By: Skip Wilkins, Alliance Partner of HPISolutions

Stop for a moment and ask yourself, “In the world around me, what has to be aligned?”  As you ponder the question, a number of responses may enter your mind; 1) the tires on my car, 2) the braces on children’s teeth, 3) railroad tracks, 4) the door on my refrigerator (or the food would spoil), etc.

And then it dawns on you, almost everything around you must be aligned to function at its best!  If you want to observe the necessity for alignment, watch a group of individuals engaged in the following activity;  1) have pairs of individuals face each other and stand about two feet apart, (here, the partners are “in alignment” and can comfortably stand this way), 2) now have them firmly grasp one another’s wrists, 3) lastly, have them take turns leaning away from their partner.

The partner holding the other who is leaning away must shift their feet, body positions, and weight to avoid having the partner fall away.  When you ask the group what had to happen to avoid losing their partner, the answer is always the same . . . . they had to “react” and “compensate” because the partner was “out of alignment.”

Employee engagement requires that employees fully understand, are committed to, and in alignment with, the organization’s vision, mission, values, and other components (see graph below).  When this happens, you now enable employees to positively “respond” and engage, rather than react to daily challenges.

Clear alignment creates a cascading effect, connecting the employee’s day-to-day understanding and activities with the vision, mission, values, and strategies.  Thus, an individual’s understanding of how they contribute to the overall success of the organization inherently optimizes their engagement.

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