To help business leaders create team alignment, we asked CEOs and business professionals this question for their best insights. From keeping lines of communication open to creating clear goals, several strategies may help you keep your team aligned for years to come.
Creating team alignment starts with a strong foundation. At AVANA, we pride ourselves on communicating with purpose and having a clear sense of direction. When dealing with teams, it's essential to ensure that everyone on that team is working towards the same goal. Ensuring that everyone understands how their skills fit into the goal and helps the next person ensures that no one feels left out. We all have a purpose, and team alignment is founded on making sure that everyone knows that purpose.
*Allan J. Switalski, AVANA Capital
One way to build team alignment is to sometimes take the team outside of work for various activities. It might sound silly, but creating team activities that may not always align directly with the work can help build a repertoire and respect for individuals outside of the office setting, which can continue to build on the groundwork inside the office. This can help build out the humanity of each individual on the team and see specific skills that may not show themselves in someone's day-to-day tasks at work. This can help business leaders find new skills in their employees, allow people to grow, and find fresh ways to keep everyone aligned on the team's goals.
*Henry Babicheknko, Stomadent
In order to create team alignment, it's best not to take a one-and-done approach. You had a meeting and stated the goals for the week, which is excellent. But don't assume that stating it once means that everyone automatically understands everything. Be sure to follow up and be consistent about it. Check-in to see if anyone needs help or if anything has changed that may shift priorities. Taking the initiative to reach out, and doing so consistently, can really make the difference between a team that barely gets work done and a team that works like a well-oiled machine. This makes sure everyone is still on track with the common goal or goals for the week and that you actively want consistent and regular communication from your team as well.
*Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Here at TruPath, one of our core values is having a growth mindset. This is integral to us creating team alignment. We focus on making sure each person knows that they are essential to the team and that they do come with skills that are already useful. However, that's not all they are to the team. They can continue to grow and help us challenge our team goals and create new goals. The continual growth helps implement new strategies, and the constant move forward helps us make sure everyone on the team is in true alignment because we are constantly checking in and striving for new heights.
*Ryan Nouis, TruPath
One way to create team alignment is by being transparent with each member's unique role within the team. When everyone knows what the other is doing and is responsible for, it creates trust and accountability. Within the EOS business model, this role definition is called the "Accountability Chart." It helps to eliminate duplicate ownership and people stepping over each other. When this is implemented correctly, each team member can stay focused in their lane and make a more significant impact organization-wide.
*Jenn Christie, Markitors
You create team alignment by setting clear and accurate goals and expectations for the team. You can not go where you need to go without knowing where you are going first. Setting these expectations and goals will align your team with the common goals and objectives.
*Lauren Picasso, Cure Hydration
Successfully aligning a team begins at team formation. The team members need to have apparent expectations—what projects will they be completing; what steps should they take? Team leaders should know their team members' personalities and work styles; assessments such as DiSC and regular meetings and discussions help leaders understand how individual team members work and respond.
Setting expectations extends past initial team formation: leaders and managers should continually encourage their teams and provide consistent updates about progress and growth to align team members' goals.
*Jenna Phipps, TechnologyAdvice
Keeping a team aligned comes down to open communication. It's a strategy that I use within my business. Talk less and listen more! Most issues with team alignment stem from not having a communication channel set up or a lack of trust between leaders and employees. Employees are less likely to communicate if they don't trust that the message will be acknowledged or adequately received.
To get down to the core of these issues, managers need to be proactive with checking in. With teams consisting of hybrid and remote workers, it's crucial to prioritize individual virtual meetings to open up an opportunity to ask questions such as "How are you doing?" or "How can I help?" Working together on solutions and goal setting is an excellent opportunity to connect and get on the same page.
*Shahzil Amin, WellBefore
To build alignment in your team, assign group tasks. If people have to collaborate, they will begin to see where people excel and where they need support. In addition, throwing everyone into a team task makes it, so people have to communicate with each other, step up to the plate immediately, and work toward their common goal.
*Joshua Tatum, Canvas Culture
Aligned teams are more engaged, perform better, and are more collaborative. Creating team alignment is a constant effort. One way to build team alignment is to send weekly newsletters and surveys to the team through Slack or their company email addresses. The newsletters define goals, and the surveys allow us to understand the thought processes of each member of the team. From there, we can implement strategies that bring everyone together cohesively.
*Fred Geranatebee, Foster Grant
Our company operates very collaboratively with the app developers, digital strategists, and brand partners, so it was a challenge when we couldn't all be in the same workspace. Since being remote, we found that our productivity has not changed over the years because we can use direct messaging platforms that support video and audio call functions.
These are helpful features for on-demand work communication that do not get in the way of using someone's personal phone line. Our employees have found they need to keep these lines of communication separate in case of emergencies, and that is something we lost at first while integrating to online-only communication platforms for our workforce. There is trust in the office that people will respond to one another within a respectful amount of time, and they can manage their projects and deadlines.
*Savannah Scott, Supergreat
One tip for creating team alignment is keeping up employee morale, which is definitely one of the most important tasks for leaders--now and in the future. Improving team morale is often based on finding beneficial ways to show your appreciation to your team for a job well done and encouraging them to continue that level of productivity. While the options for incentives are plenty, there's definitely something to be said about group incentives, as they not only serve as a fun reward but can also build teamwork and company culture. This can be ideal for successfully creating team alignment!
*Rachel Jones, Hope Health Supply