Achieving real alignment, where strategy, goals, and meaningful purpose reinforce one another, gives an organization a major advantage because it has a clearer sense of priorities at any given time. The result is an organization that can focus on the right things, avoid misalignment and increase the chances of achieving objectives.
Envision a future
An organization’s vision is effective only if it balances multiple dimensions at once. It must convey the mission of the organization in a meaningful way to inspire everybody. It must be long term to provide the energy for outstanding accomplishment, yet it must short term to help everyone focus on the immediate future.
Communicate the vision
Integrate the vision and strategy into people’s daily work. Be sure everyone truly understands what the vision is, why it is important, and what behavior transformation is needed to achieve it. Make sure people understand that the transformation is not just another corporate initiative destined to fall by the wayside.
Align the entire organization
These requirements mean that organization leaders from the CEO cascaded down to the lowest levels, and not just the communications or HR staff, must be involved in communicating the message. This way, the leaders own it, use their own language in connecting with their collaborators, and convey a message they believe in.
As people at all levels begin to understand the need for the transformation and alignment, they also expect to see the transformation’s effects. What will fuel the alignment process is spreading the news of the successes that come from alignment. Celebrating success encourages more alignment towards company goals.
Check in for misalignment
There are tools and processes that leaders can use to measure the extent of alignment or the extent of misalignment. These alignment assessments and surveys can be analyzed to pinpoint quickly the specific areas of misalignment. Once they have a clear understanding of where the gaps are, the leaders can put a plan in place to rectify them.
If periodic assessments show that your organizational competencies are out of alignment, offer training for your people. This support ensures that workers’ desired competencies and skills align with the company’s priorities. This may mean offering support with workshops and seminars, updating processes, or providing access to relevant resources. This continuing education helps employees understand and adopt new behaviors aligned with the desired culture.
Support the team
Training alone will not be effective. Training should be followed by accompaniment and feedback. When people develop new competencies they will need initial training but support in the form of observation and meaningful feedback until they master the skills.
Using the guidelines above, your organization will be on track to success.