How to encourage employee alignment in times of growth
November 18, 2019
Employee engagement is the key to employee alignment. As your company grows, your vision, mission, and values for your company can become diluted. This can sometimes lead to organizational misalignment. A few signs of a misaligned company are:
- Difficulty scaling
- Decision-making is a long and complicated process
- Silos exist with little to no communication between them
The “not my department” mentality kills morale. That misaligned culture will not allow your company to scale and it will slow down the production and productivity of everyone involved.
So how can we encourage employee alignment, especially in times of growth?
Align vision, mission, and values
To align vision, mission, and values you first have to identify what might be hindering your company’s efforts to get employees behind its vision and creating misalignment. Sometimes it’s a simple policy that needs to be updated, but often misalignment is the result of something much bigger. Identifying the problem first will help you move towards solving it.
One of the most important factors aiding this process is proper and clear communication. Ineffective communication can lead to assumptions. Assumptions about what your company values may not align with the message or culture, you are trying to achieve.
For example, Company A has proudly introduced a new mission statement built around a culture of innovation. The CEO boasts about the creativity of employees, the new option for employees to allocate up to 20% of their time working on new ideas, and a rewards initiative to encourage employee involvement. However, prior to developing its new mission statement, Company A suffered from a highly siloed culture and poor cross-departmental communication. A lack of collaboration and communication between departments can stifle any innovation initiative, no matter how much boasting the CEO does. This culture misalignment not only sends mixed messages to employees, but it completely undermines upper management’s aspirations for Company A to become more innovative. The likely result of such a situation is more unengaged employees and very little true innovation.
First by identifying the problem, in this case, a highly siloed culture, upper management can develop a strategy to better align the company’s culture with its new mission. That strategy may include training for managers, smaller cross-departmental initiatives to initiate collaboration and communication, and encouraging employees to celebrate those behaviors.
Assess and measure
“What gets measured gets improved.” - Peter Drucker
Misalignment between departments of a growing company isn’t a simple fix. Reporting on progress is important to assess if the re-alignment strategy is being effective. It’s hard to motivate multiple departments to report on progress if they don’t buy into the overall project vision first.
Once you can clearly and concisely communicate the benefit of better alignment, you need to develop certain KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, that will become critical indicators of progress toward your intended results. Every organization should know how to measure how well the efforts of their employees are impacting company objectives. KPIs provide a focus for operational improvement and create an analytical basis for decision-making.
Create goals that align departments
When you think about breaking down silos and encouraging better communication, change won’t happen overnight. A clear view of the outcome you want to achieve and a plan for moving forward are a great place to start. But cultural change is the result of adopted behaviors and actions and often requires active communication, support, and reinforcement. A gamification and rewards system can encourage the adoption of the behaviors and actions you want to encourage.
With Qarrot, you can create award campaigns for employees to participate in. Say, for example, the misalignment exists between department managers and Payroll. Payroll says employees are not filling out their time-sheets on time and this is putting stress of the payroll department incurring additional costs. Employee managers say they are putting pressure on employees to fill out timesheets, but they have no real way to measure success until Payroll contacts them again.
To encourage employees to fill out timesheets using a rewards and recognition system like Qarrot, the Payroll manager can set up an ongoing campaign to award points every time they record their action of filling out a timesheet. This offers the employee an incentive to fill out their timesheet, as well as a way for department managers to see who is, and who isn’t, participating in the process.
As your company grows, company alignment is critical. Aligning department efforts, and aligning employees to your mission, vision, and values of the company are as important as developing KPIs to communicate the success of your alignment efforts to the people who need to know.
Ready to see how Qarrot can help boost your employee alignment efforts during times of organizational growth?