February 21, 2014


With a recent Gallup survey discovering 70 percent of employees are disengaged on the job, it’s likely some of your employees are feeling checked out in the office. Now is the perfect time to understand what strategic alignment is and why it’s so important for the success of your company.

Ensuring your talent is aligned with company goals is an important part of organizational success. Understanding goals and individual contributions can make the difference between a checked out workforce and a motivated employee pool.

It’s no secret that we discuss alignment frequently here on the blog - our whole team is very passionate about it. Still, there’s no definitive “guide” to understanding why alignment is important, at least not yet ... With that in mind, here are just a few of the most frequently asked questions we see about aligning your workforce with company goals and strategies:

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What is goal alignment?

Goal alignment, or strategic alignment, is the process by which you keep your workforce working towards your company's overarching goals. When company-wide goals are set, steps must be taken to ensure that employees are informed not only as to what they should be working on, but also why. Managers must ensure that their individual goals and work  - as well as that of their direct reports - is in line with the overarching strategy. Then, you can ensure that your people are driving progress daily. Proper strategic alignment ensures the work of your best talent is being effectively and efficiently utilized.

Why is goal alignment important?

When your people understand what their goals are, and how they align with the goals of their teams and leaders, you can ensure that everyone in your company is collaborating on the right projects at the right time. A well aligned organization fosters a system that ensures the right people are working on the right things. Understanding how individual employee work ladders up to larger organizational goals allows for an in-depth understanding of progress. Additionally, it ensures your workers understand their value and contributions to the company. This helps improve employee engagement and leads to a happier company culture. Implementing a goal-centric system makes certain your people are working towards the right goals, preventing costly misalignment.  

What’s real-time goal tracking?

Wouldn't it be great to see what's really going on in your company, as it happens? To be able to prevent work from cascading in the wrong direction? Tracking goals in real-time, and using a software to help you do so, allows you to do this. By implementing a system that allows you to tag projects, tasks and meetings to goals, you can not only see what all your employees are working on, but how that work helps you meet company goals. This way you have a clearer picture of your organization.

How does goal alignment increase transparency?

Organizational transparency is vitally important if you want to maintain an engaged workforce. Tying an employee’s daily tasks to the overall goals they are expected to accomplish can help them see why what they are working on matters.  Employees can easily get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae of their work and become disengaged. Thanks to talent alignment platforms, your team can have a daily touchpoint on company strategy, and visualize how their efforts contribute to the whole. A confusing organizational structure or workflow can quickly become clear when everyone holds each other accountable and works toward the same goals.

How does goal alignment help with recruiting?

If your recruiting team truly understands your company goals, you can make better hires. Knowing what tasks your candidate will perform helps you key into exactly what skills new hires will need on the job. This aids in several aspects of the hiring process, including writing more specific job descriptions and making sure the right questions are asked during the interview process.

How does goal alignment ease onboarding?

When it is clear how the work of a new hire will contribute to company goals and progress, you can more effectively communicate during the onboarding process. Strategic alignment will help new hires visualize why their work will matter. They can hit the ground running as soon as they step foot in your company thanks to increased organizational transparency.

Can goal alignment cut down on office politics?

Office politics can easily harm your hard-won employee engagement. No one benefits from the gossip that often stems from a lack of understanding of workflow and performance. Thankfully both transparency and goal alignment can cut down on needless office politics. Easy visualization means you can see the contributions of everyone in your organization, so you’ll always be sure to reward and recognize the right people.

How does proper alignment prevent goal decomposition?

Consistently communicating goals and tracking them in real-time can keep work from cascading in the wrong direction. The average organization can end up playing something akin to a game of Telephone, with messages and directives flying wildly off course. Visualizing progress, strategic alignment, and tracking goals can keep work on track. You can make sure that your goals are being worked towards and keep them from decomposing in the hierarchies of your organizational chart.

Can goal alignment increase productivity?

Transparency and alignment makes employees on every level accountable for their progress and performance. Increased accountability in turn increases productivity, while connecting their work back to goals can inspire employees to take ownership of their work. Productivity is increased when workers understand why their contributions matter and what value they add to the organization.

How does goal alignment improve employee engagement?

Tying daily work to overall company goals can help employees understand their role, see how their work matters, and become more motivated to add value to the organization. When employees see their contributions at work, they are more likely to feel like a valued part of the team, and this increases employee engagement. Since employee engagement is tied to better corporate outcomes, it's important your team feels valued and involved.

Does goal alignment improve corporate communication?

Being able to visualize workflow and see how work connects to goals can easily improve corporate communication. Instead of only using quarterly or annual reviews, feedback can be exchanged on a daily basis for a specific project or task. Consistent touchpoints like this can help correct small mistakes before they snowball into long-term performance problems. 

What are your questions about goal alignment? Let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to answer!

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IMAGE: Courtesy of Albertogp123


Andre Lavoie
Andre Lavoie
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Andre is the CEO and co-founder of ClearCompany. Prior to ClearCompany, Andre was Global Managing Director at Thomson Reuters, where he ran a 1Bn global business across 90 countries. Prior to Thomson Reuters, Andre was responsible for product development and operations at CCBN, a company he helped grow from a small start-up to number 36 on the INC 500.

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