Organizational and team alignment have a direct impact on business success and continuity. When the entire or the majority of the workplace is on the same page and striving towards the same goals, it is much easier to achieve those goals and objectives. 

However, many organizations, especially large ones with distributed workforces, are struggling to achieve greater team alignment in the workplace. 

In this blog, we are bringing to you 8 ways to improve alignment in your organization

1. Set Up Shared Goals and KPIs

The way you set up your company’s OKRs and KPIs can significantly impact the level of alignment at the company level and team levels. 

It is critical to define OKRs on a company level so that employees are aligned on the goals they are supposed to reach

Team and cross-functional KPIs should also be defined properly. This is particularly important for cross-functional teams with a lot of dependencies. 

Furthermore, the OKRs and KPIs must be evaluated and communicated frequently. 

Unfortunately, only 51% of companies attempt to develop aligned goals, and among the companies surveyed, only 6% regularly revisit them

team-alignment-shared-goals

On the other hand, A Betterworks survey found that 92% of American workers would work harder if their colleges could see their goals.

Furthermore, according to research, the most successful companies have a 28% higher communication intensity, measured by the number of communication channels used, and use OKR check-ins more often than the comparison group.

2. Embed Alignment Into Your Company Culture

Making team alignment one of your core company values can help you promote and nurture alignment internally and embed certain behaviors among your employees. 

Internal communications departments play a critical role in communicating and promoting company culture and values. By using creative, personalized, and engaging content, they can motivate people to adopt new initiatives that promote alignment. 

For example, you could implement workplace initiatives that encourage team collaboration over competition and celebrate teamwork over individual work. You can have a social recognition channel in which employees celebrate teamwork and collaboration to show how they result in better team alignment. 

Or you can have an employee newsletter or an internal company podcast with employee-generated content focused on the benefits and best practices for teamwork and alignment in the workplace.

Achieve better team alignment with Haiilo communications platform!

3. Eliminate Communication Barriers

Poor workplace communications are one of the main reasons for the lack of alignment between teams. Communication barriers such as app and information overload, grapevine communications, lack of active listening, and wrong communication channels are often the major culprits for poor alignment and team collaboration

If you work for a large organization, the chances you use multiple workplace communication tools are high. This is often one of the major reasons why employees miss important information resulting in a lack of alignment between and among teams. 

Ideally, such organizations should have a good understanding of employees’ preferred channels and can easily distribute content, documents, and information to appropriate channels and employee apps. 

When information and app overload stop being a communication barrier, it is much more unlikely that teams will miss important information or receive different information based on the communication channel. 

📹 Check out our Masterclass about how to eliminate communication barriers in the workplace!

4. Enable Both Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication

Most companies use instant messaging platforms to communicate and collaborate with their peers on a daily basis. While it is important to enable synchronous workplace communications, organizations must understand that the life span of these messages is short. It can be quite difficult to find important messages and information in the sea of daily messages we exchange with our coworkers. 

On the other hand, asynchronous communications ensure that employees stay up to date with the most important, critical company information. 

Most organizations use intranet solutions to improve asynchronous communications in the workplace. However, not many solutions provide an easy way to reach every employee with timely and relevant information – one of the major prerequisites for better alignment in the workplace. 

In fact, content irrelevancy is the main reason why employees ignore or neglect company-wide communications. Consequently, this is why they are not informed, why they miss surveys, open enrollments, emergency notifications, and many more.

5. Improve Manager Communications

Managers and proper manager communications play the most important role in ensuring better alignment within their teams and with other departments. 

As nicely put by Inc.

“Good communication is everything in the workplace. Clear direction and expectations can’t happen without it. Teamwork and morale take a hit in its absence. And productivity ultimately suffers without it.”

Even though communication is the most critical leadership skill, 91% of employees think their leaders are not good communicators, according to the previously mentioned survey. Moreover, 71% of employees believe that their leaders do not spend enough time communicating goals and plans. Naturally, this results in poor alignment among teams.

team-alignment-communication

Drilling down further, the survey results indicate a much deeper issue: a lack of emotional intelligence (EQ) in how business leaders and managers communicate, leading to many dysfunctions and misalignments. 

Another survey proved that 85% of employees are most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news. When managers communicate properly, employee awareness of company goals and challenges accompanied by a clear definition of their role, leads to motivation and alignment.  

6. Encourage and Support Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge sharing is the process of exchanging information, ideas, and experiences among individuals or groups. It involves sharing knowledge and expertise within an organization or team. It’s a key component in knowledge management because it enables knowledge transfer and expertise from individuals and teams within an organization, which can help to build a collective knowledge base. This also helps to enable a culture of organizational learning, and continuous innovation, and improve organizational alignment. 

However, to embed this sharing mindset among your employees, it is important to also make it one of your core company values. 

Not everyone wants and likes to share their knowledge with others. In very competitive environments, employees will be much less likely to share knowledge with others. 

Managers and internal communications must promote knowledge sharing with the organization. They must continuously communicate the benefits of it and help employees easily share knowledge with each other using the right, intuitive workplace technology

7. Give (and ask for) Frequent Feedback

Besides just setting up shared KPIs, and communicating important company updates to the team, managers need to be good listeners and encourage frequent feedback from their people. 

To continuously improve team alignment, employers and managers need to understand the current state of alignment and measure it. 

But how can managers measure team alignment?

The best and most efficient way for managers to measure and understand team alignment is by regularly distributing pulse surveys to their teams.

When it comes to alignment, there are six areas where you can measure alignment:

  1. Purpose: the reason the team exists.
  2. Values: the standards or guiding principles by which the team must operate.
  3. Vision: a clearly defined picture of what the team aspires to be at a particular point in time in the future.
  4. Goals: what the team needs to achieve in the shorter term to achieve the vision.
  5. Priorities: what are the most important things the team needs to focus on to achieve their goals.
  6. Roles: what each team member must do to achieve the vision and goals.

Based on that, here are a few team alignment-related questions you can include in your surveys.

To what extent do you agree with the following statements (strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (6)):

  • Our team knows what is expected of us. 
  • People in our team demonstrate a clear understanding of values through their behavior.
  • Our team is moving together in the same direction. 
  • Our team has a coherent plan for achieving our vision. 
  • I like the direction this team is going in. 
  • The strategies we have in place will ensure we achieve our vision.
  • Our team clearly understands what we need to achieve. 
  • Team members have the information they need to set priorities.
  • Our team clearly understands what our priorities are. 
  • When priorities change, team members are made aware of the change and the reason for the change.
  • ​​The team is clear about the roles and responsibilities of each team member.
  • Team members understand what is expected of them in their respective roles.

8. Recognize Those Who Show Alignment

Social employee recognition is the best way to show employees what actions and behaviors are desired in the workplace and help them embrace new company values. 

By recognizing those who show alignment, nurture teamwork and collaboration, and practice sharing, you can show the rest of the company that this is something you value

Employee recognition programs are usually tied to the company’s core values and ultimate business goals because this is when they will have the most impact. 

But if you think you need a big budget to get started with employee recognition, you are wrong! You can start with a simple, non-monetary recognition program. Set up a #thanks or #kudos channel where employees and managers can simply thank those who demonstrate and appreciate alignment.

Check out our report on the synergy of multichannel communication and employee listening, featuring Forrester!

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