Strategic Alignment With Employees

Engagement Driver Analysis for Strategic Connect With Employees

Updated over a week ago

What is Strategic Connect/Alignment between the organisation and its employees?

Strategic alignment is the intrinsic alignment of the employee's values and goals with the organisation's. A higher strategic alignment typically means employees are better aligned with the organisational strategy and contribute toward a common objective. Strategic planning and communication are essential functions of an organisation's sustenance and help allocate resources to ensure that everyone is working towards one shared vision.

When employees do not feel the connection with their organisation's goals, mission, and vision, it leads to misalignment and a multitude of problems, not limited to low team performance, confusion, organisational silos, low productivity and engagement and hence turnover, difficulty in attracting top talent, missed targets, and poor employee experience. To ensure that a strategic alignment is established between the employees and the organisation, it is essential to understand the components that constitute and influence strategic alignment as an engagement driver.

What are the components of Strategic Connect?

Three first dimensions drivers influence the value of Strategic Connect as an engagement driver that impacts the eNPS. We can consider them to be the building blocks of Strategic Connect.

They are:

Brand Image: Do employees feel proud to work for the brand?

Vision & Strategy: Are the employee's values and goals aligned with that of the company?

Leadership: Does the employee believe in the leadership's ability to guide them in the right direction and uphold organisational values?

To understand the impact of these first-dimension drivers on Strategic Connect, a deeper analysis of the underlying factors impacting each of them is required.

To facilitate this, the Empuls Pulse Survey model considers second-dimension engagement drivers that influence each of the first-dimension drivers of every engagement driver.

Brand Image

According to SHRM, the 'Brand Image' dimension reflects what the organisation communicates as its identity to its employee. It encompasses the organisation's mission, values, culture, and personality. A good employee brand image translates to the brand communicating to both existing and potential employees that it is a great place to work.

In the Empuls Pulse Survey, three second-dimension engagement drivers impact the Brand Image. They are, how an employee perceives their organisation is performing in Social Responsibility, Organisational Performance, and Customer Satisfaction or Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Social Responsibility: Do employees perceive their organisation to be socially responsible?

Do employees consider their organisation to be socially responsible? Working for a socially responsible workplace is taking precedence in a world that is increasingly becoming aware and responsible about societal issues and environmental sustainability. Research has shown that being socially responsible in a community is a key employee engagement driver, yet only 10% of companies invest in them. Hence, the need for organisations to be socially responsible is also becoming important as employees want their employers to reflect larger purposes and stand for values like inclusion, empathy, and environmental preservation. Therefore, being perceived as a socially responsible brand becomes an essential second-dimension engagement driver that impacts Brand Image, which, in turn, affects the engagement driver score of Strategic Connect.

1.1.1. Best Practices to Improve Being Socially Responsible: Our best practices are based on the industry's best practices and research suggestions from SHRM, Josh Bersin, and HBR.

We propose a Plan, Do, Measure/Check, and Act framework based on the Demming Cycle to ensure that the insights and recommendations have the desired impact on your eNPS.

Go beyond "chequebook" philanthropy and engage your employees. Make them co-own and feel that they are your partners in social responsibility.

Plan and Do:

Plan: Creation of a CSR program and related initiatives.

Do: If your organisation does not have a CSR policy or program, the first step is to create one. Studies show that employees generally want to feel they contribute to more than just the company's bottom line. Run a survey on Empuls or have a department/team-specific focus group discussion to understand the causes close to your employees' hearts. Choose a few that can be readily acted upon. You can also thematically work on a few, such as Q1 for environmental sustainability or October for mental health-related volunteering.

Time needed to act: 2-4 weeks.

Activity-oriented Plan: Involving employees in activities contributing to societal welfare gives them hands-on experience with the organisation's CSR initiatives.


Step 1: Identify areas and opportunities that involve active involvement of the employees, such as volunteering for a cause, fund-raising for a cause, clean-ups, collection drives for food and clothing, day visits to old age homes or refugee centres, etc.

Step 2: Create a core group of employee ambassadors to drive the CSR initiatives. Step 3: The role of the employee ambassador: Ambassadors can help plan and coordinate community involvement activities and gather feedback about the program from their colleagues and peers. The group can help develop programs that promote service through volunteerism. Step 4: In cases where you have multiple office locations or work remotely, create regional teams to enable employees who stay around the same city/town to work together on these CSR initiatives.

The time needed to act: <2 weeks to begin/complete, depending on the type of activity chosen.


Plan: Partner with local NGOs and other community-driven organisations.

Do: Have an understanding with them to have your employees on the ground with them for a day/week to be involved in their activities.

Time needed to act: 2-4 weeks

Plan: Policy change to allow volunteering.

