Four Reasons You Need to be Thinking About Goal Alignment

May 31, 2018 | Jason Arnold
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 Your organization’s greatest asset is its employees, who make up the mindshare and knowledge base to serve your paying customers. But how do you measure that asset? Employee engagement surveys and Glassdoor reviews are a good start, are they really clear indicators on how your greatest asset is being leveraged? To make the most out of the investment in your people, you need an objective line of site on their performance. Effective goal setting at every level of an organization is one of the most important motivators and means of evaluating your people’s contribution to the mission and purpose of the organization.

Setting achievable goals that are aligned with the company’s key objectives is the best way to maximize performance and get the best out of your employees. Whether you are part of a small business, large enterprise, or start-up company, everyone in the organization needs to play smarter, work better, and act cohesively to complete goals. To achieve this, you need to give your employees performance goals that align with the company’s annual goals or strategies. Aligning goals across the organization not only creates transparency across different roles and functions, it gives employees the autonomy to solve business issues independently while still operating with an interdependence on the mission, vision, values, and strategies of the organization on a regular basis.

Four critical ways organizations can use goal alignment as a strategic advantage are:

Align Roles with Individual, Team, and Organizational Goals

By giving your employees goals that align with the company’s performance or long-term goals, you enable them to visualize the way they contribute to the larger picture. Individual roles help them understand the place of each step or project along the larger roadmap. Such objectives also give your leaders tools to define and measure performance in ways that still build toward the same aligned goals. These practices give employees the freedom they need to set their own goals, which helps them complete their roles within the larger process and create better workforce accountability.

Employees Can Rally Around a Goal

The best way to maximize performance in your workforce is to create a sense of team around a goal. When people unite around a problem or theme, they buy in. It gives them a more immediate sense of belonging and defines what their failure to perform would mean for their peers. It will also lead to higher employees retention. By setting up multiple aligned goals, you can create multiple teams that can work concurrently toward the larger end, rather than cascading the projects and stalling performance. 

Employees Find Relevance in the Organization 

Individuals won’t give their best to an organization that doesn’t show them why they matter. When employees buy into the company, they want it to succeed. By tying individual success to company success, you narrow the larger project down to something small and attainable. You give employees something they can take ownership of; something they can visualize through the endpoint. They will see how their roles matter and how their performance fits into the larger picture. This, in turn, reduces your workforce’s downtime and turnover rate, which provides you with a healthier, more capable workforce that doesn’t require as much training.

Leaders Identify Gaps Between Policy and Performance

Often, a disconnect forms between the policy and performance levels of an organization. The policymakers set the goals, but they don’t get down in the trenches where the tasks are completed. An inattentive policymaker might overlook that a team’s performance is missing the mark. By aligning goals inside the larger framework, a policymaker can readily identify where performance is being wasted and redirect those resources to more effective tasks. This provides visibility up and down the ladder and instills a shared sense of accountability between the top leadership, middle management, and the employee workforce. Goal alignment clearly defines lines of communication, reducing the risk of something being missed that later may delay the project.

By aligning goals across the company, you give your employees the freedom and sense of autonomy they need to come up with their own goals inside the larger framework. This process can align through the project and can contribute in pursuing the organization’s strategy, with the result leading to a successful conclusion for the employees and the business. Make sure your business follows the right strategies for setting large goals and aligning the smaller ones to match.

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