Why is goal alignment so hard to achieve? In a smaller company with few employees, it’s not hard to get everyone on the same page. Things get a little more complicated when you add more employees and more levels to the mix. Hiring, growing and aligning your talent can also get complicated and it becomes easy for great people to feel lost in the shuffle.
There is certainly something to be said for operating like a lean startup with direct line of sight to every employee. You would always know what your people spent their days accomplishing and your employees would understand how their efforts contribute to the company mission.
It’s not a huge secret about 90 percent of your company’s work is done several levels below the CEO and upper management. If the employees at the bottom of the org chart don’t clearly understand goals and aren’t aligned with the company mission, it can result in a lot of wasted productivity.
Companies without proper goal alignment can face major issues while trying to stay on target towards broad organizational objectives. When goals do not cascade properly, it can be close to impossible to keep track of where your talent is allocated and what they are working on. This means nearly half of your company could be working on projects not aligned with overall goals. Think of how much time, effort, and talent is currently being wasted in your company right now if you’re suffering from lack of transparency and goal alignment.
The payoffs of improved goal alignment are huge when it comes to utilizing human capital, onboarding great hires, and achieving important organizational goals. Not convinced yet? Here are some other ways goal alignment helps your company operate leaner and smarter:
Corrects Issues In Real Time
Before you use start onboarding new employees, you first need to see everything happening in your company. Goal alignment allows for greater organizational transparency from the top of the org chart all the way to the bottom. When people are aligned and have visibility throughout the organization, new hires can be onboarded directly into
Your executives can see what everyone is focused on. This allows you to course correct problems in real time before a small error becomes a large problem. You can stop teams from getting off track, keeping employees focused on the right tasks instead of wasting human capital on projects that don't affect your bottom line.
Helps Employees Understand Their Value
Goal alignment isn't useful only for your recruitment process. Long after you've hired great people, using a goal-based viewpoint will help employees see their value within the company. It can lead to a more active and engaged company culture, since employees can see exactly how their work affects the big picture.
This addresses a serious issue facing many organizations looking to improve company culture and employee engagement. With about 70 percent of the workforce disengaged, companies are bleeding productivity and talent from employees who can't see where their efforts are going.
This isn't entirely surprising since a recent study called “How Leaders Grow Today” conducted by ClearCompany and Dale Carnegie found 43 percent of employees were familiar with the company’s strategic goals but could not actually list them. Misaligned employees and goal cascading are clearly both prevalent problems for many organizations hoping to improve company culture, get employees engaged, and keep productivity aligned with company objectives.
Knowing how their work fits into the overall company picture helps improve employee motivation and engagement. Increasing transparency allows employees to see the value of their work, keeping everyone on track and feeling valued.
Allows You To See The Forest Through The Trees
If you're focusing on the little things, it soon becomes harder to see the larger picture. This is as true for the CEO as it is for someone on the lowest rung of the career ladder. To maintain a positive company culture likely to attract great candidates and make your recruitment and onboarding processes easier, you'll need goal alignment. You need to stop focusing on the day-to-day tasks and instead understand how these tasks add value to larger organizational projects.
Keeping track of your goals can help your company stop focusing on minutiae and allow you to see the larger picture instead. This helps keep employees motivated and improves company culture, attracts great talent to your recruitment process, helps you avoid mistakes, and keeps your people working on the right tasks to keep growing your company.
What do you think? How do you align your company with goals? Share in the comments!
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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.