How to Align Personal Goals with Organizational Goals?

All existence has a purpose and it is as true for organizations as it is for humans. Every organization – big and small works towards achieving goals designed to drive growth and profit, and should ideally aim at positively impacting the society at large. And the same can be said about personal goals too. In order to achieve growth, the personal goal of each employee needs to be inclined in the same direction as that of the organizational goals. This alignment between the goals is the heart of an organization’s culture and the singular trait that empowers an organization even during times of crisis.

As simple as it may sound, sometimes it poses a challenge owing to factors like incompatibility of value system, management process, disagreements, policies, or some unforeseen circumstances. What do you do when you feel conflicted and demotivated towards your work? Here are a few tips on how to align or manage the misalignment between your personal goals and the broader goals of your organization.

Hire Culture-Fit Professionals

Alignments of goals start from the word GO itself. The onus of this job falls on HR. They are responsible for interviewing prospects to understand their personal goals and approach towards work and life. The process of integrating individual and organizational goals becomes easier for individuals who share a similar value system as that of the organization.

Clarity about Company Goals

You have to be clear about your company goals and what you want from your company in terms of growth. This will help you identify any gaps between what you want and what your company expects, which in turn can be assessed to see if those gaps can be bridged without compromising on your personal goals. Once this is sorted, you will feel more in line with your work and organization.

Strong Internal Communication System

An internal communication system is crucial to manage and maintain a happy and peaceful workforce. Among other important internal communications, they are also entrusted with the job of keeping all the employees aligned and driven to fulfill their roles and contribute towards success. Hence, cascading company goals through internal systems should be conducted effectively to maintain a motivated workforce.

Where do you stand?

It is very important to introspect and evaluate where do you stand in the bigger picture and how have you contributed to the success of your organization. If you feel your contribution is negligible or does not picture in the big plan while also feeling conflicted in terms of personal goals, you need to raise the concern with your manager or through the right channel. I understand, it is extremely demotivating to feel your efforts have not added any value to your personal as well as company growth. So, do not hesitate to take urgent action and invest effort in identifying what more can you do and how can you make your time more productive for yourself and everyone around.

Be ready to Adapt

Evolution is the law of nature and there is no harm in acknowledging your changing goals. What truly matters is that you accept the change and figure out how best to align your current goals with the overall goals of your organization. The challenge here is to understand that the frictions you face in your current position may not resolve by simply jumping ships. You have to invest your discretion to realign with either your new goals or changed organizational goals. Only if you have exhausted all forms of efforts to realign, should you choose to move on.

Work-out Alignment Hierarchy

Last but not least is the hierarchy of goal alignment. The levels of alignment aid in ensuring you eliminate any possibility of misalignment or simply serve as checkboxes to assess if you are goal-fit for alignment.

  • Role Alignment– Firstly check if you feel aligned to the goals designed for your particular role. You need to have role clarity to understand what is expected of you and what are your own expectations in terms of skillsets, prospective projects, growth opportunities and pay. If the role suits you, well and good, if not, can you adapt by upskilling or reskilling? Only if your answer is yes, you can truly align your goals with that of your role.
  • Team Alignment– Move on to team goals and see if you can make the connection. As part of a team, you have to be on the same page as the rest and together work towards a common goal that will contribute towards the organizational goals. Once you learn to stay in the loop with the rest of your team, you naturally tend to stay motivated and aligned with your team goals.
  • Organizational Alignment– Most importantly, always remind yourself of your company goals and establish a deep understanding of your company culture and strategies. Remember, your success is tied back to your company’s and thus, should be treated as an extension of your personal goals. This will undoubtedly help you integrate your personal and company goals to stay calibrated.

Once, a pride of 6 lions planned to hunt down a strong and hefty full-grown bison and waited until the hour of grazing and watering in the noon on a hillside. They were all crouched in strategic positions to nullify any chances of escape. While all six of them were waiting with eyes trained solely on their prey, one of the lions got smart and noticed a little rabbit hopping downhill and chose to ambush without consulting others. This disturbed the normalcy of the scene and warned the herd of bison of the impending danger and they immediately charged as one unit towards that lion and trampled it to death. The rest of the pride retreated from the scene with their lives and were left starving and disappointed for the rest of the day.

The lion that chose to act individually to satisfy its personal goal alone ended up in a bad way. But what truly disappoints and is sad to an extent is that its single act of deviating from the plan disrupted the entire strategy and affected the rest of the pride of lions too. The overall goal was to satisfy the hunger of the entire pride but was left unfulfilled on account of a single misalignment!

Misalignments may occur, but in the corporate world, there is always room for realignment. A strong affinity and understanding towards your company goals and objectives will organically promote integration and alignment of individual goals and organizational goals.