturation and deplete employees of motivation, energy, and engagement.
Here's how it would work: First, employees objectives should remain constant for at least 24 months, or focused on 1-2 key activities if annual. Second, just prior to finalizing business objectives, use a "change index" to determine the employee energy level (eg. short survey with questions aimed at morale, engagement, saturation, etc).The score would inform the number and scale of business objectives to which employee's map their individual goals. The result? A business plan that focuses on what absolutely must "change" to sustain the company's future, while maintaining employees' focus, energy, and ultimately their happiness and productivity!