Team alignment affects how your employees work together on a day-to-day basis, but it can have huge effects on your overall company culture. When your team is aligned around similar priorities and works well together, you can create an environment that fosters cohesion and easily attracts new hires.
Team Alignment: The Key to Stellar Company Culture
In today’s economy, “company culture” has taken on a new meeting. Start-ups and other tech giants around the country fight to promote a culture that will attract top-notch new employees, usually by offering huge incentives in the process.
Think about the many perks Google is well-known for such as dog-friendly offices, massage credits, free fitness classes, and extended vacations. Many companies today provide similar benefits to gain new hires and show a culture of openness and flexibility. They all want to seem like a place where management considers employees’ needs and provides an awesome experience.
Hey, those are great incentives, but the real key to a great company culture needs to go deeper.
While the benefits offered by some of these companies are cool perks, one of the biggest factors that will affect your company culture isn’t a great bonus or free snacks in the break room: it’s how well your team is aligned and works together.
How Team Alignment Makes a Difference
One of the main benefits of team alignment is that all team members understand the company’s overall objectives and how their individual priorities and tasks ladder up to organizational goals. They get why certain things matter, and they're going to do everything it takes to get the company there.
With big, overarching goals in mind, employees often work together on separate but complementary projects that benefit the company as a whole.
A well-aligned team knows that everyone needs to work together to reach company-wide goals. This focus on overall priorities helps create a collaborative company culture where different employees are willing to help each other out.
Why does this make a difference?
In companies with high team alignment, employees realize that even if you’re the best salesperson on the staff, if you’re doing something that negatively affects whether marketing reaches their goals, you’re hurting the company.
You could be awesome, but the whole team needs to really knock it out-of-the-park.
When your company’s team are aligned around similar priorities, you can put what’s best for the organization first and have employees from different departments work together on shared goals rather than get caught up in petty competitions or infighting.
Collaboration and team spirit are ingrained in your culture. They're who you are and what you do.
This type of culture also helps attract new employees since they know they won’t be out-on-the-line if they don’t understand the company’s processes or need some help from the get-go.
Another one of the biggest factors that affects how well employees work together is how often they communicate. A lack of communication creates misunderstandings, arguments, and plenty of other backlash.
Don't be the team that messes up a major project because you couldn't be bothered to check-in and see how your teammates were doing or someone's weird office feud got in the way.
A hallmark of a well-aligned team is a consistent communication rhythm with meetings at specific time periods so that all employees are aware. Because all team members regularly talk about what’s up and how everyone’s work is coming along, an open and communicative culture should arise naturally.
Everyone knows what's going on, and everyone's in the loop.
When people understand how important communication is to the company’s success and feel comfortable making decisions with their team members, they’re more likely to ask for help when they need it and approach management with any issues or concerns.
An open, honest, and transparent company culture should be relatively easy to maintain when your employees can communicate frequently and consistently about their needs and abilities.
It makes a lot of sense that a well-aligned team will produce a company culture of accountability. When teams are aligned around similar priorities, each person is aware of his/her individual responsibilities and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Everyone has a job, and they know what they need to do to help the company reach success. If one person slacks off, it's obvious to the rest of the team, and they can easily call out the slacker.
If a team member isn’t meeting their goals, both the individual and management are aware of the issue, and they can work together to solve it.
Well-aligned teams have employees who understand how their work fits into the big picture, so they are held accountable if they start missing hours or if their work isn’t up to the standards of the company.
This way, everyone is accountable to the company’s main priorities and can avoid getting sidetracked by arbitrary or less-pressing goals and deadlines.
These are just three areas in which team alignment can affect your company culture and create an environment your employees feel comfortable in. There are tons of other benefits to aligning your team around shared priorities, including boosts to your productivity and your overall bottom line.
For more info on this topic, check out some of our other posts:
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