Easy and Simple Organizational Alignment Tools That Work
Organizational alignment is essential for sustainable growth in the right direction. As the workforce changes to include more remote positions, the organizational alignment tools companies currently use will need to be updated.
We will define organizational alignment, outline the benefits, give the most popular organizational alignment model, how to adapt to an increasingly remote workplace, and the top five tools for success.
What Is Organizational Alignment?
Simply put, organizational alignment is the process of aligning all aspects of a company – including its processes, policies, and goals – with its mission, vision, and values.
The employees must also align with the company itself, and consider how their values are reflected in the workplace. Including this aspect in your organizational alignment strategy is important because it keeps the company and its employees working towards the same goal. It also promotes a united workplace where both the company and its employees can thrive.
How Organizational Alignment Can Benefit You
Let’s discuss the range of benefits that comes with building a company that is both well-aligned to execute on their vision and has processes in place to maintain growth. The organizational alignment affects not only the company’s success but also plays an influential role in the entirety of the workplace culture. The most notable benefits include:
- Higher Employee Morale
Employees that identify with their workplace through shared values will experience a greater sense of belonging. This is increased further through a company that supports its employees.
- Faster Growth
Companies that have promoted alignment throughout their entire organization will discover higher productivity rates. Employees who share the same values as the company they work for will enjoy the work more and will want to help the company succeed. This productivity increase is also supported through your employees adopting company processes quickly. This can be fostered by placing your staff in roles they identify with and feel capable in.
- Increased Engagement
People enjoy going to work when they are highly aligned with their roles. It’s important that your employees are able to identify how their tasks are directly related to their long-term goals within the company. How engaged your employees are will be a direct reflection of their alignment with the tasks they’ve been assigned, and will affect both their productivity rates and the quality of their work.
- Employee Empowerment
Knowing your employees align with the company values and processes, you’ll be able to delegate more effectively. This will let you empower your team to make effective choices that reflect those core organizational values. This will not only create more responsible employees but will let them have a more active role in the company. Additionally, leadership will be able to refocus on the most important tasks to support their team.
The Most Popular Organizational Alignment Model
Over time, how a company implements organizational alignment has changed. Companies advance and expectations shift to reflect up and coming trends and new ways of working. How a company aligns itself needs to be adjusted to meet the new workplace demands. There is, however, one framework that is more commonly used than others and may be beneficial to your company if implemented well.
It’s important to note that this framework is typically used in a 9-5, in-office workplace. It may not transfer well to the changing workplace model where hybrid or remote work is becoming more common (but we’ll get to that next).
The 7S Organizational Alignment Model
This model focuses on seven areas that work together to reinforce and benefit the entire system. This method includes:
- Skill Sets
- Shared Values
Let’s break down each of these areas individually:
This is how your organization works to further grow and maintain its competitive edge in your industry. It includes aspects such as project processes, marketing techniques, sales tactics, updated products, and services, etc. To maintain alignment with your company, you’ll need to review the current workplace strategies your company uses. Compare these to the company values and goals to ensure they are effectively working together.
This is how your company plans to complete tasks and projects. It could include how tasks are delegated, what departments you need in your company, how reports are managed, etc. To ensure effective alignment, review all structures in place and determine which ones reflect the core values of the company and support those of the employees.
This includes your policies and procedures, which have direct control over how a company functions. This section includes any programs and software the company uses, collaboration processes, project planning, and resources available. Review these aspects to ensure work is being completed in the same manner across the company so that it is coherent and maintains efficiency and effectiveness.
Staffing directly refers to those individuals you choose to employ. Consider your hiring practices and training processes. How your company manages these two vital aspects will have a large influence on the alignment of your staff and company. Intentionally create a workplace that accounts for the changing workforce. Hire people who reflect the values your company holds.
What are the talents and abilities your employees bring with them? This is important to the structuring of departments and teams. When assigning tasks or promoting collaboration, take individual skill sets into consideration and use them to find the best candidates to find success. Quality work is completed when people are working within their skill sets and feel capable to complete the work well.
Often this is reflected in an organization’s management style. How your managers treat their employees, and their common practices, are a direct reflection of the company. Review your management through project management audits. This will help you ensure your managers are behaving in accordance with the company standards, and that they are upholding the values of the company.
These are the overarching aspects of a company that are deemed most important. These values are involved in all decisions a company makes, and are the guiding force for all projects. Use the shared values of your organization to create a clear and strong mission statement. This mission statement will be the largest supporting factor of your organizational alignment.
Including these seven elements in your organizational alignment practice will help you create a strong, supportive workplace. While some of these are transferable to the remote world we’re beginning to experience, there are some important areas that will require some updating.
