I was pleased to see the Corporate Executive Board recently reiterate much of what we’ve been preaching about the importance of alignment for the last year or so. In a recent article in Businessweek magazine, the CEB said:
In a recent study of 50,000 employees … over 60% of surveyed employees noted that they have both experienced drastic changes in their business and expect changes to continue. Another 28% either experienced change or expect change to come shortly. More important than measuring employee recognition of change, companies should be trying to understand whether employees are aligned with the new organizational strategy. Chances are that they are not.
Simply put, almost two-thirds of all employees are 33% as productive as they can be because they don't understand what they are now asked to do. (emphasis mine)
CEB has identified that companies need to align their employees with the corporate strategy. Progressive companies that successfully align employees to their corporate strategy are realizing the competitive advantages originally targeted in organizational transition.
• Refocusing on the customer - Companies in the service industry are realizing 10% gains in customer satisfaction.
• Launching new products - Measurable levels of innovation have been documented to improve by 15%.
• Trying to be more nimble in the market place - Employee perception of organizational speed has been cited to increase by upwards of 35%.
• Aligning employees to the corporate strategy - helping them understand their new call to action - is a critical driver of success in today's market.
This aligns with research and recommendations from Mercer based on a survey of members of CIPD. Findings showed that 84% of respondents had undergone restructuring in the last two years, but there is a clear disconnect between current approach and steps HR pros think are necessary to keep employees motivated and engaged.
As I’ve said before, if you’re going to improve your business results, then you must get all of your employees aligned with your changing/changed business strategies. One of the most effective and positive methods for creating alignment is through strategic recognition. These highly structured programs communicate clearly through positive reinforcement the desired changes you need your employees to make in their everyday work and focus to achieve your new objectives.