History shows that the companies that last through any time of change have something in common, namely, a strong foundation of shared purpose. Yet, while defining a company’s vision and objectives is one thing, achieving them effectively is another — particularly in today’s remote workplaces.
One reason many organizations fail to convert their plans into success stories is they lag when it comes to achieving organizational alignment. Not familiar with the term? It’s a fancy way of saying that a business’s playbook (its culture, structure, resources and people) are unified in a way to drive results, boost profits and achieve a shared vision. It’s the glue connecting leadership, employees and customers to a company’s mission.
This type of thinking can rejuvenate a business. But how do you go about it?
Barriers To Organizational Alignment
A business’s vision and objectives generally do not change; its strategies and plans do. An aligned organization reflects on the change requirements effectively, at times of such crucial strategic planning changes.
Before enacting a strategy, evaluate the performance, behaviors and resources of these three areas:
• People: Those who offer expertise and skills to execute the business strategy.
• Leadership: Who develops, communicates and evaluates the organizational strategy.
• Organization: Which executes the strategy and provides resources for the execution.
Alignment issues are a natural product of time, as organizations grow, technology advances, leadership changes or the marketplace shifts. Having a sound alignment strategy can curb these effects and ensure an organization stays on track.
Four Ways To Achieve Organizational Alignment
A business’s ultimate goal is to boost profits and revenue, in other words, increasing stakeholders’ wealth. However, many businesses do not focus on organizational alignment when it comes to achieving increased sales.
Here are a few tips to improve your business profitability through organizational alignment.
1. Unite vision and strategy.
Alignment doesn’t happen overnight, and many business leaders struggle to define the business strategy matched with their vision. It takes strategic planning. For example, if your company culture values creativity, employees may be rewarded for new ideas or products.
Company culture drives employee behavior, which drives performance. Businesses can help unite these areas through different methods, such as conducting regular employee surveys and through thoughtful recruiting. They must also ensure any leadership positions understand the strategy so they can serve as an example to others.
2. Take a collaborative approach.
A key opportunity missed by many businesses is not getting all divisions on the same page and creating opportunities to work together often. Many business leaders would argue, “What does the IT division have to do with product pricing?” But does your IT infrastructure affect your employee satisfaction, customer services, sales and ultimately profits?
Similarly, the finance function can play the role in deciding the economic value of new products. The operations and logistics functions can help improve sales beyond the supply chain support.
Collaboration between departments and strategies not only helps support end products but also boosts employee engagement, creating happier employees. Happy employees are more productive, resulting in customer retention, which in turn supports a healthier company culture and alignment.
3. Communicate effectively and often.
When it comes to organization alignment, internal communication is key, particularly in a remote environment. Setting clear and sound goals is good for business, but if you can’t communicate those goals across the organization, progress will sputter.
Organizations must ensure effective internal communication bridges the gap between employees, management and customers — facilitating information flow to every last touchpoint. It also creates opportunities to listen, obtaining feedback from both internal and external stakeholders. After all, team engagement and customer support can make or break a business.
4. Anchor the execution.
Organizational alignment cannot yield profitability results unless it executes the business strategy consistently. Many businesses can develop effective business strategies but do not execute consistently amid a lack of alignment culture.
Business leaders can take a few steps to anchor the strategic execution while achieving organizational alignment:
• Get all stakeholders on board if there are any tough choices regarding limited resources or policy execution.
• Consider the customer segmentation of your target market.
• Focus on sustainable revenue streams.
• Create short-term goals, and recognize the achievers by rewarding them.
• Empower your people to execute the vision and remove any obstacles.
As companies increasingly need to be nimble in their tactics and employees seek positive remote working opportunities, it’s critical to break down barriers and grow together. A business can avoid a lot of potential issues and boost profitability by enacting a strong alignment strategy. The future of your business might depend upon it.