Do: As a company policy, mandate/allow employees a few hours/days of volunteering based on their tenure in the firm.

Time needed to act: 2-4 weeks.

Plan: Creating a social impact assessment report.

Do: Create a social impact assessment report to track, monitor, and evaluate the impact of your CSR initiatives. Make it readily available for your employees to see. Let it be both broad and deep. Cover quantitative metrics such as the number of lives impacted, money donated, and hours volunteered and qualitative metrics such as lived experiences: beneficiary stories, testimonials, and employee experience.

Time needed to act: 4-6 weeks.

How to manage the above Plan and Do?

– Choose an owner for whichever Plan and Do options are chosen. Let them be the super admin for the activity.

_The super admin should add the option as a goal for the upcoming quarter and communicate it to their supervisor.

  • They should also define clear metrics to define the progress of the initiative.

  • A quick discussion with other employees on understanding the challenges that would stop the team from achieving the goal should also be gathered and accounted for while implementing the chosen plan.

How do you handle Communicating CSR activities?

Communicating your organisation's various CSR activities is paramount to ensuring that your employees are aware of them.

– Empuls: Use the Empuls Townhall to keep your employees abreast of the various activities. Create employee ambassador groups to facilitate employee conversations about the various initiatives. Encourage employees to post updates (even live ones) whenever they participate in any CSR initiative. Institute a reward or recognition that can be given on Empuls for the employees who volunteer.

– Company Newsletters/Website/Social Media Handles: Publish CSR activities undertaken as periodic reports on all these communication channels.

Measure: Anytime an action from Act is implemented, get employee feedback by running a one or two-question survey on Empuls. Publish the survey results to create transparency with your employees and seek feedback that can be incorporated into the

. Continuously track and monitor the impact of steps taken on the remaining responses of the current Pulse survey run.

Act: Use the survey inputs to improve the plan and progress toward the desired outcome.

High-Performance Organization: Do employees consider their organisation to be a high-performing one?

High-performance organisations have the organisational and people capabilities to drive financial and operational performance to execute their business strategy. From a financial performance perspective, it encompasses the organisation's financial credibility and profitability. From an operations perspective, it includes the tools, technology, and culture that help people perform at their best and move towards a common goal. Employees feel a sense of pride and want to work in high-performing organisations that allow them to function to the best of their abilities and enable growth. Hence, being perceived as a high-performing organisation becomes an essential second-dimension engagement driver.

Creating a high-performing organisation is a journey, not a destination.

1.2.1. Best Practices for being a high-performing organisation

Plan and Do:

Plan: Establishing an Organization Culture Code.

Do: Does your leadership clarify your culture? Do you have concrete steps towards achieving the same? If not, the first thing to do is define your organisation's fundamental cultural values and some associated goals. Next, create plans to achieve these cultural goals. The next step is to develop metrics to measure each cultural value's growth. The last step is to collate and publish the cultural values and the metrics as a culture code handbook and make it accessible to your employees.

Time needed: 4-6 weeks to create and publish a culture code.

Plan: If you already have a culture code, understand and improve.


Step 1: Establish a common understanding of culture and have metrics for measuring the knowledge. Establish high-priority culture goals and have a plan of action toward achieving those. HBR's research shows that high-performing cultures are characterised by an ability to align (gain clarity on vision, strategy, and shared employee behaviours), execute (move in the agreed-upon direction with minimal friction), and renew (continuously improve at a pace that exceeds competitors). These three factors are also referred to as 'organisational health.' Companies use this definition of culture to find the specifics that matter to them and the right tools to measure them.

Step 2: Start and prioritise a few changes: research shows that it is impossible to meaningfully change more than five aspects of an organisation's culture in a year.

Step 3: Integrate the culture change efforts with business improvement initiatives to ensure both happen in tandem. An example - an organisation wanted to build a culture of developing people, hence it included peer coaching from high performers in its sales stimulation program.

Time needed: <2 weeks to begin the exercise.


Diversity: Studies and research show that diversity (including ethnic, racial, gender, and heterogeneous skill sets) leads to high-performing teams and organisations.

Plan: Initiating diversity hiring and evaluating the status quo on diversity.

Do: Apart from initiating diversity in hiring, evaluate your current teams and see if a slight revamp can lead to teams having more diversity in some way.

Time needed: <2 weeks to begin the exercise.

External Communications:

Plan: Improve external communication.

Do: Invest in PR to focus on stories about the organisation's financial performance and culture code. Such news should appear in reputable media periodically. Also, dedicate some of your social media communication to discussing your organisation's financial and cultural goals. Involve the leadership in these activities.

Time needed: 4 weeks to begin the exercise.

Internal Communication:

Plan: Improve internal communication.

