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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Frisoli

Increasing Alignment Through Strategic Planning

As leaders, we strive to achieve team alignment. But it can be difficult to put into words exactly what we mean by this term, and even more difficult to create an atmosphere that truly cultivates it. Like many things, developing alignment within your teams and organization is often much easier said than done. But before we dive into strategic tips and tricks to help you cultivate alignment within your own teams, we’ll start by outlining what it really means to be aligned.

What does it mean to achieve alignment? 

Let’s zero in on what it really means to be aligned. More than just feeling like you’re on the same page with your team, achieving alignment means that you and your team(s) are confidently working towards the same goals and have a comprehensive understanding of the why and how behind those goals. Additionally, it’s crucial that everyone feels they have an understanding - and respect - for how their work and the work of their peers connects and contributes to these larger goals. 

When this state of alignment is achieved, teams report increased productivity, higher employee retention, and overall better performance, according to Gallup. It’s safe to say that team alignment is ideal, and if you’re working towards achieving this within your own organization, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of success:

An Inclusive Strategic Planning Process

If you want everyone to be on the same page when it comes to goals, it’s crucial they’re not only designed through an inclusive process, but also they communicated clearly. Utilizing a collaborative approach to your strategic plan creates a clear and consistent plan with measurable objectives that all team members feel part of and aligned with. Once your strategic plan is designed, be sure to leverage your leadership position - or someone else “higher up” the chain of command - to be crystal clear and consistent about communicating your purpose and strategy. Consider discussing these objectives more frequently and in various ways (discussion groups, questionnaires, quizzes, open forums, etc.) in order to create a sense of connectedness among your teams and continued focus on the strategic goals. 

Encourage Collaboration Among Teams

While it’s super important that communication of goals comes from the “top,” it’s also crucial that teams are able to collaborate to find common ground and understanding in relation to these goals and strategic initiatives. Prioritizing teamwork, authenticity, and transparency throughout your organization will help contribute to increased alignment and utilizing cross division teams are a powerful way to encourage healthy collaboration across the organization.

Celebrate and Recognize Achievements

When alignment is put on display, it’s important to recognize it for all to see. By celebrating wins and recognizing the achievements of team members, you can go a long way towards exemplifying and demonstrating the alignment that you’d like to continue to cultivate. This will help others see what they should be striving towards.

Remember, individuals desire to feel part of the organization and you will always inspire growth by designing belonging.

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