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The importance of Organizational alignment and how to achieve it
Organizational alignment is all about people in an organization working together to achieve the company’s objectives. Organizational alignment is achieved when everyone involved in an organization – whether customers, suppliers or members of staff – understands what they are trying to do and how it fits into the bigger picture.
Many companies ignore the concept of organizational alignment because it means spending time on communicating with employees about their part in achieving corporate goals. This can be time consuming and costly but ignoring organizational alignment will make things more difficult for you in the long run; the lack of alignment will be reflected in a lack of production, wasting resources and ultimately impacting your bottom line.
If you leave any gaps within your organization while trying to meet objectives, this could lead to mistakes (which cost money), slow down other employees (who will get frustrated), and take up time within the organization which could be better spent elsewhere.
The concept of organizational alignment can be seen in a traditional business structure with divisions, departments and employees. In a small business this may not be necessary but even a small company should have a well-defined “mission” to give individual employees their role within that mission.
There are three steps to laying out an effective organizational structure:
1) Defining your mission statement: This is a very important step and the most often overlooked in organizational alignment. Oftentimes companies will make all types of changes without understanding why they are making them, when it becomes necessary to make changes you should begin by evaluating current business processes against the established mission statement to see if the current structure is in alignment with that mission (if it isn’t then re-align).
2) Identifying problems: There may be multiple sources of problems but at their core all problems fall into one of four categories.There might not be enough resources for employees to do what needs to get done or there might not be enough information available for so they don’t know what they need to get done.
There might be a lack of communication or transparency between employees and there might not be any clear direction of how an organization wants its employees to behave.
3) Solving problems: There is never only one way to solve a problem so you should consider all possible solutions before implementing any changes, whether they are internal such as adding or changing policies and protocols or external such as establishing new partnerships. To figure out what the best solution is for an organization it will be necessary to understand where your company currently stands in terms of each part of the business development strategy (customer service, brand management and product management) and then decide on which areas can give you the biggest return on investment by improving them with some sort of changes.
After you have done these steps, it is imperative that you monitor progress and make changes if they are needed. This is why organizational alignment is something all businesses need to do in order to be successful.
How to understand whether your company is aligned?
By following the 7 steps of the Internal Alignment model™ you will be able to align people according to what truly matters for your company.
The power of alignment lies in everyone’s commitment. The more committed you are, the higher your performance will be and the better the results achieved by your business. However, achieving this level of commitment can sometimes take time because it has to cross multiple layers within an organization where every layer has different interests and expectations regarding their role in the context of organizational success. That’s why effective leadership is essential not only at a general management level but also at project team members’ level if they want to achieve maximum performance levels within their teams.
7 steps of the Internal Alignment model are:
1. Define a common vision and strategy for the team
2. Get commitment from each team member to this plan
3. Implement the plan as a cohesive unit
4. Empower your people with the necessary skills, knowledge and tools
5. Provide feedback on performance
6. Celebrate success
7. Reflect on what went well and seek continuous improvement
Importance of Organizational alignment are:
1. Improved performance of the organization
2. Increased commitment to the overall goals
3. Improved decision making process
4. Improved communication process within the company’s employees
5. Team members are empowered to take initiatives and decisions for themselves, thus motivating them further
6. Reduction in time spent on day-to-day administration leading to increased productivity levels
7. Higher satisfaction levels among customers due to extremely quick response times when it comes to customer requests, issue resolution etc.
8. Customers are able to work efficiently with the available resources within the company because everyone knows their roles and responsibilities which are clearly mapped out in line with the organizational hierarchy plan.
9. Risks faced by your business are reduced because each team member has a clear visibility of their tasks and goals.
10. Collaboration across different departments becomes easier because the organizational structure is well-defined and there is a clear accountability assigned to each team member.
11. Employees feel more motivated as they know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated with every milestone reached, every good work done.
12. Productivity levels go up because employees now have a clearer picture of what is expected from them on all fronts – from meeting deadlines to improving revenues.
13. Easier to recruit new people as everyone knows exactly who does what within an organization.
14. Personality traits, strengths and weaknesses of employees become evident which helps organizations make better human resource hiring decisions.