Boost Organizational Alignment with Employee Connection

Posted in Organizational Development

Welcome to the age of the hybrid workplace – a marvel of modern flexibility. There are so many benefits to today’s flexible workplaces, but one challenge continues to make waves: organizational alignment. How do you align employees with the company’s mission?

Navigating Mission Drift in Today’s Hybrid World 🗺️

Picture this: A brave ship (your company) is navigating the vast seas (the market), with a hardy crew (your employees) who’ve survived the storms of the past few years (pandemic, disruption, and more.)

Your crew should be enjoying smooth sailing, but there’s one glaring problem. They haven’t got a working compass (the mission). So instead of charting a course for success, they are drifting aimlessly. Yikes, right?

According to recent findings from Gallup’s “State of Employee Engagement” survey, that’s what’s going on. For many remote or hybrid workers, the compass needle on the mission is, well, a little wobbly. There’s an alarming trend of detachment, particularly among those in exclusively remote roles. Gallup’s numbers show a staggering 28% of those crew members feel disconnected from their organization’s mission, tying the record low from a decade ago. They are adrift on the open seas – with no clear destination in sight.

But don’t reach for the life preservers, yet. The horizon isn’t all stormy. By fostering a deeper sense of belonging and alignment – particularly through connections – organizations can help their crews find their compass and start sailing in the right direction.

Why Organizational Alignment Matters for the Mission 🧭

Alignment – it’s a word we throw around in boardrooms and strategy meetings, but what does it truly signify in the context of our workplaces?

In essence, organizational alignment refers to the congruence between an employee’s values, goals, and actions and the overarching mission, vision, and objectives of the organization. Just to torture our boat metaphor a little further – imagine a rowing team, with every individual’s oar hitting the water at precisely the same time, propelling the boat forward with synchronized force. In a business setting, organizational alignment ensures that everyone is not only rowing in the same direction but also understands what’s so important about the destination – being ready and able to deliver on the mission.

That means:

Enhanced employee productivity and motivation:

An aligned employee doesn’t just understand their day-to-day tasks; they comprehend the larger purpose behind them. This clarity acts as a motivational driver, pushing employees to give their best, knowing that their efforts play a part in achieving something greater.

Stronger company culture and team cohesion:

When everyone is on the same page, a powerful company culture can emerge. Shared goals and mutual understanding foster a sense of unity and camaraderie, making the workplace not just a place to earn a paycheck, but a community with a shared purpose.

Improved retention rates and reducing turnover:

It’s simple: People stay where they feel valued and where they believe they’re making a difference. When employees see the direct impact of their work and how it ties into the broader mission, they’re more likely to remain loyal and committed, reducing the expensive and disruptive cycle of turnover.

Better performance and success for the organization:

Alignment is not just a “feel-good” concept. It has tangible benefits for an organization’s bottom line. When all gears (employees) in a machine (organization) work in harmony, the output is not only efficient but also of higher quality, driving the organization towards unparalleled success.

The Intrinsic Human Need for Belonging 💗

Achieving alignment to one mission may seem challenging, but it is by no means unattainable if people feel like a unified crew. Enter the concept of belonging.

People want to be part of something bigger than them. Much like our ancestors huddled around campfires for warmth and security, today’s modern employees seek that same essence of unity and inclusion, albeit in the vast digital campgrounds of the hybrid workplace.

In the workplace context, belonging isn’t just about being part of a team on paper. It’s about feeling genuinely valued, understood, and connected to the overarching objectives. Organizational psychologist Irene Hoffman, who we cited in our recent e-book on “The Current State of Belonging,” has crystallized belonging into four pillars:

Feeling seen: It’s the recognition that one’s contributions and efforts are acknowledged and celebrated. It’s about not being just another face in the virtual crowd.

Feeling connected: This goes beyond team meetings and Zoom calls. It’s the authentic relationships and bonds that form among peers, nurturing a sense of unity.

Feeling supported: A workplace where every individual feels they have the resources, tools, and emotional backing to thrive and overcome challenges.

Feeling proud: A deep resonance with the company’s vision and values, instilling a sense of pride in one’s role and the broader organizational goals.

In the vast expanse of remote work, belonging fills the emotional and psychological voids, becoming the bridge to enhanced engagement. Belonging is the antidote to the isolation many experience, fostering mental well-being and boosting job satisfaction. When employees feel they belong, organizational alignment isn’t just an abstract concept; it’s an important manifestation of feelings of attachment and a desire to support the common good.

Belonging fortifies alignment and mission by providing a shared mission, mutual sense of growth and purpose, and increased trust in the organization – which cements employees’ dedication, driving them to consistently align their efforts with the company’s overarching goals.

