Aligning Your Employees with the Company’s Business Objectives

Are you attracting the right talent? How can you engage employees to help drive company growth? What is your employer brand and employee value proposition (EVP)?

For those of you who haven’t been a part of the CFO Alliance’s latest Quarterly Roundtable Series, they partnered with the National Center for the Middle Market and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA USA) to discuss strategies for aligning your employees to key growth initiatives. Their CFO Sentiment study released in January found a disconnect. CFOs believe that in order to succeed their company vision needs to be aligned with the organization’s internal culture and talent acquisition. However, even though 95% of CFOs feel culture has an effect on the company’s bottom line, 42% said that CEOs didn’t spend enough time focused on culture. Instead too often employees are left with little understanding of business objectives and companies are not investing in building a culture that will attract and engage the right people.

Recruiting and retaining top talent is a big challenge for middle-market companies. However, a strong employer brand and EVP can give companies the edge in attracting talent. A company’s employer brand is the image and reputation it has as a place to work. Its EVP represents the tangible and intangible benefits people receive in return for working at the company. A well-established employer brand and compelling EVP can help middle market companies secure talent against their larger competitors. And it can also drive growth. According to a recent study by the National Center for the Middle Market, the organizations with the strongest employer brands saw significantly higher revenue and employment growth over the past 12 months than their counterparts, growing revenue 20% and employment 12%. All the more reason companies need to focus on these issues.

Roundtable participants have been sharing their own stories, tips and challenges. Some key takeaways so far include the following:

– There is no cookie cutter employee value proposition. Every company has to determine what works for them, their employees, and market situation. And that may change over time so you should also regularly reevaluate your EVP.

– Employer brand and EVP are relevant whether you have high turnover or no turnover.

– Does your EVP appeal to passive candidates – i.e. those not actively looking for a job? This is a big source of top talent and you should be looking for opportunities to develop relationships with these individuals even if you’re not ready to hire someone yet.

– Too often corporate brand gets attention over employer brand. Companies are relegating discussions about employer brand and employee alignment with business goals to the bottom of the agenda (which means it keeps being pushed off). You have to make a priority.

– Ask why your employees have left the company. It may not be for the reasons you think. The reality is money isn’t everything. Top talent is leaving for a better work environment and culture fit.

– Some companies have employee alignment, but only at the senior management level. Below that level it’s lost. Make sure it exists throughout the organization.

– Find and empower “ambassadors/pride builders” to help spread the company’s message and encourage engagement. These people can exist at any level of the company.

– Yes you have to cater to millennials.

– When you have multiple locations, employees working remotely or you have absorbed another company, make sure you create a sense of company culture. Don’t ignore differences, but some uniqueness for each location is acceptable as well.

For more takeaways from the roundtable series and other CFOA resources, go to

By: Edie Reinhardt

Originally published in CFO Alliance Blog, guest post, May 28, 2015.