Alignment and Engagement framework

What is the Alignment and Engagement framework?

Insync's Alignment and Engagement Survey framework establishes whether the day-to-day operations of an organisation are aligned with its strategic goals, and whether employees are engaged.

It identifies those organisations that have both high alignment and high engagement which are more likely to achieve sustainable high performance.

Alignment and engagement framework

Which type of organisation are you?

Our Alignment and Engagement framework identifies four types of organisations based on both successful and unsuccessful incorporation of alignment and engagement in organisations.

"Low performance" organisations

Arrow red down Alignment
Arrow red down Employee engagement

Employees of low performance organisations are typically disengaged and unsupportive of the goals and strategic direction. 

Alignment and engagement framework_low performance

This results in:

  • employees lacking direction and motivation, and having low organisational commitment and a poor understanding of their bearing on organisational outcomes
  • different parts of the organisation not working in tandem, resulting in duplication of effort and working at cross purposes
  • large bureaucracies with inflexible and deep-rooted systems
  • resistance to change

"Passionate" organisations

Arrow red down Alignment
Arrow green up Employee engagement

Passionate organisations have employees who love their job, but are not aligned with the organisation's overall goals. 

Alignment and engagement framework_passionate

This results in:

  • people-focused cultures with high levels of investment in employees
  • high level of participation in work social activities
  • high level of cohesiveness within departments/teams
  • positive workplaces with excited employees
  • lack of clear and achievable goals to which employees can align themselves

Passionate workgroups that are not aligned to the organisation's overall goals can create:

  • tightly knit work groups with a silo mentality
  • internal rivalries to the detriment of good communication and market focus
  • lack of information and knowledge sharing across the organisation

"Driven" organisations

Arrow green up Alignment
Arrow red down Employee engagement

Employees of driven organisations have great awareness of and comply with the goals and strategic direction with little employee engagement.

Alignment and engagement framework_driven

This results in:

  • success at achieving bottom line results in the short to medium term
  • focus on "numbers" with pressure to perform
  • a vertical focus with clear organisation divisions and formal processes to exert power
  • poor morale and retention, with high staff burnout

"High performance" organisations

Arrow green upAlignment
Arrow green upEmployee engagement

High performance organisations enjoy high alignment and engagement.                               

Alignment and engagement framework_high performance

They have:

  • balanced alignment and employee engagement, focusing on both business results and people
  • good understanding of who the customer is, with a business strategy that promotes this
  • efficient internal processes
  • employees who are engaged with the organisational values and the organisational culture
  • employees who have a good understanding of how their work contributes to organisational outcomes
  • performance reviews, reward and recognition processes are aligned to the strategic plan (and are engaging)

What does the Alignment and Engagement framework tell us?

The Alignment and Engagement framework is based on research revealing that a high performing organisation will:

  • Energise - employees will be energised and inspired by the organisation and its senior leadership team. The organisation will have a clear and engaging long term direction and purpose and the senior leadership team will be good role models and motivate employees to achieve the organisation's goals
  • Execute - the organisation will align its plans and activities to the achievement of its long term goals. Its line managers will set a good example and build effective collaborative teams with a strong accountability and performance culture. It will invest in the development of its people and systems and be appropriately externally focused on meeting its customer and stakeholder needs.
  • Engage - employees will be highly engaged and proud to work for their organisation. They will understand why their success is important for the organisation and they will recommend the organisation as a good place to work.

Within these three framework areas are a total of eight high performance factors which are important for the achievement of sustainable high performance.

Eight high performance factors

Each factor measures the extent to which employees perceive that the organisation is achieving best practice in the relevant area. All factors include an important alignment thread which measures the extent to which action, behaviours and outcomes are linked to the organisation's long term goals. The eight high performance factors are explained below.

1. Long term direction

Long term direction measures:

  • The clarity of communication of strategic goals by senior management
  • The extent to which employees understand this communication
  • Attitude and buy-in to the communication process and the plan itself

Why is it important?

  • Effective strategic planning and communication is an important part of becoming a high performing organisation.

2. Senior leadership

Senior leadership measures:

  • The extent to which the senior leadership team exemplifies the best practices in leadership
  • Employees' acceptance of, trust in and commitment to the vision

Why is it important?

  • Good leaders inspire employees with their vision, motivate them to commit to the strategic plan and encourage contribution
  • They consider opinions, individual talent and circumstances

3. Team leadership

Team leadership measures:

  • The strength of relationship between the front line supervisor and their employee

Why is it important?

  • Good front line leaders form positive relationships with their employees
  • They exemplify the organisation's strategy and values
  • They transfer information to the rest of the organisation

4. Team effectiveness

Team effectiveness measures:

  • The performance of the team at the individual and team level with regard to communication, support, goal directed behaviour and contribution to the broader organisational goals

Why is it important?

  • Good teams communicate effectively and support team members
  • They work in the best interests of the organisation

5.  Performance focus

Performance focus measures:

  • The organisation's commitment to innovation
  • Product/service competitiveness
  • Standards of performance and systems to help people do their job

Why is it important?

  • Competitive organisation are open to new ideas, put their customers at the centre of decision making and having systems that help staff meet their promise to customers.

6. Investment in people

Investment in people measures:

  • The effectiveness of all the broader human systems in the workplace
  • These include: organisational commitment to employees, talent management, succession planning, performance appraisal, enhancing diversity, anti-bullying & harassment policies and work-life balance

Why is it important?

  • Thriving organisations have great human resource systems that encourage people to perform well, stay in the job and act as advocates
  • They tend to recruit and retain the best people, reward them and provide excellent training/development opportunities

7. Investment in systems

Investment in systems measures:

  • The success of the organisational systems at facilitating the performance of all employees

Why is it important?

  • High performing organisations have effective systems that provide a positive and effective foundation
  • These support organisational procedures used in the workplace
  • Systems need to be enabling and should enhance employees' ability to do their job well

8. Employee engagement

The employee engagement factor measures:

  • Employees' attachment to the organisation, acting in its best interests
  • Individual level emotional, attitudinal and behavioural engagement

Why is it important?

  • Successful organisations have engaged employees
  • Their beliefs, feelings and actions are such that they believe and promote the very best in the organisation
  • They are satisfied and attached to their job, work hard to achieve good results and promote the organisation to others

How can I learn more about the Alignment and Engagement framework?

Contact us today to learn how the Alignment and Engagement framework and survey can help your organisation achieve sustainable high performance.



Alignment and engagement research and resources