We often talk about the importance of clarity and alignment from an organizational standpoint. And we work to ensure that the entire organization knows ‘what is most important right now’, ‘what success looks like’, and ‘what is required of each business unit, department, and individual’ to achieve success.
That being said, there also needs to exist a direct alignment and link between an individual’s purpose, and that of the organization. Without this, here is what leaders of an organization and the customers of the organization get:
• Bank tellers who come to work solely to complete transactions (and collect a paycheck)
• Lenders who come to work solely to complete the lending transactions (and collect a paycheck)
• Customer service reps who come to work solely to answer phones, return email, solve problems (and collect a paycheck)
• Front line managers who drive compliance through the ranks; ensuring that systems and processes are adhered to
What is lost in the above equations is leverage and impact. These things are delivered when employees are fully engaged and show up every day, intent on achieving their personal and organizational mission and vision.
I’m not suggesting that bank tellers need to aspire to become bank CEOs, or that all lenders should aspire to be the Chief Lending Officer (you get the drift). Although, what I do believe is that leaders should be INTENTIONAL about recruiting employees, at all levels of the organization, whose personal visions (WHY) aligns with the organization’s vision.
Example: Every day I wake up driven and inspired to make a positive difference in every interaction I have – EVERY interaction. I aspire to leave people, teams, and organizations better equipped, more inspired, more educated, and more connected than before our interaction. It is one of the reasons I love having a home at eQ. We work with a variety of leaders across a wide cross-section of industries; it allows me to live my passions while also fulfilling our organization’s vision.
As a bank teller, it makes perfect sense that the individual has a passion for serving others, a curiosity for learning about a customer’s goals and aspirations, and then connecting them with the right banking solutions. If the teller (or teller prospective employee) doesn’t have that mindset, that is NOT the right person for the job. It may seem so simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen companies hire people because they have technical expertise, or seem smart, without the shared connection of passion or vision. Mistake, mistake, mistake.
What can you do to ensure this alignment? It all starts with clarity – organizational clarity of mission and vision, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and also clarity of organizational values. So when hiring, it is easier to pick candidates who align with what the organization needs to achieve: their critical goals and aspirations.
Want a tool to help with this exercise? Visit our website, and download the 25 Reasons Why Document. Then have current employees and prospective candidates complete this exercise and discuss the results. It will give you, and the employee/candidate, great insights into the person’s WHY, and whether they do, or do not align with the organization’s vision and mission.
Andrew Freedman, Principal at entreQuest, specializes in helping eQ’s clients grow by creating well aligned company cultures and strategies that result in remarkable client and employee experiences.