The Great Reevaluation has companies scrambling to assess and improve their organizational benefits, culture, and more to minimize staff turnover. This is occurring at all levels of organizations, as the job market is currently favoring employees, and companies are being forced to change to be competitive. While providing more workplace flexibility or team bonding activities can be helpful, one of the greatest impacts on company culture is the influence of positive leadership.
The importance of promoting and cultivating strong management in an organization should not be minimized. As the saying goes, people don’t leave a job, they leave a boss. While this is not always the case, it does ring true for many people. Further, not only should executives be proficient and adept in their role, but the collective group must work cohesively and be aligned in their efforts.
Healthy businesses have alignment and cohesion within their executive ranks. One of the main reasons that projects fail is conflicting cultures. While most individuals do not strive to operate out of sync with their organizational peers, this still occurs frequently. Companies should invest in promoting alignment within and amongst their teams’ leadership.
If your organization is concerned about fractured leadership and looking to inspire cohesion, see the below tips for gaining alignment:
Define the goal or purpose of your organization – The best way to unify a group is by identifying a common goal or mission for everyone to strive for. For a company, this starts at the most fundamental level, why the organization exists. Defining the company’s purpose, vision, values, and mission give a north star for all employees, especially executives, to be mindful of and direct their efforts toward.
Determine the desired culture – Once a purpose has been defined for the organization, company executives should use that goal to influence and determine the desired culture needed to achieve this goal. Cultures should feel authentic and specific to the organization and its purpose. Further, when leaders are helping with the implementation of this culture, they should be aligned in their approach. Developing an execution strategy could help create a unified methodology.
Illustrate desired organizational processes and success – After the initial goal and culture setting, a great way to keep leadership aligned in the long-term is to have a set definition of best organizational processes and a vision of what ultimate success looks like at the company. Actually envisioning the positive outcomes and steps to get there elicits excitement while creating agreement upon the best practices that lead to success and continue to keep executives in step with the rest of their team.
Communicate key messages with the larger organization – A McKinsey study¹ focused on leadership team effectiveness found that consistent communication was ranked as a priority item by the companies evaluated. Employees want transparency from leadership team members about important initiatives, and company culture actions are especially important to share. Once decisions about the future direction of the company have been decided upon, swift and clear communications should be disseminated.
Schedule routine touch bases to assess alignment – Once the initial adjustment is completed, your company should be operating in a more aligned manner as intended. However, when the glow of the new initiative fades, the busyness of everyday life and competing priorities could threaten the long-term sustainability of the new practices. Thus, it is important for companies to hold routine meetings to touch base about the overall sentiment of alignment within the executive team, to allow for a correction of course if needed.
There are a number of reasons that leadership can lack alignment, and even typically cohesive teams can go through periods of disparateness. People naturally have different working styles or management styles, working experiences, and motivations. With competing priorities and busy schedules, it can be hard to clarify or communicate around these differences, which can drive a wedge into a stable relationship. Using the above tips as a guide can help your executive team achieve alignment and stay on track.
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