If your organization feels like a patchwork of different teams, competing for scarce resources, with quite different ways of working and lacking a common sense of purpose and shared values, your brand might be suffering from a lack of organizational alignment. A fragmented organization can slow down your growth potential. It creates barriers and separation between departments and limits your employees ability to work towards common corporate objectives.
Today, we’ll discuss the importance of organizational alignment and what steps you can implement in your business.
What is Organizational Alignment?
Organizational alignment refers to the ability of your team to share a common vision and values. This enables them to work collaboratively towards the organization’s objectives. Accountability and transparency across departments are powerful enablers.
There is a stark contrast between the ability of aligned organizations and more siloed businesses to make improvements and changes. In the latter, each department works in its own limited area of responsibility. Siloed teams might not understand the bigger picture and they work towards smaller goals that affect only their own operation.
Team alignment allows businesses to work towards bigger-picture objectives. It also enables organizations to implement values-driven strategies at every level. For example, a successful customer experience requires every department to work together as ‘one team’: customer support and marketing teams must understand the efforts of product development, sales assistants can provide customer feedback to help marketers promote the products.
And finally, organisational alignment strongly contributes towards employee engagement. When team members feel like they are part of a greater whole and working towards a common good, they are more motivated to perform well. Employees in an aligned organization know the value of their contribution to the overall objectives and how other departments contribute. They can share feedback and support each other.
The Characteristics of Organizational Alignment
In summary, the key characteristics of an aligned organization include:
- Greater transparency and accountability across departments
- Shared values embraced at all levels of the organisation
- A customer experience focus with well-defined roles and responsibilities
- Improved employee engagement and greater sense of fulfilment
- Fewer wasted resources and less duplication of effort
How to Establish Organizational Alignment for Your Brand
So, how can you stop working in silos and encourage true collaboration across the departments in your organisation?
First, you need to create a unified vision that all teams can share. Next, you must define the values your company is driven by and what principles all employees will always follow. Business objectives should be shared with every level of the organisation (not just the leadership team). You should also describe how each department will help towards these goals and help them understand their role.
Common operating platforms and technology can enable better organizational alignment eg a robust CRM benefits the sales, marketing and customer support team. This way, information is shared, and the processes become transparent across departments.
But most importantly, communication is the key to breakthrough compartmentalized work processes. Even independent work should regularly be consolidated with others to encourage a free flow of communication. Use conferencing tools, team meetings or email chains to inform every department of what the organization is working on, sharing successes and challenges.
And finally, encourage an agile approach in which teams can rely on the feedback of other departments. This allows them to quickly make improvements and changes. For example, the product design process should draw inspiration from customer input derived from the customer support team.
Crystal Clear Clarity for Your Whole Organization
Organizational alignment facilitates a conducive environment to deliver a great customer experience. It improves employee engagement in your business and supports growth. And finally, it enables brands to strengthen their identities through values and principles that can be reinforced at every level.
SERVICEBRAND GLOBAL helps authentic service organizations align their values and objectives. The SERVICEBRAND approach provides a helpful framework and allows you to identify areas of strength to build on as well as areas where improvement is needed. Get in touch today to learn more.