Organizational alignment can take a number of forms, but it boils down to a simple colloquialism: Everyone is on the same page. From the individual to the team to upper management, everyone shares a goal, attitude, and level of commitment that lets your company flourish.
Chances are that your company alignment could use a tune-up. It’s not something that happens on its own, but once you’ve decided to make it a priority, five simple steps can take you from an unfocused, unmotivated collection of individuals to a loyal, driven team.
Form Your Vision
Before you can improve your organizational alignment, you must determine what the vision of your company is. If you’re a business owner, this might be as simple as sitting down and thinking about where you see your company in 10 years and what your core values are. If you’re part of a larger team, though, it might be time to brainstorm.
This is the perfect time for big-picture thinking, both for people about their own values and how that translates to the company as a whole. Forming an idea of your company’s values doesn’t just allow for better organizational alignment – knowing that the company they’re working for has clear goals improves employee engagement, since it allows them to know that they’re contributing to something worthwhile.
Spread the Word
Now that you have a vision, clearly communicate it to your people. What you want to focus on is clearly communicating your company’s goals and values so that everyone knows where you’re coming from and where you’re going.
Communication extends far beyond just knowing how to speak. Successful leaders use communication to ensure they’re in tune with their team and know how to speak to each person’s emotions and ambitions. Many organizational problems can arise because of insufficient communication, so it’s crucial that it’s well developed across the board.
Those who clearly understand the direction they’re given will be more aligned with your organization's objectives and will work harder, encourage others, and stay with you longer. To gauge these levels, ask questions such as:
- What are ways that leadership is successfully communicating the company vision in the workplace?
- What programs do you wish our organization had that would help improve vision understanding?
- How is your manager communicating the company’s vision in the workplace?
- When was the last time you noticed the vision in play, either online, on-site, written, or elsewhere?
Feedback comes next, and this step is about making sure everyone is on the same page. Lay out the company’s values and goals and what that means for everyone’s workplace experience. It could mean keeping up the excellent quality of their work or a shift in focus to efficiency or customer satisfaction.
Gather Feedback with One-on-Ones
With everyone on the same page about goals and values, it’s time to put in some face time and work on improving company alignment. You don’t have to sit down with every single person, of course. If you find yourself in endless meetings, this can prevent people from having time to work on company goals!
Try sitting down with a few key players to gather feedback, whether that’s team leads or top performers. Team leads can have their own meetings with people below them, and top performers can lead the way for peers to make decisions that match up with company alignment. Don’t underestimate the value of seeing people who are motivated and focused.
After you’ve spread the word in step two, people may already be asking themselves the following questions. Employee engagement is always a priority and you should ask them not just what they think about the company’s goals, but how they see their role in it:
- Where do you see yourself as the company advances?
- Do you feel like the company’s values reflect your workplace experience? If not, what would need to change?
- Do you have ideas for projects or processes that will help the company advance its goals and realize its values?
- How do you see your role fitting in with the overall company alignment? Are you satisfied with it?
Let Your People Analyze the Vision
As a team, you can break down the specific elements of your vision to determine if it’s effective. If you conclude that your strategic vision is missing something, don’t be afraid to make revisions. Bringing your people into the process will increase engagement, set them in the right direction, and encourage communication of new ideas.
First, have everyone asses if the vision is forward-thinking – does it have a clear future goal? Next, determine if people understand their relevance to the vision. In what ways does their work matter? The vision should always be positive (never negative) and should envision the solution to a problem. Does everyone understand the problem that’s being solved?
Solicit Company-Wide Response
Your people are the wheels that keep the company moving. It’s not always the squeaky wheel that you need to listen to, so you need to solicit feedback from everyone. After all, you can’t achieve organizational alignment if the entire organization isn’t on board!
You may find that some people are reluctant to admit they’re not as engaged as you’d like, and this is where anonymous feedback comes in handy. The Olumo platform, for instance, can solicit feedback from your entire workforce anonymously through text messages, giving people the opportunity to share critiques and insights they may otherwise not feel comfortable with.
But Olumo is more than just a survey system – it provides an easy-to-read dashboard where you can track responses in real time, allowing you to see where your company fares in organizational alignment.
Are people feeling overlooked by the company’s values? Are they noticing areas that aren’t living up to the company’s mission? Olumo provides a secure, straightforward solution for you to track this data. Watch a short video to see how it works.
Align Your Organization
You’ve ironed out the company’s values and goals, circulated the information, gathered feedback, and evaluated the overall response of your people with up-to-date and easy-to-understand anonymous data.
Now, take that information and revisit your original ideas about the mission of your company. Have some of your original goals become less relevant? Are there areas you overlooked that should have more focus, or have people brought you new perspectives that change how you see things?
This last step is never truly over. A company’s vision will be shifting year to year as its market shifts with it. Upholding your vision and continuing to meet goals will ensure high employee engagement, since your people will know you’re keeping an eye on the big picture and making sure their workplace experience reflects the values of the company.
Align with Your People the Easy Way
Improve company alignment and employee engagement by working with Olumo, a tool that develops engagement for you.
At Olumo, we provide a simple way for your people to give anonymous feedback on workplace topics through simple text-message surveys that collect actionable data in real-time. Our SMS surveys receive a high response rate because of how easy they are to use.
When you use this technology, you can quickly build the ideal workplace experience. Head to a productive journey of alignment for your business today!