Aligning Employees to your business strategy
“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” – James Collins
What is talent alignment?
Talent Alignment is a goal-based, totally transparent series of processes that determines how a leader recruits, onboards, manages, and leads their employees. Aligning employees to your business strategy is a huge part of talent optimization, and when done right can drive success and have a huge impact on the company’s bottom line. Yet, many companies struggle to achieve alignment from the top to the organization’s front lines, leaving employees feeling undervalued and disengaged.
Think of this example to understand alignment. Senior leaders create a strategy that trickles down through the organization until it ultimately reaches the people on the front lines – the employees. But if you ask any person on the front line what the strategy is, you’re likely to be met with blank stares and confusion. A simple question like “how does your work contribute to the organization’s success” is met with varied answers. None of them actually describes the employee’s contribution to the business strategy or the business strategy itself.
Therefore it becomes crucial for companies to align their talent with the business strategy. Here are some ways you can use to align your business and talent strategies!
A leader must have a strategic vision: From a start-up to a large company, vision is the core of leadership. A leader’s vision impacts every aspect of the business. It should be strategized in such a way that it encompasses both the imagination and energies of the employees. It must be tied to firm values, in a way that the organization can understand, grasp, and support the vision. When it comes to talent alignment, a leader’s strategic vision helps inform human capital decisions and steer organizational and team goals. How? By distributing talent in a way that maximizes engagement and productivity.When a leader understands how their vision impacts employees at all stages, it’s natural that they would create a strategy keeping their employees’ strengths and weaknesses in mind. It’ll lead to more realistic and attainable goals that make it easy for the talent to align with.
The strategy should be communicated to employees clearly:95% of the employees are clueless when asked about their company’s business strategy. If they’re unaware of the strategy, imagine the work they put in? One of the main reasons why employees don’t understand the company’s goals and vision is because these goals are not clearly communicated and explained to them. The solution to this is bringing employees on board with their role in executing the strategy, and how successful these efforts are. This needs to be communicated directly, not trickled down. This can be implemented by organizing meetings or workshops where the employees are directly informed by the leader. Or, another way is a monthly newsletter defining the progress of domains regarding the strategy, what more work needs to be put in, how the company is performing, etc.
In addition, this communication needs to be frequent and ongoing. Most organizations believe that rolling out the strategy once and hoping everyone would get behind it. But, that never works out in the end.
Measure your success and keep up with your employees: One of the most important management practices is to assess the short-term and long-term performance and align talent accordingly! Yearly evaluation is one thing but consistent feedback practices that discuss the strength and weaknesses of employees regarding the company’s goals seem to have a more productive impact on the employees. Managers and supervisors play a critical role here. Through this feedback, you can uncover gaps and disconnects that may indicate a lack of alignment. You can set up KPIs to measure employee alignment throughout the year. By connecting KPI data to a group’s mission and vision, an organization can be aware of the employees are driven by the organization’s overall purpose. Encouraging your employees to be part of the discussion is also a great way to collect feedback, be aware of the alignment, and see how successful your strategy is. It leads to constant evaluation which is always a good look for the organization. A great way to measure success.
Leaders who invest in talent alignment agree that it provides real-time, 360-degree insight, and analyzes employee performance with the leader’s strategic vision. This helps to get a better picture of where talent gaps are in the organization, giving them the ability to reallocate or hire new talent to fill those gaps in a way that will move their companies forward.
Because, if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
For your growth,