“There’s something wrong here.  Something seems to be out of alignment.” When something is out of alignment; like your car, your back or a door jam, you can feel it.  And in most cases you probably seek immediate treatment because the wear and tear on things that remain out of alignment can be physically, emotionally and or financially painful.

The same is true for goal alignment in a company.  When goals are not aligned between employees and managers you can be sure the wear and tear on strategic organizational initiatives will be damaging.

But there’s an added challenge of getting all employees to work toward those same desired goals and tying those goals into the objectives for individual employees’ performance.  If you want employees to be focused and motivated, they need to have a clear understanding of how their efforts serve the company’s short and long term goals.

Employees want to love their jobs.  If they feel as if they are contributing to a goal that is meaningful to them, the chances of them loving their job are far higher. They work hardest when they believe in what they’re working toward.  If only a cadre of top managers is fully versed in and believes in the company’s goals, the rest of the staff may have little motivation to meet those aims.  The staff may even resent what seems like edicts from the top.

In setting goals, an organization benefits from gaining the perspective of its employees – not just hearing their ideas, but giving those ideas respectful consideration.  A company that solicits ideas, wherever they arise, is a company where creative achievers want to work.  Why not trust the employee who’s answering a customer’s call, that he or she may know an effective way of improving customer loyalty?  To be sure, not all ideas are worth putting into place.  Some are unrealistic or too expensive, but some could prove to be useful.

Whatever goals an organization sets, they need to arise from the company’s core values, and those values should be well defined and promoted throughout the organization.  So if a company values integrity, ambition, or respect, the goals they establish need to be in sync with those ideals.  The core values in a company aren’t simply the promises written in the company website or posted on employee cork boards, they’re the qualities modeled day to day in interactions between managers and employees and between employees and customers.  An organization’s leaders can have a lot of influence in creating a workplace culture that motivates, and that in turn, leads the company to realizing its goals.

Alan See is the Chief Marketing Officer at MindLeaders. He has written the following guest post for the Networking Exchange Blog.