Mission Driven Alignment

Mission driven leadership inspires, engages and motivates. Yet many executives and leaders leave this very important tool in their toolbox.

The Gallup organization analyzed data from nearly 50,000 business units across 192 organizations representing 49 different industries in 34 countries. They discovered that:

  • Focusing on mission drives loyalty across generations – helping employers retain Millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers.
  • A mission-driven focus brings clarity, guides decision-making and judgment.
  • A mission-driven focus helps employees connect to their work in ways being task-focused can’t.
  • Focusing on mission improves strategic alignment, which helps leaders establish and balance priorities, set performance goals and rewards.

With so many priorities, remembering to tie every action back to mission can be challenging, but the rewards for doing so will outweigh the hassle.

Aligned Companies Perform Better

One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to get your workforce aligned. That means making sure everyone is marching in the same direction toward a universally understood goal.   Aligned teams don’t happen by accident. They require constant reminders – up and down an organization’s hierarchy – about how each person’s role is a link in the chain that makes the company strong.

Leaders who focus on alignment are able to articulate the core mission. They can explain clearly and simply how each position is directly tied to the success of that core mission. They do so repeatedly to everyone, from front line workers, to administrative staff, managers and executives.

At companies I work with where everyone is aligned, employees report greater job satisfaction, they feel valued and believe this contributes to their personal productivity. When people view themselves as part of something bigger than their job or department, they’re also more willing to go the extra mile.

How To Get Your Entire Workforce Aligned

One of the top deliverables my clients seek is ways to get their workforce aligned and focused on the mission. Employees who work in that type of environment report that alignment is the result of leaders who do the following four things.

  1. They make it a practice to remind everyone – no matter where they are in the organization’s hierarchy — of the singular goal that everyone is working toward.
  2. They hold managers accountable – following up on processes or projects with detailed questions that promote progress.
  3. They ask, “how can I help?,” and then they use their power and influence to remove roadblocks.
  4. They stay on top of things — igniting an ever-present expectation that keeps people on their toes.

Leaders who use these tools to align their employees have high functioning teams hungry to contribute to their organization’s success.