When teams, resources, planning, and processes are aligned, time and effort wastage are reduced and organizations achieve higher levels of performance, because all of the employees’ abilities are focused on achieving measurable goals. The shocking truth, however, is that despite the importance of employee alignment, there are many organizations whose employees are not even aware of what their company’s purpose, vision, mission, values and goals are, and their role in making it a success.

Redundancies, inefficiencies, and poor overall performance result from the disconnect between what the management wants done and what the teams really want and do.There are many reasons why employees could be misaligned, spanning from miscommunication between the management and employees, to hiring incompatible talent.

The most important levels of employee alignment are :
  1. Individual-level alignment, that is, each employee is aligned with the purpose, vision, mission, values and goals of their employer.
  2. Team-level alignment, that is, each team is aligned with the purpose, vision, mission, values and goals of their employer, and are conversant with how to play their role in the pursuit to full realization of the company’s success.

There are a number of actions you can start today to begin or reinforce your journey towards creating highly motivated, productive and aligned workplaces.

  1. Conduct situational analysis of the team’s understanding of the purpose, vision, mission, values and goals. One of the best places to start in alignment is from the unknown to known. It is important to start the process of alignment by checking whether your team even knows your corporate vision, mission and purpose, as well as seeking to know their personal purpose, vision, mission, values and goals. This is done so that you can assess the level of intervention thus needed to achieve more alignment. This can be done using questionnaires and other forms of data collecting tools. To achieve best results, this step can be done in a single blinded research.
  2. Explain the terms and their importance : In this step, begin by differentiating the general meaning of the terms purpose, vision, mission, values and goals, then declaring what your corporate purpose, vision, mission, values and goals are, which can then be used to compare with what your employees mentioned earlier when defining their personal and corporate purpose, vision, mission, values and goals. The results are then used to measure your current level of (mis)alignment.
  3. Explain the meaning and importance of alignment : this helps to buy the good will of the participating employees. It helps to ensure the process of alignment begins from an aligned end in the first place. The process of alignment is life changing in any workplace, therefore, it is important to ensure that all employees see for themselves why they need to be on board.
  4. Help employees through the organizational structure to see where and how they fit. Now that employees have given their opinion of the purpose, mission, vision, values and goals, as well as that of the company, this step helps employees see how their personal purpose, vision, mission, values and goals align with those of their employer. This can help come to a happy reality of a close-fit alignment or sad reality of voluminous misalignment. This also gives the business an opportunity to review their corporate purpose, vision, mission, values and goals, should they need to.
  5. Live the purpose, vision, mission, values and goals : despite the outcome, agreeable purpose, vision, mission, values and goals need to be reached, whether through revising the corporate purpose, vision, mission, values and goals or inspiring an alignment on the part of employees. Engrave the refined purpose, vision, mission, values and goals to everyday activities and make their presence constant. 
  6. Implement an effective feedback loop supported by continuous learning and development to ensure the alignment remains solidly entrenched. Encourage employees to engage with you and to keep growing, because the secret behind purpose, vision, mission, values and goals is that they are not permanent, but change when their previous level is achieved. This means my purpose, vision, mission, values and goals for this year may be different from next year’s, depending on the outcome from this year. So do not be rigid and stuck on the one purpose, vision, mission, values and goal you started with.
  7. Measure degree of alignment regularly not once : employee alignment is a continuous process. It’s a set of tasks that managers must conduct on a regular basis to keep their teams focused on the company’s objectives. Much like how vehicles and other machines, no matter how good, require regular alignment after a period of time, to keep them highly productive and accurate.

When an organization provides and emphasizes the most significant qualities of a person’s ideal employment, that individual is more likely to: remain with the company, commit themselves to the organization and make a positive contribution to the organization. Good luck as you start your employee alignment journey.

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