Improved organizational alignment generates cash by improving productivity and reducing the rate of new hires (because people produce more). Both increased productivity and reduced hiring puts cash in the bank for an organization.
Skeptical? Well, surveys estimate that between 25 and 40% of a worker’s time is wasted in non-productive activities including work toward unclear objectives and participation in ineffective meetings. What impact would you expect to your bottom line if you captured even half of the three to nearly four months wasted every year by your average employee?
So, what can you do to combat wasted time and the cash drain it represents?
You can start by working on setting the priorities for your organization and then getting everyone aligned behind those priorities.
To get people aligned consider four ingredients: clear expectations, progress milestones (metrics), a clear timeline and set priorities for when expectations conflict. In our experience, clear expectations are pretty common. Less common are the metrics that measure progress, a defined review period and a strategy for resolving conflicts between expectations.
When all four ingredients are present, there is tremendous focus and little uncertainty about what exactly needs to be done by when. For example, there is a big difference between the directives: “grow sales” and “your top priority is to make new connections with prospective customers. We expect you to make 10 new connections and to touch base with 25 connections that you have made in the past six months, each week. We expect these contacts to result in two or more sales each week. We will meet every other week to assess your activity and progress.”
This type of focus produces three outcomes: 1) a clear roadmap of how a person needs to behave to be successful, 2) the results you are looking for, or 3) nowhere to hide for the subpar or marginal performer.
The bottom line of this type of focus is ultimately more cash in the bank–put there by the discipline of organizational alignment.