Do: The management team members can take turns frequently having informal and formal conversations and communicating with the entire organisation, focusing on the financial growth, company vision, mission, and values. Open-house discussions, AMAs, and mail from the founder's desk are some options. Setting up appreciation and awards for people who uphold the organisation's cultural values while performing at their best will act as an encouragement and an example for others.

Time needed: <2 weeks to begin the exercise.

How to manage the above Plan and Do?

Create a two-member team, one from HR and one from the leadership, to take ownership of the entire initiative end-to-end. They should use pulse survey insights to clearly define their goal, the timelines for implementing the action, and a plan to implement. This should be made a part of their KRA.

How to communicate:

Announce the creation of a two-member team focussed on this goal. The two-member team, along with other HR and leadership members, should use the Empuls Townhall to interact and facilitate discussions around your organisation's purpose, core values, and growth. Additionally, use Empuls to create awards and recognise high-performing teams and individuals who reflect organisational values in their work.


Anytime an action from Act is implemented, the two-member team should get employee feedback by running a one or two-question survey on Empuls. The team should also continuously track and monitor the impact of steps taken on the remaining responses of the current pulse survey run. Survey results should be published on Empuls to create transparency and facilitate conversations.

Act: Use insights from the feedback survey to improve on Plan and o.

Customer Centricity: Do employees perceive their organisation to be customer-centric?

Research shows that organisations with high customer satisfaction levels also have more satisfied employees. How an employee perceives the customer satisfaction levels of their organisation impacts their connection with the organisation's brand image. Therefore, customer satisfaction becomes an important second-dimension employee engagement driver.

1.3.1. Best Practices for having high customer satisfaction

Plan and Do:

Plan: Develop customer literacy: Customer literacy means knowing who the customers are and why they buy from you. To help employees become customer-centric, they should be able to pass a customer literacy test that addresses these questions: Who are the five major buyers in the markets you serve? Who are your firm's five major customers or most important market segments? If the market includes major potential customers who do not buy from you, why not? What is the customer value proposition of competitors that attracts and keeps their customers? Why do your target customers buy from you? What combination of service, value, reputation, product features, convenience, innovation, or quality keeps them coming back? How do you ensure that your target customers have a positive customer experience? What do you do to build connectivity or intimacy with your target customers?

Do: Create a customer literacy training program for all your employees.

The time needed: < 2 weeks to begin the exercise

Plan: Measure and track the firm's share of targeted customers and contribute to their value proposition. Customer share—also known as a share of wallet or share of a customer—is replacing market share as the key measure of success. Customer share is the proportion of money your target customers spend with you compared to what they spend with your competitors. It directly indicates your firm's reputation among its best customers and it doesn't just happen.

Do: To please customers, employees need to know how customers react to their experience with your firm. HR can step in to help develop ways to identify, gather, distribute, and utilise concrete customer data.

The time needed: < 2 weeks to begin the exercise

Plan: Create and monitor a customer satisfaction index.

Do: This would start with conducting a customer satisfaction survey, collecting more insightful customer feedback through forms, FGDS, and in-person conversations, evolving a mechanism to address the friction points, and keeping track of customer satisfaction at every step.

Time needed: 4-8 weeks to begin the exercise.

Plan: Create a communication channel for customers to reach out.

Do: If customer feedback is negative and addressing fundamental issues at an organisational level would take time, create a customer hotline to provide a communication channel for customers to complain.

Time needed: < 2 weeks to begin the exercise.

Plan: Aligning HR practices to the customer value proposition.

Do: The most value-creating HR practices are designed to meet customers' needs and ensure a positive experience. HR must ensure that the firm's employee staffing, development, rewards, communications, and governance practices all work to recruit and encourage the skills and motivation necessary for customer commitment. Such HR practices will build customer loyalty over time.

Time required: 4-6 weeks.

Plan: Have L&D and events involving customers.

Do: You can invite your customers to participate in L&D programs and events (workshops, webinars, podcasts, seminars, panels) as speakers and participants. This will give them an insider view of what you are doing as an organisation to serve them and let your employees know how they feel about your organisation. It generates goodwill with both sets of people.

Time needed: 4-12 weeks.

How to manage the above Plan and Do?

The customer success team should own this as part of their KRA, define their goals for the quarter, and be measured against them. The customer success team should create a Customer Champion Partner for every customer and ensure that this partner checks in with the customer at least once a month to understand how things are going.

How to communicate?

The Customer Champion Partner should communicate frequently with your customers to gather feedback on your services or products. They should also publish customer testimonials and praise on Empuls and your social media handles.


Track customer feedback to understand how your interventions are going. Run a survey on Empuls to gather employee feedback on the initiatives taken.

Act: Use the data gathered to tweak the plans and continue improving.

Did this answer your question?