What differentiates successful people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet from others? What makes companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Berkshire Hathaway different from other mainstream organizations? Well, it is mainly their clear vision and alignment to their goals. These people and their organizations have a clear strategy and well-defined goals.
However, the key to success is not having clear goals but mastering the proper alignment. The real success lies in aligning every stakeholder to combine efforts for achieving those goals. You can only unleash your organization’s true potential by synergizing the efforts of all the employees across all levels. Organizational alignment ensures this synergy.
Organizational alignment refers to the same-page approach of all the employees of an organization. From the CEO to the junior officer of a department, everyone shares the same organizational mission and vision and is committed to common goals. It is not as simple as it might seem. According to research by HBR, 80% of employees need more clarity about their organizational strategy and their precise roles.
Imagine the untapped potential you can discover if all these 80% of employees are aligned to organizational goals. Therefore, this article highlights four ways you can align business goals with employee goals.
1. A Single Strategy across the Board
Most businesses specialize in a specific domain and follow the specialization strategy in a narrow product or service category. They must reflect the same approach in their organizational hierarchy as well. However, sticking to a single strategy requires you to be mindful of employee developmental needs. Otherwise, it will not bear desirable results. For instance, if you seek to develop the finance and accounts department, fulfill their personal development goals simultaneously. Provide your employees the option to enroll in MBA with accounting concentration to polish their financial skills and knowledge. It will allow them to serve your organization with apt and latest skills while expanding their career opportunities.
Once you implement a single strategy across the board, your business goals and workforce aspirations become aligned. Besides, employees aim to develop skills in their respective domains. When you place them in their proper functions, you reiterate your business strategy. It enables you to create an organizational culture that promotes specialization while ensuring employee development goals. Gradually, your business goals and employee goals come into alignment as a result.
2. Keep a Check
Aligning business goals with your employee goals is not just about teaching them about your corporate goals. It is an entire systematic process of establishing goal alignment in chunks with properly incorporated follow-ups. According to the Dominican University of California study, it is 42% more likely that employees will achieve goals if someone records and follows up.
It doesn’t refer to micromanagement. It doesn’t mean you start shoving down business goals to your employees. It only asks you to recall business goals for your employees. You can do it either explicitly or implicitly through meetings. The real purpose is to advertise and then follow up on the overall business strategy. It will highlight possible loopholes as well. You can then work on these gaps and develop better goal alignment.
3. Set and Communicate Top Business Priorities
You might think top business priorities are already significant and visible at large to the entire organization. Well, surprisingly, they aren’t. Studies prove that only two-thirds of senior managers could name their organization’s top business priorities. Thus, how are you supposed to achieve goal alignment when the senior management doesn’t know the priorities and goals exactly?
In most such cases, people residing in the C-level suite are responsible for this misalignment. They do not cascade goals properly. As a result, a gap develops across the entire line of hierarchy. It eventually has a domino effect. The misalignment spreads to the far and wide of the organization and becomes an enigma. Therefore, it is inevitable for you to set and communicate top business priorities down the line.
4. Your Goals must be SMART
You have set a goal for your startup to achieve market dominance in your product category by the end of the next quarter. People might appreciate your bravery, but your goals sound nothing less than a far cry from reality. You can never align business goals with employee goals until they seem realistic to them. Employees only invest their efforts and energy in something which promises them success and lucrative outcomes.
Therefore, you must set SMART goals for your organization. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Specific goals channel employee efforts to precise targets. Measurable goals let you track progress and provide feedback. Similarly, attainable goals ensure completions. Realistic goals instill motivation among employees, and time-bound goals enable everyone to work within a time frame. In short, all these attributes make your goals more digestible for employees and allow you to achieve alignment with their goals.
Organizational health depends on several factors. Keeping all the stakeholders content and aligned is undoubtedly the most important of all those. No other stakeholder is as important as your employees because they are the ones who run the business for you. You can only motivate them if their goals are in sync with the organizational goals. This alignment serves as the biggest intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for them. Therefore, you must chalk down a proper blueprint of your organizational goals and achieve alignment with your employees.