Organizational Alignment Is What You Need for Your Team to Thrive
Most companies are filled with good people looking to make the most of their skill sets and be part of successful projects. And yet, despite all their good intentions, the needle doesn't seem to budge. There's a lot of activity but no striking results. The company's performance could be better. Resources are going underutilized, and morale is taking a nosedive.
As an executive, you may be wondering what the missing piece is. Organizational alignment, along with a well-put strategy and resources, is the process that holds the key to getting teams pulling in the same direction.
If you want to learn how to reach company alignment and turn it into business as usual in your organization, you're in the right place. Read on to discover how to achieve organizational alignment.
What is organizational alignment?
Organizational alignment is the process of organizing all the elements of a business, from strategy to department segmentation and procedures, in the best manner for bringing the company's mission to life.
Alignment theory is a relative newcomer to the management world after entering the scene in 1988, thanks to organizational theorists David Nadler and Michael Tushman. They developed the congruence model, stating that companies can only be effective when work, teams, organizational structures, and culture fit together.
According to this theory, the different components of organizational alignment are:
Team alignment results in a blissful state where everyone, from the CEO to the most recent hire, knows the long-term goals and their role in reaching them. And it takes a little while before they start delivering outstanding results.
What is the importance of organizational alignment?
Studies from around the world have shown that unity doesn’t just look good on paper; it actually works. For example, highly aligned companies increase their revenue by 58% and are 72% more profitable. And, when goals and accountabilities are crystal clear, people are 2.8x more likely to be highly engaged at work.
When you achieve organizational alignment, the entire business thrives and grows. People understand exactly what their roles and objectives are in the company and are pulling together in the same direction. When your employees collaborate and help each other accomplish their goals, the business prospers and has better results.
On the other hand, an unaligned company can lead to confusion and disorganization. Despite clear long-term objectives, operational difficulties can result in teams and departments working in silos, which is inefficient and counterproductive.
Organizational alignment benefits and what they mean for your company
We mentioned how important it is to build organizational alignment in your company to drive success. So let’s see the benefits of organizational alignment and how they can assist your company’s growth.
Optimized roles and responsibilities
When a company is balanced, each individual is assigned the tasks that best suit their skills. Plus, they know the bigger picture and how they fit into it.
Increased collaboration among teams
If attention is paid to alignment, people can communicate better, reach agreements, and work together to achieve common goals.
More transparency and accountability
Aligned teams understand their role and responsibilities within the company, how they affect other departments, and the desired outcome of projects.
Less resources wasted
Careful planning leads to wiser use of resources and less overlap in roles. The chances of doubling the work go way down this way, saving everyone time and money.
Faster decision making
Thanks to centralized information rather than siloed, teams can make strategic decisions faster.
Better working environment
Reaching for the same goals helps lighten the mood at work, increase employee engagement, and reduce the number of conflicts.
However, most companies are not aligned and don’t enjoy any of these benefits. In fact, 97% of team members and executives believe an internal lack of convergence impacts the outcome of their projects.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to guess that the cost of not having everyone in your company is high. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably paying for it right now.
Organizational alignment frameworks and methods
Methods and frameworks are used for more than just measuring organizational alignment. They guarantee companies and their people everyone is working toward the same objective. Let's see what some of the most common organizational alignment frameworks are:
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)
OKRs are a goal management framework that contains a maximum of five objectives and five key results for each objective, which are normally set for a fixed period of three months (most companies will use quarters).
They are a tool to create a link between the vision and the reality of the company. This framework is not used to measure individual performance but to ensure that everyone aligns and works to achieve the same goals and measure their progress to the desired state.
👉 If you want to learn more about the OKRs framework and how to build trust and motivate your people, download our FREE eBook.
McKinsey 7-s model
The McKinsey 7-s model is a framework for organizational alignment according to which seven internal variables must be aligned and strengthened for a company to succeed. These factors consist of four "soft" elements (shared values, skills, style, and staff) and three "hard" elements (strategy, structure, and systems).
The four soft elements can be tricky to assess, while the hard elements are simpler to quantify. Each of these components can be examined in light of the others to show how well-aligned your business is and where work still needs to be done.
Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX)
The Four Disciplines of Execution is another method of achieving business goals and organizational alignment.
4DX gives four disciplines to help teams focus their efforts:
- Focusing on the wildly important;
- Acting on lead measures;
- Keeping a compelling scoreboard;
- Creating a cadence of accountability.
The primary benefit of this approach is the straightforward picture of steps to take to accomplish a goal. However, it requires a lot of discipline and willpower to achieve it.
How to reach organizational alignment in your team
Organizational alignment starts with a sound strategic plan. This is the easy part, despite all the effort poured into it.
Most companies then struggle with cascading and executing plans throughout departments and keeping everything up to date. Complicating matters a bit more is the lack of almighty Departments of Accountability.
But this is where you, as an executive, come into play. Below are some leadership alignment activities you can implement in your company:
If you want to encourage alignment in your team, your job is simple: get everyone on board by identifying a common purpose. To achieve that, you need to communicate it clearly with the entire organization.
Start by asking yourself how your business strategy advances your purpose, vision, and core values. Employees are more likely to follow you when you can clearly show how your business objectives advance the mission.
Set individual and team goals
After you’ve ensured that everyone is aware of the common purpose, you need to translate the usually aspirational language of a strategy document into OKRs for your team.
Make all the information available to your people, reiterate it in meetings, then watch them thrive and reach new milestones. By prioritizing getting everyone on the same page, you create a high-performance environment driving sustainable results, both short and long-term.
An effective organizational alignment plan means that everyone has ownership over their objectives. When your people are accountable for their personal goals and understand how they feed into the organization’s larger objectives, it will be easier to identify roadblocks and see how everyone is progressing.
Organizational alignment requires a highly coordinated effort from all levels of teams, departments, and employees. While it is important to take responsibility and have ownership over specific tasks, in an aligned work environment, people need to know they can rely on each other.
Use the right tools
In this digital age, you don’t have to do it alone. An HR tool like Mirro, with proven results, puts all the frameworks and support you need right at your fingertips.
Tools for strategic alignment make strategic priorities transparent. With the right tool, you can clearly depict the organizational structure, enabling each employee to understand how their efforts contribute to achieving company goals.
Keep your team aligned with Mirro
The nifty Mirro app allows you to:
- Break down the company's strategy into OKRs, clarifying and highlighting priorities.
- Assign your team members with the goals that fit them best, playing to their strengths.
- Promote accountability, spot and remove obstacles, and offer timely feedback.
- Bake team alignment into regular 1:1 meetings, reminding everyone what an important part they play in the organization's success.
- Connect initiative and decisions to the underlying strategy.
- Offer robust onboarding to new hires so that they quickly understand the impact generated by their work.
- Stay agile and on top of changing priorities, empowering team members to execute the vision.
The final result is complete visibility over strategy implementation, collaborative teams, a strong direction, and fulfilled potential.
See everything at a glance with Mirro.
Being team-aligned doesn’t have to be a utopia. Instead, turn it into your day-to-day reality and reap all the benefits with Mirro. Schedule your demo today and see how to keep everyone aligned with OKRs!
Content Marketer @ Mirro