‘Strategies’ is one of the top three most Googled employee engagement search terms. I have uncovered four powerful strategies to re-engage employees, so each week in September we’ll dive deep into one of them. This week’s focus? Goal Alignment. The importance of ensuring that your employees have individual goals that align with the CEOs. Why? Because when you get this right, you increase trust in leadership and the emotional connection that employees feel to your organization.
Engagement increases when employees see a line of sight between what they do day to day and the company’s goals. People want to know that they are adding value and making a difference. To ensure employees see that what they do every day matters, embrace and roll out Goal Alignment.
Goal Alignment involves ensuring that every person in your organization from top to bottom is doing work that supports the organization’s goals. It involves getting everyone to march in the same direction and it ensures that no one is doing work that is not adding value. How does Goal Alignment work?
The organization’s goals are set by the CEO and cascaded down to each level of employees. When this process is complete, every employee in the organization has goals that support their chain of command all the way up to the CEO, and that support the organization’s goals. This is how you ensure employees see a line of sight between what they do every day and the organization’s success; this is how you engage a workforce.
Goal Alignment should be established three months prior to the start of your fiscal year and it is fluid. If there is a major event during the year that necessitates your organization moving in a different direction, then goals must be rewritten at all levels.
In addition, checking progress toward goals once a year will not create an engaged workforce and ensure employees are on track to meet or exceed objectives. Monthly or quarterly checkpoints need to occur between managers and employees, so employees are reminded that what they do day-to-day directly impacts the organization’s success.
Frequent check-ins also enable employees to make course corrections in real time if they are off track. To that end, encourage managers to give employees informal feedback in the moment and have a conversation with the worker when he/she is doing something well or poorly.
Goal alignment is important because it not only ensures that employees see a line of sight between what they do every day and the organization’s success, but it also makes employees feel like they are making a difference and doing meaningful work, which benefits both employees, customers, and your bottom line.
ON DECK FOR NEXT WEEK. We’ll focus on my third strategy to re-engage employees: Create a Two-Way Communication Culture. Stay tuned for some simple tips to bridge the gap between senior leaders and employees.