Note: This is an excerpt from my latest book, Drive One Direction: How to Unleash the Accelerating Power of Alignment. In the EveryOne chapter, we highlight companies who unleashed the accelerating power of alignment with an intense focus on talent management disciplines.
Every company wants everyone to be aligned.
But most are focused on engagement.
Dozens of companies have developed surveys to measure employee engagement. These are often tied to the multitude of “Best Places to Work” awards.
When you evaluate the questions in employee engagement surveys, most focus on things like company benefits, work/life balance, and the quality of the coffee.
While it is good to have employees who are engaged, it is infinitely more important that they are aligned. After all, highly engaged employees can still be driving in the wrong direction.
There are many things that you want everyone to align with. For example, you want everyone to:
- Align their behaviors with your company’s code.
- Align their customer interactions with your company’s brand promise.
- Align their decisions with your company’s strategy.
- Align their actions with your company’s way.
- Align their goals with your company’s goals.
Of course, this assumes that you have clearly defined all those things.
After all, how can you hire people who are aligned with your vision if your vision is blurry? How can you train people to accomplish your mission if you don’t know what it is? How can you incentivize people to deliver your brand promise if you don’t have one?
That is why we have spent the last eleven chapters emphasizing the importance of clarifying those things.