10 To-Dos for Managers to Improve Team Alignment

Team alignment is key for productivity, collaboration, engagement, and retention. Find the 10 ways in which you can guarantee an aligned team & improve now.
Kamely Vo
Kamely Vo
Content Writer
An empathetic Employee Experience Expert with a passion for positive changes, to create rewarding, engaging workplaces and shaping the future of work through unique perspectives.
July 11, 2023
min read

Are you a manager looking for ways to manage your team's performance and take productivity to the next level? I've found out that team alignment is the secret to long-term success. It's all about keeping your team aligned with each other and nailed to the organization's goal.

This article takes an in-depth look into team alignment. What strategies should you implement as a manager to achieve team alignment? And what are ten action items you can do today?

I've researched it for you and sharing it here.

What is team alignment?

First of all, let's understand what team alignment is.

Team alignment is a crucial concept for managers
When a team is well-aligned, it's like a skilled orchestra crafting beautiful melodies

Team alignment is a crucial concept for managers to understand. It is like a symphony orchestra. Each instrument has its own function and must work in harmony with the others to create beautiful music. In a team, members must understand their roles and collaborate with their colleagues to achieve their shared goals.

Are your team members clear on their tasks and playing their part correctly? Are they sharing the same sense of purpose? And are there mechanisms to continuously align roles, responsibilities, and tasks? This is crucial, especially when you're managing remote teams.

Benefits of team alignment

Team alignment's benefits
Achieving team alignment leads to improved engagement, collaboration, productivity, and innovation in the workplace

The importance of team alignment is inevitable. To list out only three obvious benefits of having aligned teams, they must be:

  • Enhance employee engagement:

Team members will likely maintain work engagement when they understand their work responsibilities and priorities. Besides, collaborating well with colleagues also results in team connection and engagement.

  • Better collaboration:

Team alignment is developed based on transparent communication, clear expectation, and the willingness to share knowledge and resources among the team. No doubt that one is a precursor to the other.

  • Increase productivity and innovation:

When a team is aligned, they can identify areas for improvement and work together to develop innovative solutions to problems. This can lead to more creative and practical approaches to achieving team and organizational objectives.

What might happen if the team is not aligned and members go on their own paths in a project? Delays, shoddy work, waste of resources, and, ultimately, failure to meet objectives. So, what signs to know that you have an aligned team before consequences arrive?

Characteristics of an aligned team

Team alignment practical tips
Effective team alignment demonstrates a manager's ability to guide and inspire their team toward a shared goal

Here are some characteristics of an aligned team:

  • Everyone understands the team's goals and objectives.
  • There is clear communication within the group.
  • Everyone has a sense of ownership and accountability for their work.
  • Team members have a shared understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
  • There is trust and respect among team members.
  • The team can collaborate effectively.
  • Feedback is given and received openly and constructively.
  • The team has a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • There is a focus on results, and the team can deliver on its commitments.

As a manager, you're key to creating and maintaining team alignment, because you directly impact the team and have the authority to make changes.

Successful team alignment shows you can lead and motivate your team toward a common objective. This not only benefits the company but also shows off your leadership skills.

Strategies for Achieving Team Alignment

Set Common Goals

The first thing to achieving team alignment is to set common goals that balance individual and collective objectives.

  • Begin with clearly identifying the goals and objectives of the organization and communicating them to the team.
  • Work with each team member to set employee performance goals that align with the company's core values and purposes.
  • Conduct regular progress reviews to ensure everyone is on track and motivated toward achieving common goals.

Conduct Effective Strategy Meetings

Strategy meetings provide a forum to discuss goals, set objectives, and determine the best path toward achieving them. So, make the most out of it.

  • What are meeting purposes and agendas?
  • Who should be invited to the meeting?
  • After the meeting, are action items clearly defined?

Follow-up meetings should also be scheduled to review progress.

Use Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)

Setting goals

OKR is a popular goal-setting framework that you need to align the team to goals. It helps align individual and company goals by setting specific, measurable, and achievable objectives that are tracked using key results.

Other goal-setting frameworks might also be considered based on your team's nature and behavior. The important rule is to involve team members in the process and make it work for the team.

Launch Initiatives

Specific initiatives to enhance team culture and connection also contribute to achieving team alignment. It includes feedback and recognition, fostering a positive team culture, and providing opportunities for skill development and growth.

When team members feel valued, supported, and have a sense of belonging, they will better collaborate toward shared goals.

Examples of Team Alignment from Top Companies

Google has a rigorous hiring process that prioritizes candidates who are team players. The company uses data-driven tools to measure and optimize team performance. Google also encourages cross-team collaboration and holds regular team-building events to foster a sense of community.

Zappos places a high value on aligning its employees around a common purpose. They provide extensive training and development opportunities and foster a positive, supportive work culture.

Netflix avoids hierarchical structures and encourages cross-functional collaboration and open communication. They also place a strong emphasis on autonomy at work, with the belief that this leads to greater innovation and better results.

Ways to improve team alignment

Have Regular Check-ins with Team Members

Daily check-in helps you stay connected with team members and make sure they are doing what they should do. Standup meetings are a popular ritual. However, alignment messages are good enough and easier for the team to adopt the habit.

Various employee management software tools including chatbots can help. Our Lexi Daily is integrated into Slack and automatically send you daily messages. It prompts team members to update their goals for the week and priorities of the day.

Team alignment strategy
Lexi Daily bot helps you stay aligned and connected with team members

Share Information and Updates

A lack of awareness of changes can confuse team members and make them think you’re an inconsistent boss. Send a quick note to your team channel. Set up a quick call with the team to re-align on significant updates. And encourage team members to do the same with any problems or blockers they face when doing their work.

Establish Clear Roles and Responsibilities

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities help team members understand how their work contributes to the team's success and improves overall alignment. It's not to limit the scope of work but to give them ownership of everything they're in charge of.

Set Expectations and Hold Team Members Accountable

As a manager, you must clearly communicate expectations so everyone knows what is expected of them. This means defining individual roles and responsibilities, setting performance metrics, and outlining specific project goals. Once the expectations are established, holding team members accountable for their work is essential.

Encourage Team Members to Ask Questions

Remember when you thought your report was clear on task, but they don't—and then ended up with bad delivery?

Encouraging team members to ask questions to untangle their difficulties and avoid not making progress. There must be a psychological safety environment to let team members feel comfortable sharing. Be open to feedback and suggestions from team members, practice active listening and ask clarifying questions, and recognize any contributions.

Provide Regular Feedback

When giving feedback, be specific and constructive, focusing on the situation or action rather than the individual. The newer the team is, the more frequently you should jump in to manage the work outcomes.

When everything goes into an orbit, the frequency of updates can be reduced to leave room for ownership. Remember, the goal of feedback is to help improve performance and achieve better alignment, not for micro-management.

Don't Skip 1:1s

One-on-one meetings are essential to connect and support team members at a personal level. Learn how to organize one-on-one meetings effectively. Prepare to come into one-on-one meetings with intention from both sides. By doing so, you can ensure every team member is on the right path with no obstacles.

If you find it difficult to have meaningful conversations, take a look at our one-on-one questions generator. A free tool to make your 1:1's extra productive.

One on One Questions Generator
One on One Questions

Provide Learning and Development Opportunities

Your company might have an L&D program. However, paying attention to each report's progress and providing the proper resources to improve their shortcomings are much more powerful. Considering the following simple ways:

  • Creating a "knowledge-sharing" channel to paste in any insightful knowledge.
  • Sending team members to specific workshops related to their work.

Encourage Peer-to-Peer Learning

When team members learn from each other, they better understand each other's jobs, leading to better coordination and cooperation. Learning from colleagues also helps build trust and mutual respect, creating a more positive and productive work environment.

You can organize a lunch-and-learn or internal employee-led workshop to share your expertise with others.

Celebrate Team Successes

Make every effort of your team counts!

Creating a culture that values teamwork and collaboration results in team alignment.

Because team members are motivated and inspired to reach the objectives set out, there are many ways to "ring the bell," such as public recognition, a team celebration party, or a kudo wall.

Check out our 101 Employee Recognition Ideas.


Team alignment is crucial to organizational success and also benefits team growth. Managers play a key role in fostering team alignment as the authority and direct impact they carry on. 

They said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," so along with strategies that take time to develop and implement, a single action out of the ten you make will also make a difference.

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