Connecting People to the Mission – Through Each Other 🙌

Okay sure. Belonging creates more organizational alignment with a mission. That makes sense. But what creates belonging? In a workplace culture – especially a hybrid one – there’s really only one way to help people feel they belong: by cultivating connection.

Here’s how we can foster better human connection to fuel both belonging and alignment

Meaningful interactions: The fabric of belonging is woven with threads of meaningful conversations and valued micro-interactions. These are much more challenging when people are physically apart. This is where managers can play a pivotal role – initiating regular dialogues around the mission that help employees feel recognized and included. These interactions can be nudges, texts, calls, emails, and anything in between. The only requirement is that they be aligned with your mission and inspire two-way engagement. Whether questions, activities, ideas, or advice – creating a flow of these meaningful moments will help to foster a climate where employees resonate more deeply with the organizational mission.

Collaborative workplaces: Cultivating a collaborative workplace is more than just breaking down silos; it’s about fostering mutual understanding and teamwork. Platforms like Enboarder® can be game-changers here, offering avenues to facilitate seamless collaboration, thereby nurturing a culture where camaraderie and common goals thrive. The more people understand what is happening across the organization, the easier it will be for them to pick up an oar and start helping to get to the destination.

Building bonds beyond work tasks: The magic in a culture often lies outside the formal work tasks – and that’s a part of work life that hybrid employees tend to get left out of. They can’t drop by a break room to play a game or head out for a post-work cocktail. Companies must create an engaging flow of connection on a personal level that can help to bridge that gap. That means offering opportunities for employees to connect on a human level, through periodic in-person organizational events or virtual activities, that can forge genuine friendships, mentorships, and bonds. These connections will serve as the bedrock for a vibrant, interconnected work ecosystem – even when people are back in the remote office.

The role of recognition and continuous feedback: Amplifying the culture of recognition and continuous feedback can act like a mirror, reflecting the alignment between individual contributions and the organization’s objectives. This not only boosts morale but also solidifies the connection to the organization’s mission, building a resilient, united, and driven workforce.

By weaving these strands of human connection, we craft a tapestry of belonging, fostering a workplace where alignment with organizational goals is not just hoped for, but expected and achieved.

Looking for a cheat sheet of steps you can take to get the ball rolling and align both on-site and hybrid more closely to your mission – no matter where in the world they work? We’ve got you covered. Here are 5 things you can start doing, right now.

5 Actionable Steps to Align Employees to Your Mission 👣

  1. Implement connection-focused platforms: Introduce tools that facilitate more authentic interactions among humans and spark action and engagement. Use those channels to continuously tie activity back to the mission and remind people why you do what you do.
  2. Train managers to connect in a hybrid world: Equip leaders with skills to have ongoing, meaningful conversations about your goals and mission. They should do this using multiple channels of engagement – and not simply relying on face-to-face chats, tedious Zoom calls, or a snow drift of emails.
  3. Cultivate a culture of inclusion: People must feel included if you expect them to connect with a shared mission. Ensure every employee feels they have a place, belong, and are valued in the organization. That means establishing strong, two-way feedback channels and encouraging employees to voice their ideas – then listening and acting on what you hear.
  4. Celebrate mission-based achievements: Delivering on a mission happens day-in and day out, and requires positive reinforcement. Recognize achievements when they align with the organization’s mission – and point out exactly how. Orient the recognition you already give around values, mission, and goals.
  5. Establish a single source of truth: We talk about human connection a lot because it’s so very important. But there are two other very important kinds of connection you shouldn’t sleep on – connection to the organization itself and connection to the information people need to do their jobs successfully. Be sure you’ve established a single source of truth that helps people to understand the mission clearly, and get the resources they need to support it.

Anchoring Your Mission with Enboarder ⚓

At the heart of every successful venture is a unified, aligned, and engaged crew. And in the chaos of the modern hybrid workplace, there is only one element that can tie people to a shared vision: genuine human connection.

For businesses striving to anchor their missions, instilling a deep sense of belonging and alignment among their workforce isn’t just a lofty goal-it’s an imperative.

When every team member feels intrinsically connected to a broader narrative, you can create a workplace imbued with motivation, unity, and purpose. The clarion call? Prioritize human connection. Create ecosystems where individuals don’t just work but truly belong and align. That means a work culture where everyone knows exactly what to do and how to do it – and where they have friendships and support to help them along the way.

As for the technology and tools to make this dream a reality, that’s where Enboarder steps in. We’re in the business of making connections matter, bridging the gaps, and setting organizations on the course toward their mission.

Set sail with Enboarder and let’s get everyone rowing together.
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