“A mere 7% of employees today fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them in order to help achieve company goals.” – Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton
No good ever comes from not having a goal or aim. From the perspective of a company / business goals are what guide and goad the company and its employees to work harder and better. However, it is vital that there is complete alignment between the company goals and employees if the goals are to be met. It is through the efforts and productivity of the employees that companies get to be where they want from where they are currently. Setting goals enables the effective implementation of the company’s long term strategies and policies. Without alignment between company goals and employees it would be an uphill task, near impossible, to achieve anything. When the employees and the company work together, there are more chances of success and also room for adjustments and flexibility. Aligning company goals and employees gives the business the boost it needs, creates an environment of cooperation and trust, enhances agility and strengthens the company in a number of ways.
When the employees are completely ‘on-board’ with the company’s vision and mission, they are also more aware of their responsibilities and how their performance contributes to the overall success of the company. With the alignment of company goals and employees, each person is able to focus on their core accountabilities and do their jobs with optimum efficiency because they would know both the pros and cons of not doing so. They are pointed in a direction and through the alignment with the company goals, they also know what they need to achieve at each step, how to achieve it and what support they would have to do so.
Well-articulated and communicated goals promote better alignment between company goals and employees. There are no resources wasted on executing tasks that don’t help the accomplishment of these goals when there is alignment. As businesses align company goals and employees, it promotes collaboration and teamwork. Even in the absence of some team members or any unfulfilled goals by a few, would not lead to a breakdown – the remaining teams and managers would take the necessary actions and possibly employ more resources to get things back on track. Aligning company goals and employees provides a robust framework that instils trust and a belief that success and rewards will follow when each person does whatever is required to achieve short and long term goals. As goals are achieved, by such collaboration, the morale of employees is boosted and they are even more committed to give their best performance. With a passionate, united and committed workforce, a company becomes hard to beat!
The main advantage of aligning company goals and employees is that each person then becomes the ‘owner’ of the goals. Managers and leaders must do their bit by encouraging employees to take the onus of the accomplishment of the goals. This in turn results in higher levels of engagement. ‘Engaged’ employees tend to be more loyal, which in turn leads to lowered absenteeism and also brings down employee attrition. Such behaviour lowers the company’s costs of recruitment and training, adding to the ‘health’ of the bottom line. Even during a crisis, such alignment and working together, will not only see the company through the tough times, but also thrive in a crumbling market.
As companies and employees align with each other, they are able to work together more fruitfully. Companies are able to employ the right employees and also match their skills to the most appropriate jobs and positions in the organization. When employees do the jobs they enjoy, there is greater job satisfaction and also a greater desire to utilize their knowledge and talents in the most creative and innovative of ways. Each person is aware of what is expected of them and also are aware how to help the company increase profitability and operating margins.
Aligning company goals and employees makes for shared accountability not just between the company and employees but also amongst the employees and the various levels that exist. As sets of goals are accomplished, the communication for the next phase provides greater clarity and streamlines processes. Allocating resources as per requirement does away with wasted initiatives and effort and also enhances the efficiency of the workforce as there is no duplication of work, no unrequired activities and each person has a focus. The company also does not need to employ more people to manage tasks that should be redundant thus eliminating the added overheads associated with a large and unmanageable workforce.
Aligning company goals and employees, increases a feeling of being valued and being important to the company in the employees. A study conducted revealed that when employees are disgruntled there is a much higher rate of absenteeism, low work output and an attrition rate of almost 51%. For any company, this could prove detrimental and irreparably so. When the company goals and employees are aligned, a culture of performance and rewarding for such performance is inculcated and enhanced. People are driven and are energized to make the company successful and know that their efforts would not be ignored or disregarded.
The aligning of company goals and employees will be successful and effective only when these goals also serve the short and long term goals of the employees too. These company goals must be easy to understand and grasp and will get achieved even if they seem aggressive or demanding. It is the responsibility of the top brass to ensure that these goals are clearly communicated to all and each employee must understand how they fit in with the overall scheme of things. When there is clarity, even with some overlaps, conflicts are kept to the minimum. It must be clearly understood that each company goal will not serve to further the interests of one individual but the accomplishment would be a shared responsibility and the rewards would be shared too. As people from different teams work together, they understand the challenges faced by the others and will work more supportively and also identify and remove any areas that could pit them against each other.
The overall company goals then provide the guidance required for teams and individuals to set their own goals. These goals will further the cause of the organization as also the personal growth and development of the employees. Goal setting not only sets before the employees the tasks at hand, but also guidelines of how these tasks must be completed and the best methods to do so. With each person within the organization working in conjunction and towards common aims, customers too will benefit. Products are better quality and the customer service provided is also at an enhanced level. With happy customers and a committed workforce, the company can hope to become and remain successful for a long time. After a while of relentless effort, such a manner of working becomes habit for all involved, making it much easier to accomplish big and small tasks that will lead to the achievement of goals.
Aligning company goals and employees is first and foremost the responsibility of the management and in fact such alignment is a powerful tool that management has at their disposal and must be used effectively. The company’s profitability, growth and productivity are a direct consequence of an energized and active workforce and aligning the company goals and employees ensures that both sides are winning partners.