published Sep 13, 2023
Success means different things to different people. For a startup, success could be raising funds or gaining wide market adoption. But for an enterprise, it could be onboarding the next big multi-billion-dollar client. Either way, success is the accomplishment or fulfillment of a purpose.
As an entrepreneur or business executive, how you define success will determine your goals and actions as an organization. That’s why you must ensure your definition of success aligns with that of your employees or teammates; otherwise, you will all be working to achieve different results. If you’re looking forward to achieving more with your teammates and hitting better milestones, read on to learn how to define your company’s success and align it with your team.
Three Steps to Align Your Definition of Success
You and your team may define success differently right now. The following steps will help you get back on the same page.
1. Define Success From a Leadership Standpoint
As a leader, it’s common to attach business success to numbers and increased return on investment (ROI). So, to start, outline the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) you are looking for to determine success.
Although metrics can give you clear-cut directions, they should not be your organization's only measure of success. Great leaders also measure success by how much impact they make. For instance, you can say you are successful in staff care if you have adequately imparted your core values and vision to them.
This way, your employees should be able to carry on with little or no supervision from you. You must first reevaluate how to define success on your own. When you have improved and broadened your definition of success, you can extend that definition to your team.
2. Survey Employees to Gauge How They Define Success
After reevaluating yourself, you should gauge how your employees define success. Do not hesitate to ask them this question directly: “How do you define success?” Watch how their answers diverge.
To successfully carry out this survey, you can conduct a one-on-one interview with your staff or create a questionnaire (soft or hard copy) where they can provide answers. The goal is to get honest individual opinions.
Most of the answers from the survey will be similar for a company that is aligned and united in purpose. On the other hand, employees who lack alignment will give extremely different answers based on their levels of exposure. You must understand that several factors will influence the answers.
First and foremost, people will gravitate to things they are good at. Thus, a sales rep will define success as an increase in sales, while HR personnel can see success as a conducive work environment free from conflict. So, it's best to keep an open mind when setting expectations.
This question is also a must-ask If you are worried about the failure of your team to execute corporate goals and strategies. About 40% of managers cite poor goal alignment as the leading challenge hindering effective company strategy execution. So, if you can successfully align your team, you're already headed in the right direction.
3. Consider How Success Might Look for Those in Different Roles
When the survey is over, the next step is to personally define success for the various positions/roles in your company. Depending on your firm's size, you should know every employee by name and job description.
Go ahead and write down things you feel should define success for each of them based on their job roles. Compare your answers with the responses you got from the surveys. You're on track if your list aligns with theirs to a reasonable extent.
If not, you need to slow down and give them a proper orientation again. There's no harm in slowing your pace to connect with your team and ensure everyone is still on track. Sadly, research shows that only 78% of business leaders focus on actively engaging their employees. Not doing this has dire consequences, including unclear assumptions and unrealistic expectations.
Tips for Creating Stronger Alignment
Alignment in the workplace simply means that every company member understands their goals properly and works towards achieving success. Defining success itself is the first step, but it doesn’t stop there. These tips can help you create stronger alignment in your workplace:
Benefits of Staying Aligned
Research shows that only 20% of employees in the US are passionate about their jobs. This is a far cry from what is required in the workplace to ensure growth. Knowing how to define success correctly and helping your team stay aligned can ignite passion in your employees and ensure they give their best. Some of the benefits that come with staying aligned as a team include:
Start Your Successful Alignment Journey
Every organization aims to make a profit and remain successful. This begins with asking the right questions and taking the right steps. So far, the basic answer to the question, “How do people define their success?” is that they tie their success to their roles in work and overall vision.
It is only with proper team alignment that this corporate dream can become a reality. That’s why you need all the help you can get to ensure your team stays aligned. At Foreword Companies, we firmly believe that business owners and executives can excel and grow their businesses to their desired heights.
We take pride in our ability to help various teams stay on track and advance to the next level. You can be a part of the excellent work we do and enjoy steady business growth and success. Schedule a call today to get started and learn more about how we can help your team stay aligned in goals, vision, and success.