How to align your team using the OKR Framework

by Carly Clyne | Feb 01, 2022

time icon 3 mins

If you’re unsure of how to align your team, or what team alignment looks like, this is the article for you. Team alignment is achieved when cross-functional teams and individual team members work towards the same vision, they understand their individual and their team goals, and can see how their contributions work towards the wider organisational purpose. To put it simply, team alignment is the process of arriving at a common understanding.

What does team alignment look like?

It’s essential that you know how to align your team so that you can reap the rewards for your business. When people are aligned on what needs to be done and how they’ll get done, things can move forward faster and easier. An aligned team has its act together, with all team members working collaboratively to achieve success. Here are some common features of an aligned team.

  • Commitment: Team members are committed to and passionate for the overall organisational success. Members are also committed to helping their team members in building collective success. 
  • Content: When teams are aligned and focused, the messaging is clear, consistent and concise. Communication cascades effectively and the business strategy is understood by all levels of the organisation, team members also know the role they plan in achieving objectives.

The importance of team alignment

Team alignment becomes even more important when you want to scale. This is because you will need new systems and structures to handle the complexity that comes with growth.

Team alignment is critical to ensure that every member understands the final goals and the strategies being used to achieve them.  With greater team alignment, the success rate increases. Team alignment has a huge impact on the overall performance of your business. ClearCompany found that a remarkable 97% of employees and executives agree that the outcome of a task or project is negatively affected by a lack of alignment. When you have team alignment you reap the benefits including;

  • An increase in coordination and communication
  • Better understanding between team members
  • A boost in creativity
  • Higher trust among team members
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved performance
  • Higher motivation and morale
  • Lower rates of staff turnover
  • Ability to make key decisions faster
  • Agility to adapt to a changing market

The benefits of executive team alignment 

Executive teams play a vital role in today’s uncertain business environment. They must address transformations that are more complex and time-constrained than ever before, leading by example, with strong alignment, and engaging the rest of the organization around a shared purpose. Executive team alignment includes not only alignment on the strategy and business agenda, but also a strong personal connection and a shared view of the behaviours and dynamics that they want to embrace. Through increased commitment and accountability the executive team can enhance its performance to the next level. 

How can the OKR framework help with team alignment?

When looking at how to align your team, you can’t overlook the OKR process. The OKR framework is a powerful tool and drives focus and clarity, enabling individuals and teams to align with the shared business objectives. Alignment is a critical aspect of an OKR framework to ensure that everyone moves in a unified direction and adopts the right rhythm to unlock performance impact and business success. OKRs can align executives all the way down to individual teams, in fact, many organisations choose to implement OKRs because they want differing teams in the company to be more aligned with the overall company direction.

One of the main points of setting OKRs is to increase clarity and alignment for individuals and teams, helping them to see how their work is contributing to the bigger picture. You are likely to see that your team feels more engaged when they can change tracks to be realigned with the company direction.

Struggling to create alignment within your organisation? We’re always happy to have a chat, speak to our Giants today to find out more about how to use OKRs to create alignment.