The Secret to Get Your Managers to Buy Into Realigning Teams

Feb 21, 2018


Here's the situation. Your company's top-line revenue is stagnant, the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) tied to production are declining, and morale is falling by the day.

Executives, managers, and leaders throughout the organization see the problem. Employees feel the problem.

You know that something needs to happen to reverse these metrics. What do you do? What can you recommend to get everyone onboard from the C-Suite to the warehouse?

A proven solution that delivers long-term results is realigning teams based on measurable information. However, many companies see realignment as a time suck, a drain of company resources, and a management headache.

Additionally, when you think of realigning teams, you are likely dreading pushback from managers and employees in your company. You can almost hear the grumbling down the hallway or anticipate the passive-aggressive emails that will follow.

The reality is that if employees are a good fit for their role and your company culture, it is cheaper and easier to realign them than trying to replace them. The key is knowing where to place employees and how to match those employees with the right manager.

To successfully realign teams within your organization and produce positive business results, you have to start at the beginning of the process.

Executives Must Buy Into Realigning Teams

As the leader in your organization, you have a vital role in communicating to executives the importance of team realignment for long-term success. How do you make the best case?

You need to understand the hot-button metrics that your executive team value most and highlight how realignment will reverse these downward trends to create a positive financial impact.

It is important that you achieve buy-in so that the executive team will communicate the realignment strategy to the company, commit to rolling out the strategy, and nurture the strategy over time.

This is not a 30-day trial to test out realignment. Otherwise, managers and employees will see this as a flavor of the month that the executive team is excited about until it fades out in a few weeks. As a key leader in the organization, it is crucial that you continue supporting the executive team by arming them with information to help consistently communicate the new strategy until it filters down throughout the organization.

What if Managers Remain Resistant to Change?

There will likely be pushback from managers who do not want to go through the realignment process. After all, they are on the frontlines managing real people in real situations. It is important you continue to communicate the value to managers.

How do you break through this wall? An assessment is a valuable tool that provides measurable information about each employee and how well they align with managers and the overall company culture.

An assessment provides managers with a quantifiable method to understand an employee's motivations, communication style, core competencies, and behaviors. This equips managers with information such as strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and blindspots to gain a deeper understanding of their direct reports.

The assessment results also provide valuable information for managers to better understand how to motivate their employees. Alternatively, an assessment might reveal that a manager and employee are not the right fit. It could be because the employee is in a role that does not suit their competencies, or the manager is not the right person to manage the employee.

An Assessment Reveals Training and Coaching Opportunities

Perhaps an employee is a good fit for their role and aligns with the manager and culture. However, the individual is not producing at a high level. That indicates the employee may simply require some additional training or coaching to continue growing in their role.

When managers see this information, they will have a better understanding of the value in realigning teams or recommending training for their employees. The results will also help you make your case for moving employees within the organization, creating a smoother transition.

Why is Culture So Important in High-Performing Organizations?

Building teams is not a "set and forget it" process. Managers change, employees change, and subcultures change.

Because of these inevitable changes, it is important to continually evaluate whether cultural issues need to be addressed in your organization, reducing the risk of groupthink and "status quo" mentalities that hurt productivity.

It is good to have a diversity of personalities within the teams in your organization as long as the variances are in line with the needs of the team or subculture. However, if an assessment reveals that individual employees are misaligned, you can use the results to pinpoint gaps, then take action:

  • If the gaps are manageable, you can develop the employee through training program.
  • If the gaps are too significant, you should form a plan to move the direct report to another team they are better suited for through the realignment process.

An Important Success Story on Realigning Teams

ZERORISK HR studied a regional bank that was underperforming and needed to lay off 30 percent of their workforce. The bank was forced to realign their teams out of necessity because they still needed to achieve the same amount of work but with 30 percent less of the workforce.

Executives bought into a realignment plan, the HR manager placed employees in the right roles with the help of assessment results, and underperformers were no longer part of the company.

The bank discovered through the realignment process that they actually became more efficient. Additionally, the bank continued to hit their performance goals despite operating with a smaller team.

The key for your company is not getting to the point in which you are forced to lay off a percentage of workers to achieve realignment.

If you are concerned about the metrics tied to productivity in your organization, now is the time to consider realignment using measurable data. This strategy will help turn around the underperforming aspects of business operations, improve KPIs, raise morale throughout the organization, and generate a positive return on your human capital.

ZERORISK HR is available to support your company in the realignment process. Consider using our Clear Direction Team and Communication Development Program to align employees with managers, address cultural blind spots, and improve employee engagement to become more productive. These tools will help make you a champion for positive change within your organization!

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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