When a team is aligned on a goal there is almost no stopping them if they work together.
Alignment can be challenging to create and maintain but there are some ways to generate and keep team alignment.
Here are five ways to keep a team aligned:
1. Conduct a Strategic Planning Session
The one idea that initiates alignment of a team is a strategic planning session. During the session we set a vision for the future. When people work together to create this vision they naturally become attached to it and are aligned by the end of the session.
This creates a work environment of teamwork to align and accomplish the vision or big goal.
2. Create an Action Plan and Assign Tasks under Each Area of the Plan
To keep the team aligned after the strategic planning session, create a detailed action plan with tasks assigned to members of the team. Make sure the plan and tasks are part of what will accomplish the vision.
This will create alignment of the plan and tasks to the vision as well as alignment of the people so they are rowing the boat in the same direction.
3. Weekly Status Updates
Conduct a weekly status meeting to keep people aligned on the big goal and to know progress is being made toward it. This meeting would either be face to face or a conference call if the team is spread out geographically.
During the meeting each team member reports out on what they accomplished last week and what they will be working on in the coming week. This leads to alignment and accountability to each other.
The accountability to each other is way more important than the fear of what the boss may do if “I did not get my part done”. Some teams will apologize to each other for not getting a line item done and for letting the team down.
This creates an emotional bond between members of the team to accomplish the goal and help each other meet it as well.
4. Encourage Sharing of Ideas to Help Each Team Member
This develops “a we are all in this together mentality.” When each team member is aligned on the goal they become more bonded to achieve it. If that means I must pick up a teammate, provide an idea or help them out, it is just accepted as the way we do what is needed to accomplish the goal.
5. Celebrate Each Success
Take the time and opportunity to celebrate progress and the ultimate accomplishment of the goal. This could be a party, a dinner, a trip or something else but it must involve the whole team.
Give people public recognition for the work that was done in front of the team and to others in the organization as well. The celebration will bond the team together for future projects as well.
Alignment is crucial to accomplish any goal as a team whether it is personal or professional. What ways have worked for you to align teams?