June 6, 2017 admin

Line of Sight

You might ask…………….what is “Line of Sight”? Which is a reasonable question!

Aligning employees with the strategic goals of any business is critical if organisations hope to manage their human capital effectively and ultimately attain strategic success. An important component of attaining and sustaining this alignment is for employees to have a line of sight (LOS) with their organisation’s strategic objectives.

How many times have we either worked in, or worked for, businesses where employees have little or no idea what the long term objectives are for the business? Where the business plan is constructed by the “few” but never handed down to those that matter most – the “many”!

How many of us who have “real” jobs could actually remember what the vision (and for that matter the mission) statement in for our organisations actually says? It was Peter Senge who coined the phrase, in his landmark book The Fifth Discipline, that “it’s not what the vision says, it’s what the vision does” that matters most.

Any statements must therefore spark action and reaction, otherwise what’s the point? Keeping a business plan for the “few” is never going to spark any action or reaction. Having a vision (and mission) that nobody really understands or believes will never spark the required actions to achieve it.

The translation of business goals into tangible results requires that employees not only understand the organisation’s strategy, but also accurately appreciate and engage with the actions that are aligned with realising that strategy.

Engagement of people (usually employees) is generally seen as an internal state of being – both physical, mental and emotional – that brings together earlier concepts of work effort, organisational commitment, job satisfaction and ‘flow’ (or optimal experience). It is the effort and flow that are the sparks for the action and reaction. Typical phrases used in employee engagement writing include discretionary effort, going the extra mile, feeling valued and passionate about work.

Numerous definitions of engagement exist, each with their different emphases. The one that resonates most with my thinking is from the Utrecht University group of occupational psychologists. They measured work engagement, as having three elements:

  • Vigour (energy, resilience and effort)
  • Dedication (for example, enthusiasm, inspiration and pride)
  • Absorption (concentration and being engrossed in one’s work).

The strength of this is in its focus on a specific physical and psychological state of being. However, it omits another aspect that I believe is a core element of employee engagement, namely being aware of business context and understanding the line of sight between what we do every day (our job) and the purpose, vision, values and objectives of the organisation.

The importance of aligning organisational purpose, vision, values and objectives that positively influence business outcomes, are the key points of leverage to begin the journey.

 

In a recent intervention we worked with an SME manufacturing business to do just that – positively influencing the business outcomes using our “Line of Sight” process. Need help starting the journey? Getting started again? Or simply don’t know where to start? Drop me a mail and we will introduce a proven process that will drive your business growth by creating engagement, understanding, alignment and ownership of the business objectives throughout the organisation

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