Changing Organizational Alignment For A Remote Workplace
Now more than ever, companies are adopting a remote workplace. For some companies that means creating a new hybrid working model where people split their time between working from home and working from the office. For others, it could be a fully remote model bringing lower operational costs by removing the need for a physical workplace. However a company has decided to include remote options for their employees, their organizational alignment strategies must reflect those changes.
Early research is finding that people are feeling more aligned with their workplace through remote work, in large part to it giving them a better work/life balance. It’s also showing increasing rates of employees feeling understood by their workplaces. To continue building better alignment with your staff, there are three important things you should be including in your organizational alignment strategy:
- Promote Greater Flexibility
Allow for greater flexibility to suit everyone’s individual working style. Some people prefer to get a lot of work done in the morning, while others find they produce better work in the afternoon. Letting your employees choose how they will frame their work hours can contribute to employee success and company growth.
- Adjust Your KPI’s
Key performance indicators will need to be reflective of your employee’s output as opposed to their input. The important part is your employee getting their work completed, meeting all expectations, and maintaining quality. The hours they spent working to make it happen isn’t as important and doesn’t define their value as an employee. Place more weight on what your employee produces, and their ability to meet their deadlines and expectations, than you do over how long they sit at a desk.
- Update Workplace Policies
Create updated policies to support remote workers without infringing on their current benefits. Some companies have begun removing perks and previously provided compensation from their employees who have taken a remote role. A company that maintains current standards and creates supportive policies for their new remote roles will help maintain alignment with their staff and discover greater benefits through doing so.
5 Ways To Align Company Goals With Employee Goals
Organizational alignment is most powerful when its focal point is on matching company values to those of your employees. Creating a strong relationship between your company and its employees is vital in the changing workplace. Here are five things you can do to build a united organization:
- Be clear in your mission statement and company values. Keep this in mind throughout any hiring period. Use these values and goals to guide the interview questions to get a strong sense of your potential hire’s personality and probability of aligning with the company.
- Include regular employee reviews that include goal planning. This will make your employees feel valued and supported by the company. People want to feel they can grow within their company and that they are supported in doing so. Take time to help your employees create a strategic plan to achieve their goals within the company, and provide them with the resources to meet those goals. During regular review periods, measure their success, discuss the areas they are struggling with and reevaluate the plan, making changes to reflect your employee’s progress. Not only does this keep your employees happier, but it also fosters a higher level of commitment, reduces employee turnover, and creates a highly skilled workforce.
- Send out regular surveys to let your employees tell you what they’re enjoying about the workplace and what they’d like to see in the future. This is a great way for you to gauge what your employees need, and include some of them in future policies. This will help your employees feel heard by the company while creating a better workplace for them.
- Keep up to date with current workplace trends. Review reports and research findings, and let this guide you in creating more supportive, updated company policies that will benefit your employees while reflecting the values of the company.
- Hire and train a highly capable management team. Strong leadership is the foundation for your company’s success and they are often the first contact point for your employees. They must reflect the values of the company, and create a workplace atmosphere that is in alignment with company policies. They must want to see their employees succeed. Managers should be skilled in empathetic communication to support their teams and create a healthy workplace. They need to be present and promote connections between their employees, building strong relationships and creating a welcome environment. By tying your company values to your manager’s leadership style, you’ll foster a healthy and happier workplace where your employees enjoy their work and want to work hard to see their team, and company, succeed.
Top 5 Organizational Alignment Tools For Success
Promoting strong alignment throughout your company can be challenging without the proper tools, especially with the changing workplace dynamics. Here are five tools that can help you find success in organizational alignment.
- Use A Project Management Tool
One of the most impactful tools you can use to support organizational alignment is by using online project management tools to support a hybrid or remote workplace. Implementing a tool like this will help you connect with your team and manage your project all from one place.
- Clear Organizational Processes
Create clear organization processes that are promoted company-wide and reflect the changing workplace. Include strategies and expectations around document sharing, team calendars, security, and data analysis.
- Utilize OKRs
Objectives and key results, or OKRs for short, are important tools to include in your company alignment strategy. This will help you track the outcomes of your objectives and measure their effectiveness in regard to company values and overarching goals. This can be used in an in-person workplace as well as in a remote one.
- Make SMART Goals
Using the SMART method will help you create your goals in a way that makes them both actionable and measurable. Creating your goals in a detailed way like this will help ensure each goal your company is working to achieve is supporting the overarching goals of the company altogether.
- Communication Systems
Solid communication systems include expectations for how the staff is to communicate. Is email more efficient? Do employees need to respond quickly to inbound emails, or can they respond when they are able to do so in a way that fits their schedule? Include the expectations of communication in your workplace handbook or have them easily available for all staff to access and review. This will help you create clear communication processes, which will make connecting more efficient and predictable.
The workplace is changing, and how well a company aligns with its employees is essential to success. By including some updated policies and procedures, and utilizing a few vital tools, you’ll be able to respond to the changing workplace while improving your organizational alignment intentionally.