According to a Harvard Business Review study, up to 70% of employees don’t clearly understand their company’s strategy and objectives. Even worse, they’re not sure how their contributions ladder back up to achieving those objectives. Connecting employees’ work to the company’s business mission and making sure the alignment is crystal clear seems obvious, but it’s clearly just not happening.
At Kin, we make clear steps to avoid that disconnect. Each year, we roll out our major company missions and objectives during an all-hands meeting called Summit. It’s an exciting time where we unveil our vision for the company over the next 12 months and review/celebrate all we’ve achieved throughout the last year.
Once we get the team fired up for the future, we get to work on setting expectations around how their work will contribute to the bigger picture starting with career development calls. These are one-on-one video chats that cover everything about an employee they wish to share while getting down to the core of why they love their job. The goal is to find a connection between what engages our colleagues at work and the objectives we need to achieve to grow our business.
We take those insights from the calls and start on our next step in the plan: making them actionable and transparent. To do that, I create feedback reports and distribute them to people who work closely with that team member. No confidential or relationship-damaging information is in the report. It is simply feedback that can help the company as a whole.
We then turn that feedback report into objectives and key results (OKRs) that align with what our colleagues are best at and feel most effective in. These OKRs ladder back up to our company objectives directly so the employee can clearly see how they are progressing the company forward while feeling engaged and aligned with their own missions.
For example, we have a new employee whose biggest motivator is making an impact on the team and leaving a legacy. We have paired him with a senior-level colleague who is working on a major company objective focused on modernizing the workplace technology stack for a long-term client. Letting our new employee lead the charge on this huge initiative after leadership lays out the strategy hits all of his marks. It also allows us to achieve a massive goal while knowing we are fully engaging our team members to do so.
Once we determine everyone’s OKRs in relation to our company’s missions and objectives, we distribute it to the team. This way, we’re aligning our folks contributions to the top-level missions and making each other’s goals transparent across the company. It also makes it readily available and documented. You can see an example of it here:
Want to use this for your team? We’ve created a template to get you started.
It’s our job as leaders to not only grow our companies but ensure our colleagues understand how important they are to our success. By intentionally aligning your team’s work to the bigger picture, your company becomes a well-oiled machine filled with engaged colleagues who know that their leaders believe in their work and their ability to drive progress forward.