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3 Steps for HR Leaders to Gain Alignment and Hit Goals

Beth Thornton

August 13, 2020

As an HR leader, you know how your people can achieve their goals, but your senior leadership may not always be bought in. They also need you to hit your KPIs, like retention and engagement, but you need their support to use the tools at your disposal effectively. 

Where executives and HR leaders often agree is on improving execution by aligning goals, vision, and communication across the organization.

Sometimes the simplest way to do this is to step back and get everyone on the same page by assessing the current situation, identifying what is needed to fit your company’s needs, and implementing it with a spirit of continuous improvement.

Assess the situation

You can’t prescribe a solution until you accurately understand what your company needs. To do that, all you need to do is ask the right questions. 

Start by pulling data. If you’re currently using a performance management system, use the data at your fingertips to assess what parts have made the biggest impact or are being underutilized. 

Next, ask the right questions. Send out a survey or simply ask leaders and front-line employees what their needs are. Leaders especially can provide insight into skills or tools that would deliver the greatest impact for their teams. Where possible, find out how those tools can tie back to your company’s goals. Involving leadership in this phase can be particularly helpful when asking for buy-in down the road when you implement new solutions.

Finally, identify the most pressing opportunities. Maybe most workers only use 30% of the capabilities your current tech stack provides. Maybe your performance management system only includes an annual survey, so your current practices could be very disconnected from what your employees really need to be successful! Do you have a recognition strategy? Is it effective? Pinpoint where the company is losing opportunities to benefit either directly (saving money) or secondarily (increased employee satisfaction = increased productivity). 

Identify the tools needed 

Now that you’ve identified the needs and opportunities, what needs to change to take advantage of those opportunities?

You need to decide whether your current technologies to help managers give feedback, recognize success, have performance conversations, and lead through coaching and mentoring are up to the task. A point solution that was appropriate in the past may not be capable of handling bigger-picture opportunities the way a platform can. You may also need to look at your current technology stack to see what’s being used versus what you have available but isn’t currently being used. For many organizations, this untapped potential may have the answers they need to reach their goals. 

Another area to identify beyond technology is thinking about your performance and coaching processes. Your technology can work great, but if your processes and approach aren’t working, you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. One way to identify process issues is to see if everyone sees value in what you’re doing for performance, goals, feedback and recognition, and coaching. If not, this is a good time to close the gap and align going forward.

Bring technology and process together to identify what’s working and find new technologies and processes that do meet your needs or fill critical gaps. Having the right tools — and using them the right way — leads to engaged employees, higher productivity, and lower turnover. 

Show the results

Finally — it’s time to bring all of your work to reality!

Share your work with your leadership. Whether the numbers look good or bad, share the fruits of your labor. Present your findings in a way that highlights the opportunities you’ve discovered. The key is to show the connection between KPIs you hope to affect and the technology and processes you recommend. You already know the pain turnover can cause when your CFO assesses the bottom line. Cultivate a conversation about the impact engaged employees (vs. unengaged) have on the company. Share with your team that research shows employees are far more likely to stay, grow, and hit their goals when they’re connected and making an impact on the organization. 

Focus on increasing employee engagement. Once you have sign-off to execute on your plan, roll out any new technology and processes with the aim to get everyone’s buy-in. This is a positive change for them! Provide a clear understanding of what success looks like and how you will get there together. This is an excellent opportunity to align management and teams within the company under your shared values and goals and celebrate success! 

Continue measuring through the process. After implementing your changes, continue to measure through data available via your performance management system, 1:1s, reasons for recognition, and surveys. This will allow you to adjust in the flow of your company’s growth and provide updates to leadership throughout the year.

Growth at every level 

If you’re thinking about taking stock of the current tools and processes in place at your company, you’re already on the right track! At Inspire Software, we believe that a mindset of continuous improvement will set you and your team up for success. We believe you do that by asking the right questions and engaging those around you to unearth options that meet your unique needs.

We built Inspire to help you integrate goals, performance, feedback, and recognition as critical parts of cultivating a culture where your employees are excited to collaborate, succeed, and lead at every level across your organization.