If your plans and goals for the future of your company are being reevaluated, downscaled, or even scrapped completely, you’re not alone. The global pandemic has had the potential to derail even the best-laid plans and one reason for that is that employees returning to the workplace may no longer be aligned with your purpose and vision.
2020 was a time of reflection and reinvention for many and now, more than ever, our employees are reconsidering their priorities. According to McKinsey, nearly two-thirds of US workers surveyed admitted that COVID has caused them to reflect on their purpose in life. Additionally, nearly half are considering the type of work that they do.
Despite these challenges, 70% believe that their sense of purpose is defined by their work. This means that for the majority of your employees, it’s down to you to ensure that they’re finding value and purpose in the work that they do and that they are aligned with your current goals and future objectives.
Why Is Aligning Employees With Company Goals Important?
In an organization, employees can feel like cogs in a large, incomprehensible machine. If their assigned roles have no apparent purpose and if their work is seldom acknowledged as a key part of the whole, employee morale may suffer. This is why giving those employees a sense of purpose and place is very important and one way to achieve this is through organizational alignment. Every employee should know exactly what goal they’re individually working towards and how this individual contribution helps towards the larger purpose. Full organizational alignment should include having the roles of senior management clearly defined for employees so that everyone feels part of the same team. This works to break down silos, encourage teamwork between departments, and can help to more effectively communicate strategy.
One study found that when employees feel that their purpose is closely aligned with their organization’s purpose, they feel more engaged, have a heightened sense of loyalty, and have an increased willingness to recommend their company to others. This situation results in a focused workforce that produces higher quality work. It also ensures better talent retention and makes your organization a more attractive employer.
How to Ensure Employees Are Aligned With Organizational Goals
Here are three ways to help ensure your employees are aligned:
1. Utilise One-to-Ones Effectively
The first step in establishing alignment should always include the effective use of one-to-ones. One-to-ones need to be scheduled frequently enough for real-time information to be usefully communicated and obtained. This means that managers should communicate organizational changes in a timely fashion, check on engagement levels, and have regular conversations with employees about how happy they are with their current situation. If your one-to-ones are infrequent then your employee alignment could have been significantly compromised for some time and your projects derailed without you even knowing about it.
2. Evaluate Your Organization’s Culture
You need to ask yourself whether your organization allows for clear communication of purpose throughout its hierarchy. While leaders have a clear idea of their role within their company and can pinpoint what their efforts contribute to the ultimate goal, many workers lower in the hierarchy can’t. Worse than that, only four in 10 workers who do know their purpose strongly agree that they are made to feel that their job is important, according to Gallup.
3. Invest in Learning and Development
There are many benefits of offering ongoing learning and development opportunities for your employees, but these opportunities can also be a useful method of driving employee alignment. Ongoing learning can give your employees a better understanding of their roles and how those roles integrate into the larger whole. This understanding, termed ‘line of sight’ in one study from SHRM, plays an important role in facilitating a positive connection between workers’ jobs and organizational strategy.
The aforementioned study of more than 2,000 employees, found that they strongly identified a link between ongoing development and a deeper personal connection to organizational strategy. When employees were aware that their employer was investing in them and they had the perception of having a positive organizational learning culture, they recognized and appreciated the alignment of learning initiatives and organizational strategy. Employees who reported higher levels of managerial engagement for their learning also reported higher levels of alignment and felt this led to a positive performance climate where their work is personally meaningful.
How Can Bridge Help?
Creating a culture of alignment and communication isn’t an easy task, but we’re here to help. With Bridge, you can enable and track one-on-one conversations, align employee and company goals, and conduct performance reviews, all in one place.
Bridge’s Performance Management System encourages your leaders to keep their people accountable by aligning each employee and team goal with the strategic objectives of the leadership team. It’s easy to map individual and team goals to your wider business strategy to create a holistic view of your organization’s objectives.