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Aligning Employees through Line

of Sight

Ankur Sharma
Anish Gupta
Prakhar Nagori
Pratyush Lahiri Choudhary
Raghav Bhatnagar
Vinay Jain
Ya s h v a r d h a n K a b r a

Aligning Employees to Firm
Role of LOS
Enhancing the employee LOS

Communicating the LOS Message

Employee Involvement
Extrinsic factors motivating LOS
Intrinsic factors motivating LOS

LOS : A double edged sword?


A Practical Study on LOS

Basic Premise

Alignment on Both Goals and

Actions is Key

LOS-Objectives: Understanding what contribution means the organizations

strategic objectives
LOS-Actions: Understanding how to contribute how individual actions align
with those objectives

Boswell, W. R. & Boudreau, J. W. (2001). Employee line of sight to the organizations strategic objectives what
it is, how it can be enhanced, and what it makes happen (CAHRS Working Paper #01-06)

Higher with employee involvement in
decisions, increased autonomy, and
participation in cross training; more likely
among more tenured/higher level
employees and who had held fewer
Departmental meetings and providing
information directly to employees about the
organizations strategy, values, and goals
enhanced LOS-Actions
LOS-Actions was the stronger and most
consistent predictor

LOS-Objectives was more likely among
more tenured and higher level employees
as well as those who had held fewer
Company-wide meetings enhanced LOSObjectives
Both LOS elements associated with
enhanced job satisfaction, organizational
commitment, loyalty, perceived pay plan
effectiveness, and lower anxiety and job
burnout; but LOS-Actions was the stronger
and most consistent predictor

Both associated with enhanced job satisfaction, organizational commitment, loyalty, perceived
pay plan effectiveness, and lower anxiety and job burnout

Managerial Implications
Over Articulation

Whether employees understand the actions that align with

strategic objectives is more important to attitudes, retention
and performance than merely being able to articulate the
organizations broad strategic goals

Not The End

Organizations should look beyond simply communicating their

strategic direction, and focus on whether employees accurately
understand how to contribute

Higher Efforts

Line of sight is higher among employees at high levels and with

longer tenure, so extra efforts may be needed to ensure that
some employees are not overlooked i.e., the employees at the
lower level who have the maximum customer contact

Role of Line of Sight (1/2)

Based on the belief that employees are an
important source of competitive advantage and
have the inherent potential to carry out a given


Source Of


Alignment, Not
Just Better

Having better employees does not guarantee success;

there is a constant need to manage those employees
to align them with organization goals and strategies


Alignment for
Strategic Success

Aligning employees towards organization produces

synergy and compatibility in organization direction
which ultimately leads to strategic success


Acquisition of

Employees behavior associated with firms goals becomes a

valuable and a rare resource for the organization and helps in
improving the firms performance

Role of Line of Sight (2/2)

LOS helps employees to take those actions more effectively that are not
controlled by managers or defined by formal job description
In the current business environment, LOS is most important for lower organizational levels as
they are the people who are actually in contact with the customers and products

In the absence of clear understanding of the goals the employees may align with objectives of
lower importance or even with those which are contrary to the firms strategy

Thus LOS is a very crucial factor in achieving employees contribution apart

from the capabilities, motivation and the skillset of the employee

Communicating the LINE OF


Enhancement or diminishing of LOS depends upon the specific

characteristics of job

LOS drivers purpose is to create and make possible a culture of alignment.

Culture of alignment is required as it would provide a framework

First step towards communicating line of sight : Clear Vision of the top

Complete dissemination of information regarding the firms vision is


Some of the strategies used for effectively communicating the companys

includes open book management and town meetings

Step further
One on one communication aimed at specifically linking employee roles and
behaviors to larger organisational goals is the key; one-on-one communication reveal
inconsistent perceptions or behaviors and allow for clarifications and reorientation
Managers would play a big role in making employees aligned with the vision
Hoarding information for having the sense of control leads to disconnect between
employee and organisation
Mid level managers plays a big role in implementing the strategic directives from top
Effective dissemination requires network like design (transfer through market or
Network design for effective cascading of strategic objectives through he
organisational hierarchy and increases the likelihood of LOS among all employees

Employee involvement and LOS


Less traditional environment

Today Vs.

Participative decision making

Less rigidity; more workplace flexibility

Leading to
Significance of

LOS has dual role to play:

1. LOS increases the chances for involvement efforts to be most effective and
helps mitigate the risk of greater decision latitude
2. Greater involvement helps to foster LOS by getting employees connected to
the functioning of the organisation

What motivates LOS?

Organizational level
incentivesprofit sharing,
stock options or a part of
your pay attached to


Encourage sharing of
information and foster
better decision making

Employee will know

how his/her
performance will
affect the
organizations goals
and do those things
which will improve
the organizations
performance and in
return improve his
An example of this
would be IBMs
management system,
Personal Business

What motivates LOS?

Intrinsic Value of the work also facilitates the pursuit of organizational goals

As per Stewardship Theory, employees that behave as stewards view attaining organizational
goals aligned with their goals and thus derive satisfaction from achieving such goal

Believe that contribution to organization is like contribution for a valued cause

These factors also acts as helping retain valuable talent in the organization

Line of Sight : Double Edged

Sword ?
Blinkers: Overt
Focus on Goals
Essential for

Sometimes highly aligned individuals may become so much

committed to achieve a certain goal they lose sight of the
means through which they are attaining goal
Vital for employees with greater impact on core business
processes which thus help avoid misalignment

Critical For Core


Usually it is only core employees critical for organizational

success but others also should have a chance to attain LOS

Cue for Planning

Also evaluating employee LOS help determine optimum time

for occupying a position and providing insight on broadened
job scope