The words organizational alignment might sound lofty and generalized, but once you know a little more about what it actually means, you might reconsider how you approach it. If you want your business to be high performing, and operate at a level that surpasses the competition, it’s not just about a few outstanding employees or the go-to team that gets the job done.
When looking at the larger picture, it’s in fact about the changing conditions that affect how the employees and teams operate. What are the priorities? What’s the strategy? How can teams align given the conditions they are faced with?
Read on to learn more about the importance of organizational alignment and how to achieve it.
The only constant is change, and if the start of the decade has taught us anything, it’s that the world and the business environment is constantly in a state of flux. No two situations are the same; a project delay, a new business development, or a client meeting. Even when taking on the next objective, in the face of changing conditions like the economy, workforce trends and culture, there are 5 ways to encourage organizational alignment:
Establishing a meaningful purpose (for the role, project, job, task, etc.).
Defining clear goals.
Creating a strategy that breaks down smaller goals on the way to the end goal.
Marking plans and priorities that keep people on track towards execution.
Metrics and key performance indicators that affect outcomes.
When organizational alignment isn’t taken into account or could be better executed, your team might look and sound like this:
Imagine the accounting division of an advertising agency and how they might operate for a multinational company with hundreds of offices around the world. The roles and responsibilities of the accountants, even in the same office, might not be clearly articulated. Knowing who to talk to about taxes or audits, even though they are in the same department, may not be clear. It’s not uncommon for employees in this division to have multiple meetings, most of which aren’t necessary. This is when time, money and effort is wasted and business and productivity suffers, all because there is little to no organizational alignment – different parts of the whole aren’t talking to each other.
The key component here is lack of communication. Organizational alignment affects team breakdowns. When everyone is aligned, it’s because of communication across teams, departments, the organization and business. When clear, concise, and thorough communication is readily available or adhered to, that’s when workflows and team efficiency improves.
(alt-tag: Over head view of three sets of arms using laptops on tiled, grid-like round table. )
When employees are aligned with their role…
Starting finding the right talent and onboarding, ensuring your employees are in the right role is the first thing you can do to establish alignment. What can be worse than tasking a person with a project or putting them into a role that doesn’t allow their talents to shine? The proper questions need to be asked from the get-go. Create cohesion amongst HR staff so they know what to look for when onboarding talent via video conferencing and online meetings.
Another way to look at it is by having a conversation with current employees in their roles and asking them what motivates and inspires them. Do you know if they know why they’re doing what it is they’re doing? Where do they see themselves in three, five, 10 years? Set aside time to connect with new employees and current ones to help determine the overall health of internal operations.
When the roles of employees are aligned with the team…
The defining characteristic of a team is shared accountability, but in order to reach that trust and combined effort, it’s critical to know who’s doing what. The whole is greater than the parts, and without roles and responsibilities, how can the team move towards success? Not knowing who’s in charge, or who can be held accountable when there’s no shared accountability starts to create leaks and holes. When everyone is clear about what they have to do, there’s a sense of ownership and pride that makes individuals take responsibility. Plus, all bases are covered, all duties are matched, and every task is spoken for.
When the team is aligned with other teams…
Especially in an office workplace, all parts need to be communicating to one another. In the spirit of organizational alignment, if your marketing team fails to communicate to your planning team, there’s no way the project can lift off the ground. It doesn’t matter how competent each team is if they’re operating in a silo. It’s when collaboration, cohesion of systems, transparency, visibility and agreeing on goals are prioritized that communication (and ultimately productivity) can ignite to create momentum.
That’s organizational alignment.
(alt-tag: Two women chatting at table with open books. One is looking in the distance to the right of the camera while the other is chatting to her. )
It doesn’t come without challenges. Having hard conversations, voicing opinions and expressing what needs to be said in moments of adversity can push leaders to their edge.
Here’s how you can work to achieve organizational alignment:
1. Stand For Clear Communication
Sounds obvious, but it couldn’t ring more true! Communication is everything, but what makes good communication stand out from poor communication? Everyone needs to be aware of the goals, and priorities they are expected to achieve and pursue. Without a map, you can’t make it to your destination!
2. Address Team Needs
To achieve optimal organizational alignment and collaboration, it’s a matter of knowing the specific needs of the team. More time? Resources? Leadership? Managers need to ask and provide what’s necessary and within reason for teams to be set up for success.
3. Acquire Technology That Fits Seamlessly
Investing in the best tools you can afford will always stand you in good stead. Building a team that is the sum of its parts can go one of two ways, ideal or less than. Stick with the former and choose an enterprise-ready video conferencing software platform that provides leaders and employees the virtual tools to bring abstract thoughts and ideas into real-life execution.
Let Callbridge’s business-oriented and sophisticated video conferencing technology work hard behind the scenes to align your team on the scene. With exceptional features, crisp, high definition audio and video, plus browser-based technology and top notch security, you can feel on-track with Callbridge’s video conferencing technology that bolsters communication.