For a business to thrive in the modern age, fostering a collaborative culture is essential.
If everyone within the business works toward a common goal using an open, cohesive approach, you will become more innovative and adaptable to change. Cue organizational alignment.
Organizational alignment is a proven driver of success in the digital age. It is the glue that bonds a business together, and by taking measures to align your organization you will ensure that every internal component is working to its optimum capacity.
But what is organizational alignment and how does it work? Read on to find out.
What Is Organizational Alignment and Why Is It Important?
Before we delve any deeper, let’s look at an official definition:
"Organizational alignment is a process of ensuring all aspects of your organization are aligned with the realization of its strategy—operationally (the business’ ability to deliver its 'mission') and strategically (the management of the business to achieve its vision).”
If you develop a culture free from operational segregation and move away from linear internal structures, everyone within the business will understand how their role or functions cross over into other areas of the business.
In doing so, you will empower your talent to become more autonomous, making important decisions while working with one another rather than in fragmented boxes.
At its core, organizational alignment is about communicating your core business values and empowering everyone within the business to collaborate and communicate freely.
Here are the main benefits of organizational alignment:
- Improved employee engagement and motivation
- Swifter, more informed decision-making
- Increased productivity and streamlined use of business resources
- Continued learning, development, and talent optimization for long-term growth
- A dynamic culture that is innovative and adaptable to change
Overcoming Collaborative Challenges
It’s clear that organizational alignment offers a wealth of business-boosting benefits, but what about the challenges? Here are the most common organizational roadblocks to tackle business alignment.
1. Cultural Friction
More than 50% of top executives believe that company culture has a significant impact on engagement, productivity, and creativity.
If you fail to communicate your business values and you don’t offer your team a platform for communication and self-expression, you will create cultural friction.
As a result, motivation levels will drop, productivity will dwindle, and you will create silos within your organization (which will significantly stunt internal communication).
2. Multiple Offices
When a business has more than one office, it’s common for each branch to work as a separate entity, operating with contradictory processes or values. When this happens, fragmentation can occur which ultimately stunts growth and hinders productivity.
By bringing together each office and creating opportunities to collaborate, you will ensure that everyone is aligned, working toward the greater business mission as one well-oiled machine.
3. Remote Working
In the digital age, the traditional office-based nine-to-five business model is fast becoming obsolete, but without effective management, remote working can prove detrimental to organizational alignment.
If you don’t have processes in place to ensure smooth collaboration, you run the risk of creating strategic inefficiencies. Remote working can boost productivity, but for sustainable success, you must keep communication open at all times.
Organizational Alignment: Trends and Tips
To help you tackle these common roadblocks and achieve organizational alignment, here are some trends and tips you should leverage to your advantage.
Manage Cultural Change
Your company culture will form the foundations of your organizational alignment strategy. That said, to bring your departments closer together and improve your internal structure, you will need to revisit your processes and values.
By communicating these values with everyone in the business and assigning change management mentors (points of contact that can guide your employees through organizational transformations), you will be able to manage cultural change effectively, putting processes in place that work for everyone as a result.
Encourage Cross-Functional Collaboration
A branch of horizontal innovation, cross-functional collaboration is the concept of leveraging the functional or operational crossover between business departments.
For instance, sales, marketing, and customer service departments share common attributes and functions. By understanding this operational common ground and leveraging it to your advantage, you will create cohesion while maximizing the talent within your organization.
Here are some practical approaches you can take to achieve cross-functional collaboration:
- Analyze your internal departments and explore how each could benefit from cross-functional departments.
- Hold regular interdepartmental meetings and ask your staff how you can help them improve internal communication and collaboration.
- Conduct frequent interdepartmental events and workshops to foster a culture of skill-sharing, learning, and social bonding.
- Ensure that you work to clear-cut goals and milestones, rewarding or recognizing employee achievements regularly.
Use the Right Tools
To cement your organizational initiatives and avoid organizational fragmentation, you need to work with the right tools. Fortunately, we live in the age of technology.
By leveraging the power of collaboration tools and modern project management platforms, you will empower everyone within the business to communicate, collaborate, and access information seamlessly which, in turn, will help you maintain organizational alignment at all times.
By embracing organizational alignment, you will accelerate the success of your business exponentially.