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Aligning employees with strategy is a priority for CEOs

By September 20, 2014 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

I recently read the following article that had been published by the CEO Institute, and realised how well it resonated with what we are doing with our clients at Brownie Points.

Many organisations develop strategic plans that never get off the ground because employees aren’t aligned with them. Aligning employees with strategy should be a high priority for CEOs.

The Harvard Business Review recently reported that managers can do this by understanding the employees’ priorities, and informing employees what the company needs to achieve in the next week, month, and year. It is crucial that managers are clear, consistent and do this often, and try as much as possible to channel their employees’ interests into relevant company priorities.

Marcel Messier, president and COO at Techno Media says CEOs need to first of all set down well-defined achievable goals that aren’t changed every quarter. “Once meaningful, employee-specific goals have been put in place, those goals become a roadmap for the year, lending a strong sense of direction across the organisation,’’ Messier says. “Additionally, progress should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure advancement and to determine if and when corrective action is required” he stated.

They should also commit to regular monitoring, and link learning and performance to company goals and values so that employees are able to expand their skill set and reach personal and professional goals. Doing so also helps employees to better understand the business priorities and how their skills are needed to achieve them. They should also ensure that senior executives can develop a plan and sell it to the organisation. They should integrate it with formal learning.

Talent management and staff recognition programs aligned to corporate goals will help create real focus. “Talent management and recognition is all about attracting, developing, and retaining the employees needed to meet current demands, and being prepared for future challenges.

Ensuring alignment throughout the organisation establishes a strong link between these HR processes and business results. Yet in order to achieve meaningful alignment, the organisation needs to develop a talent recognition plan that connects its overall strategic goals with employee performance management.”

Graham Haines, principal consultant of Plans to Reality says ideally, the most effective number of people working together is less than ten – and in an organisation of thousands, that’s an awful lot of workgroups.

“The challenge is not so much that of getting ten people to work effectively together but of aligning the work of each workgroup with that of the organisation as a whole,’’ Haines writes.

“Using the parable of the stone masons, it’s not sufficient just to give each one the dimensions of the stone to be fashioned. They need to know its purpose and where it’s going. Thus, agreeing on a collective goal for the workgroup is inadequate – that goal must be connected to the goal of the organisation itself.

“This is why the development of workgroup goals that meet the SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, a result and time related) AND that are linked to the organisations goals are such powerful tools for forging organisational alignment.

“Importantly, it forces executive management to develop organisational goals that the rest of the organisation can relate to. Agreeing on a target for the share price, or a return on capital, or revenue to be derived from overseas students may be uplifting for executive management, but it’s hardly likely to get the stone masons excited.

“Achieving organisational alignment is a double whammy. Not only does it provide a sense of direction for everyone, and thus facilitates the achievement of the organisations goals, but the development of workgroup goals is the very basis of teamwork. Without them the workgroup is in danger of becoming a pseudo team – one that displays the outward trappings of teamwork but none of the substance.”

So what are your strategies for creating corporate alignment to inspire your staff?

To learn more, contact the Brownie Points team today on 03 9909 7411 or email us at

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