Alignment is the New Engagement

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A key difference that is immediately noticeable in organizations with a strong leadership culture is that employees are highly engaged. We’ve heard and read about employee engagement more and more over the last couple of decades. What is disheartening is that even though employers have expended a great deal of energy and time measuring employee engagement, overall employee engagement does not seem to be increasing.  That is not to say this is true in every organization, but in general only about 30-35% of employees are found to be “engaged” at work.

In my work with numerous organizations, even conducting engagement or satisfaction surveys in these organizations, I have found one key in organizations infused with a culture of leadership. This element is related to engagement, but could be even more important. It is alignment. What this means is that individual employee’s values are aligned with the organization’s values, mission, and vision. If you go into an organization that is not aligned you will find employees who don’t even know the company’s mission, vision, or values – even though these may be posted on the walls or printed in a strategic plan that is sitting on a shelf in the CEO’s office. However, in an organization infused with a leadership culture, every employee knows the mission of the organization.  They nearly all understand the values and vision of the company, and the employees will tell you that they strongly believe in the mission.  They freely share that their personal values match the values of the organization. In other words their values are aligned with the purpose and future of the company. This is the case even if the mission, vision, and values are not posted on the walls.