How to learn the art of aligning goals to the organization


The art of aligning your goals to those of the organization where you are employed is now something that is a "given". In other words, you either do so or just get out. Or get eased out. You do not have a choice. Certain essential steps of aligning your goals to those of the organization is discussed in some detail in this article.

Introduction

The world is changing so fast. Indian organizations are undergoing massive transformations and are changing too. The rapid changes in technology, demanding customer needs, the choices available to customers everywhere, the transformational nature of every single IT application and so on, have made the Corporate World a big arena of massive change. This change is often so dramatic when the mergers and acquisitions of even good organizations take place. Employees face the daunting task of adjusting themselves to the drastically new cultures of the new organization and the Management of such organization.

Be that as it may, the Art of Aligning your goals with that of the organization you work for, will be purposeful and meaningful if you a) Go far beyond role definitions and stand out b) Get noticed through superior performance c) Get big bosses to know your capabilities d) Network with related departments to complete organizational tasks and e) Engage your entire workforce for Team Effectiveness.

Go far beyond role definitions and stand out

Let us take one major portfolio in HR. It is called Training. In most organizations where the technology is very well developed, the Training process starts and ends with institutionalizing a number of on-the-job initiatives that enhance the contribution of each individual in every department. Irrespective of whether he or she is a worker or manager or a supervisor. The HR professional needs a big yearly Training plan. However, the Training focus loses its professionalism when the emphasis shifts from learning and application to merely showing an increase in training man-days. A number of bar charts and pie charts appear. However, tough bosses are not impressed. They want the workmen to get trained and reduce costs, reduce the number of breakdowns and approval of Quality of product right, the first time. Rework is never appreciated. Your role as an HR professional will have meaning only when you devise some methodology to measure the effectiveness of training imparted. One best way is to ask the line managers to quiz individual workmen the next day after attending a program. This will lead to the proper identification of gaps. As the HR professional, you need to continuously talk to individual workmen and understand their willingness and readiness to change and acquire new skills and competencies. They normally do not have time during their normal work hours. The trick is to check if you can engage them in fifteen minutes of focussed conversations after working hours. And you need to motivate them to make small presentations to the bosses when you are around, on the shop floor. This will enhance the effectiveness of the Training process and will enable you to build credibility. This is exactly the extra effort that is needed. On the contrary, if you allow the process to drift towards becoming a routine affair, you will not be appreciated. You will not get the support of the line managers. Hence, you need to enlarge the scope of your role and get things done. Training is just one example. In whatever you do, you need to travel the extra mile to just prove that you have " arrived".

Get noticed through superior performance

Make no mistake. No organization worth its salt would tolerate very ordinary or satisfactory performance. These are days when you need to go the extra mile and then go far beyond the dotted duties and your job description. Your superior performance will matter a lot. When you do so and you are able to prove superior performance you can easily align your goals to that of the organization. To give a very simple example. Even if you can motivate a group of just ten workmen to form a Quality Circle, handhold them to the extent possible and then get them to get going on some solid cost-saving initiatives, you can easily get noticed. The department head will even support you since any cost saving on a mass scale will add weight to his performance. He may or may not give you any big credit, but is likely to at least say "thank you". This is exactly what needs to be done. Just identify the most important organizational tasks, break that down into tasks where cost-cutting is very much possible and then get it done. Once you do it, you are very likely to be appreciated. The bigger tasks of superior performance will soon be evident, once you plan and take the small baby steps.

Get big bosses to know your capabilities

These are days when you need to blow your trumpet to a much larger extent than ever before. Just wait for a chance to impress some big boss and get noticed by the CEO at the unit level or at the Corporate Office. To do this, you need a certain amount of initiative that has a Corporate bearing. In other words, some initiative that can help the organization implement it throughout the organization. It could be a new idea or an initiative that has wide implications. For example, if the organization has in its radar screen some initiative that aims at developing the Top Managerial personnel on leadership qualities, suggest the 360 degrees appraisal. You can network with someone who has already implemented it in his own organization and prepare a template. Share it with the Top Management. This is exactly how you get the Top Management bosses to sit up and take notice.

Network with related departments to complete organizational tasks

Imagine you are in Finance. You are designated, Senior Manager. The job itself demands that you need to network with so many suppliers who will also interface with the other Senior Managers in say, Marketing or even HR. You need to network with these very same bosses to get your job done. For example, if you have very good relations with your suppliers, you can delay a bill for four days, during which the banks are closed for a full four days. And then park the funds with some liquid fund of a leading Mutual Fund. If the amount runs into crores of rupees, as it often happens, you can enable the organization to make money. The suppliers would not mind as they can manage for four days. This is exactly how cash flow is often increased in many organizations. However, you need to network with the concerned managers. You just cannot afford to take a decision after merely informing you Corporate Big boss or the CEO there. You need to take these Senior Managers also into confidence. This will enable you to manage all ego hassles and will also lead to better co-operation. Many an ego problem only starts when people are kept in the dark. And when you do so, you can easily align your professional goals with that of the organization.

Engage your entire workforce for Team Effectiveness

You may have just ten people under your control. However, you will be closely watched. You will be and become a good leader, only if you stand up on every issue and are known as one who can own any mistake of any subordinate or all subordinates. Remember, the buck will always stop with you. In fact, you are designated a manager and become a leader, only based on your leadership qualities. Even at very senior levels, it is common to find the very senior guys letting down subordinates and blaming them for any mistake. They tend to conveniently forget that it is their duty to ensure that everything is in order. They fail miserably and then blame the subordinates. Such behavior will do them no good and will show them as the worst leaders. On the contrary, even if you bark at your subordinates, but are known as one who will literally own everything that happens, you will still be respected by subordinates. When you start empowering them and they do a good job, the team as a whole becomes very effective.

Conclusion

The most simple tasks of doing certain things to align your goals with those of the organization, have been explained above, based on real-world observations. However, you can also innovate further, based on organizational context and its realities. Remember, the task is something that has no full stop. It is a work in progress, more so, since the environments have changed one hundred percent in every organization.


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