No One Works in a Vacuum


“Across all industries, only 41% of U.S. employees say they know what their company stands for and what makes it different from their competitors.”  This month’s Gallup data goes further to detail how increasing the understanding of your team in their common purpose will decrease turn-over, increase profitability and increase safety.  But trending your own data takes time, and without seeing your own trends, launching an employee campaign on other’s statistics can be a questionable use of energy and time.

You know when people are all pulling in the same direction, the work is done more quickly, effectively and profitably.  You have probably also seen sincere people limit company results by going in different directions.  So how do you know when your hardworking employees aren’t working together?

If you see any of these systemic behaviors, your staff may not be prioritizing your company’s strategy.

COMPETING PRIORITIES: It is common to find internal departments establishing priorities that complete with other groups’ priorities.  These are often practices that evolve as each group works toward their individual goals – probably these goals were originally aligned to the company’s purpose.  But that strategic plan becomes fuzzy as teams find new ways to strengthen their own isolated statistics.
The most common competitive example is when customer-facing employees [like sales or service delivery] and resource-management groups [like marketing or accounting] take actions that literally set the customers up for disappointment and their colleagues in the other teams up for failure.

POOR JUDGEMENT CALLS: Do you see continual coaching issues involving employees using faulty business judgment?  Every employee level must make judgement calls; most people want to be praised for their decisions.  If you see a high number of decisions that do not align with what your company stands for, you probably need to ensure your employees are refreshed on how their actions help or hurt the future of the business.

EVERYONE DOES IT DIFFERENTLY: When people really want to accomplish a specific goal, they work together to find what ways work best, and they adopt those best practices.  If you find that people with the same job are all performing that work differently, they may very well be confused about what their specific priorities should be.  It may be wise to visit the big picture again so they can examine how their work directly effects the company’s success.

How do you know when it’s important to spend that energy to realign the mission with your employees?  Listen for the conflicts within your organization, examine the causes, and then ensure your entire workforce is moving together to create your company’s competitive edge.  If you see one of these gaps and want some ideas on closing it, just give us a call: