By: Rob Comeau, CEO of Business Resource Center, Inc.

Organizational alignment is important in today’s competitive business landscape. If all internal players within an organization are not aligned with common focus, the business will suffer.

Continuity and clear messaging are essential in directing a company’s stakeholders but do not neglect motivation.   For many businesses, the efforts to align company direction revolve around messaging, meetings and mission statements.  Without discounting the previous, consider the following motivator. Money.

While money is not the only motivating factor for employees, most businesses are not employing a group of philanthropists working each day for free.  Most employees determine that a large aspect of how they feel valued by their employer is through compensation.  Equally, the employer in many ways defines an employee’s value to the company by the compensation package offered.  When evaluating a position to fill within an organization, the company determines the position’s ROI and creates a pay scale commensurate with the production value of the position.

While many other factors such as work/life balance, company culture, opportunity for advancement play vital roles in employee engagement and retention, that is all secondary to compensation.

If you do not agree, then perhaps the following scenario may bring some light to the subject.

Imagine an organization where its employees experience a good company culture, nice work/life balance, are provided with opportunity for advancement and receive a paycheck regularly.  The one aspect that will cause a mass exodus within the workforce is if it stops getting paid.  Most employees will weather storms of culture shift, working longer hours and being passed up for a promotion, but the workforce would be nonexistent if they stopped getting paid.

It is logical that money is a key motivator for employees as it is necessary for them to live their lives.  Business owners can tap into this motivation to increase the company’s bottom-line and create a workforce with common goals. For this reason, it is recommended that a bonus structure be created around the company net profit gain.  When the bonus structure is a result of net profit gain, the workforce has the ability to increase its income based off company gain and create a win-win strategy.

A company’s net profit in large part is a result of the organization’s efficiency/deficiency.   Sales, operations, finance, infrastructure, logistics, executive staff, etc. all contribute towards a company’s financial health.  When identifying the strategic course a company is going to take, it is important to review and determine all aspects of the company operations in which the workforce has direct or indirect influence.  This discovery process will show that every aspect of business is in one way or another impacted by the company’s workforce.

One of the most costly expenses on any P&L is the payroll.  Payroll is a large investment that is made on a frequent and regular basis.   Business owners should start treating this expense as an investment.  If all aspects within a business are impacted by the workforce and since payroll is one of the largest expenses for a company, stimulating this resource is essential for optimization and alignment.

Business owners care about the net profit of their companies, employees care about their personal income.  Realign their focus, and make the employee personal gain a derivative of the net profit gain experienced by the company.  This approach liberates a workforce to be in control of their own financial destiny and creates a stakeholder mentality.  The company net profit increase is a byproduct of all departments/levels working harmoniously towards a common goal with a mutual vested interest in the success of the organization.  When the company success and workforce success are parallel towards a common goal, organizational alignment occurs.

Messaging along with clear and concise leadership and direction are very important for aligning an organization to common goals, though it is important not to forget the motivation behind it.

Your workforce is an investment.  What is your investment strategy?