The term “organizational alignment” is frequently used when talking about engagement and performance — we’ve been guilty of it ourselves — but what does it actually mean? We took a deeper dive (yep, we said it) into what “organizational alignment” actually means and thought these things might help further define it:
Establishing goals is one thing, but creating a plan for achieving them is quite another. Clarity will help drive goals into action. To be truly aligned, managers and employees need to understand and clearly lay out their roles and responsibilities related to goals. A recent Harvard Business Review article outlined how an overreaching manager or under-delivering employee can create frustration and confusion. When both managers and employees are clear on goals, then they’re contributing to organizational alignment.
Business outcomes can vary drastically if one common, unifying value isn’t driving all decisions, regardless of team, department or location. For example, when a company values customer service above anything else, it will drive every team’s action – not just those who are customer-facing. Tactically speaking, a united workforce is more efficient and at a deeper level, it creates a sense of common purpose. Does your company have a single value more important than anything else that can unify your workforce?
Your workforce doesn’t expect to have an insider’s view of C-suite level communications. However, employees deserve candor when their work will be affected – no matter how large or small. Changes in strategic direction are bound to happen and it’s imperative to have a communications plan that won’t leave employees feeling in the dark. If you don’t, your workforce will feel disconnected and undervalued. Even when transparency means sharing difficult news, your workforce will appreciate the forthright, straightforward approach.
What does “organizational alignment” mean to you? Are there other things besides clarity, unity and transparency that can help employees, managers and leadership feel more connected to business objectives?