Vibe Check episode 3: How managers affect employee retention
We’re back with episode 3 of Vibe Check for a conversation between Julie Jeannotte, HR Expert…
Whether you’re managing a two-person operation or a department of 100, it’s nearly impossible for your organization to grow and move on to the next chapter of success if your whole team isn’t on the same page.
Teams are at their best when they work cohesively and rally around shared goals. To help you reach better team alignment, we’ve broken down what team alignment means, why it’s important – especially in a remote context – and actionable tips to help you move forward together.
In this post you’ll learn:
Alignment in the workplace occurs when all team members have a better understanding of company goals and have a clear vision for collective (and individual) long-term success. It isn’t enough to know the end destination; you need to all be rowing in the same direction.
But team alignment extends beyond bottom line objectives; employees must all be on the same wavelength when it comes to achieving and building sustainable business practices. It’s one thing for everybody to understand what you hope to achieve as a company, but ensuring your team is aligned with company values plays a crucial role in an organization’s success. This requires people to believe in the approach and understand the role they and their colleagues collectively play.
Let’s dive into some helpful ways you can foster strong team alignment within your business.
How well you communicate information at every level of your organization will play a major role in fostering team alignment. It’s so easy to fall into information silos, especially in a remote context where many team members are working in their own physical spaces.
If you have major organizational news or project updates to communicate, don’t leave your team members in the dark; make sure to carve out some time where you can answer employee questions and clear up any confusing tidbits of information. The more transparent you are, the more aligned your team will be.
The goals you set for your team will be your North Star in helping your organization achieve success. Without clear objectives, the big picture can get lost in the shuffle of daily operations.
But you might be asking yourself: what is the most surefire way to document your goals? Team alignment looks different for every company, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re looking for a tried and true approach, the OKR goal-setting framework might be for you.
OKR stands for ‘Objectives and Key Results.’ The whole approach centers on establishing a clear goal (objective) and the metrics (key results) that will measure that goal’s success. Company OKRs empower managers to set goals together with their teams, and from there, set individual goals for every team member. This creates an aligned workforce that is better equipped to achieve broader business goals by tackling them one at a time.
One final (and super important) tip about goal-setting: involve your team. When everyone is involved in setting team goals, they’re more likely to support them, understand them, and remember them.
💡Sign up for Officevibe’s OKR email course where you’ll learn the ins and outs of setting (and achieving!) stand-out company goals.
Communication around your company’s values, strategy, and major objectives should not be one-sided. While it’s important to keep your team in the loop from the top down, it’s just as fruitful to uncover how these things are being understood and come to life on the front line.
So, once you’ve shared company objectives with your team and helped them set their own OKRs, how can you maintain a communication loop around alignment?
A recent study found that the average enterprise now uses an astounding 288 different SaaS apps. These tools are great for keeping us organized and on track and they’re especially helpful for distributed teams. But with so many tools comes the potential for information silos and hidden work – both of which can wreak havoc on your team alignment.
The solution isn’t to try to force people onto a single tool. It’s to identify the key tools that will help you build and achieve team alignment while allowing employees to work how they’re most comfortable.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of options.
Whether you’re congratulating your team for a job well done on a new campaign or giving kudos to an employee who reached their one-year workaversary, shining a light on employee contributions and milestones goes a long way in improving team alignment.
But not everyone is comfortable with a public shoutout; some team members may relish the spotlight, while others might prefer a private message from their managers or peers. With Officevibe’s recognition platform, you can make sure no good deed goes unnoticed and send your colleagues a Good Vibe to let them know that you appreciate them.
1 in 4 employees say their organization doesn’t celebrate accomplishments or learnings.
Build effective one-on-ones
Plan one-on-one meetings, set goals, create action items, and track next steps so you and your team are always aligned.
Team alignment has a significant impact on the overall performance of your business. Without clear communication on your organization’s goals and shared company values, your team members might find it challenging to present a united front and stay engaged.
On the flip side, there are countless benefits to strong team alignment.
When teams are aligned, they’re set up to succeed. Everyone has the information they need to make the right decisions, work swiftly, and prioritize projects that contribute to broader company goals.
According to Officevibe data, 75% of employees wish that their manager could define more precise goals. A team lacking in alignment is like a shopping cart with one bad wheel: it’s frustrating and it’s a lot harder to move in the right direction.
Here are a few telling signs that can help you find out where your team is on the alignment spectrum.
|Aligned teams||Misaligned teams|
|Projects delivered on time and on the scope||Frequent missed deadlines and scope creep|
|Team and company achieve goals||Team and company repeatedly come up short on goals|
|Efficient execution of work||Repeated or overlapping work|
|Clear tasks and clear communication||Miscommunication and confusion are common issues|
|Defined channels for project management and communication||Endless meetings and email chains|
|High team engagement and high employee retention||Low team engagement and high employee turnover|
Beyond these signs, one of the best ways for you to determine whether or not your team is aligned is to ask them. Don’t overthink it! Use one of Officevibe’s free downloadable one-on-one meeting templates to ask more specific questions and dive into potential reasons for the lack of team alignment.
Building and maintaining team alignment is no small feat and the reality of a distributed workforce throws a whole new set of challenges into the mix.
Tip: Log where you feel your team has been compromised by change, so you can implement intentional solutions.
Tip: Check in on your team and keep your channels of communication open and honest.
Tip: Losing visibility can result in the tendency to micromanage. Instead, ask to join in on your team’s dailies to keep up to date or hold weekly update meetings for the team to fill you in on progress and setbacks in an open discussion.
Not sure if you’re a micromanager? Use this free template to see if you need to reassess your management style.
Tip: Create a safe space in virtual one-on-one meetings dedicated to discussing personal and professional difficulties. Reassure your peers that their feelings of uncertainty or frustration are valid by sharing and searching for solutions together.
Team alignment isn’t something that you build and then stop working on. You need to be constantly communicating and engaging with your team to make sure goals and expectations are clear to improve employee satisfaction. This is especially true during times of change.
Officevibe puts people first and empowers managers to plan for growth and success on an individual and company-wide level with intuitive one-on-one meeting tools and templates, a built-in peer recognition platform, and an anonymous feedback channel where employees can speak freely. Officevibe helps you improve team alignment and work toward collective goals while elevating your overall employee experience.
The benefits of having an aligned team are immense: more efficiency, more team collaboration, and higher performance. You can crush your goals while keeping your team happy and engaged. That’s something worth investing in.
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