There’s lots of buzz about workforce alignment, but the hard part is figuring out what it means to you, the HR practitioner and how to actually apply it. Today, I’ll kick of this series on workforce alignment with a look at what exactly workforce alignment is and the benefits it offers.
What is workforce alignment?
“Alignment” is the continuous process of mobilizing enterprise resources to achieve company objectives and “workforce alignment” is the specific process of aligning employee goals with the overall organizational strategy.
Here’s how it works:
- Company wide objectives are set, with coordinating departmental goals, followed by individual goals called “cascading goals”.
- This is an ongoing process that is supported with integrated goal and employee performance appraisals.
- The entire workforce is on the same page, and the company’s plan becomes much more realistic and achievable. Everyone has their marching orders so to speak.
Benefits of workforce alignment
At Knowledge Infusion we’ve researched this area consistently over the past few years and found time and time again that when employees understand how their contributions impact company success, both individual and company performance increases.
That makes a pretty compelling argument on its own merits for workforce alignment. But that’s not all, this approach also
• Helps organizations quickly move from strategy planning to strategy execution;
• Enables management to more effectively deploy resources across projects;
• Exposes duplicate and/or redundant business initiatives; and
• Provides the foundation to link reward systems with individual and team performance.
Workforce alignment ultimately empowers employees and creates ownership in the organization’s success. The result? More satisfied employees and increased retention rates—particularly of high performers.
The bottom line is that organizations that align the workforce with organizational strategy have a much higher probability of successfully executing their business plans.
Part Two of my series will look at the two current approaches to alignment – people-centric vs. organization-centric goals.