Collegiality and Employee Goals Alignment


I’ve been thinking about the idea of collegiality lately, and how it impacts culture at work. I remember watching Brett Favre years ago when he was still the Packers’ QB. He had just been sacked and got up with a big grin, mouthing off and joking with the defender who tackled him. John Madden (in all of his John Madden-ness) went off on a tangent about how Favre is so collegial.

I looked up the word – it’s one of those words you know but maybe can’t articulate the deeper meaning of it. Collegiality is all about the relationship between colleagues. This includes the fun and inside jokes we share, the mutual trust and respect we feel for each other, and the enjoyment we get out of spending time together. Our pride in each other and in what we do. And our willingness to work through conflicts because of that trust and respect. Camaraderie. What a great quality.

So as leaders, how can we inspire this characteristic at work? We start by hiring for it. Directly, on purpose. Over and over I’ve chosen new hires based more on how they fit our company culture than the experience on their resume. I haven’t been let down yet. We teach our culture and values from day one – and we never stop teaching and celebrating them. And we ruthlessly protect our culture from anyone who doesn’t adhere to our values. That means we have to redefine our definition of a “high performer”, which is harder than it sounds, but it’s worth it. As Madden said, “They’ll score if they can just get into the endzone.” Classic.

CEO, Fine Point Consulting


5 Ways to Bring Employee Goals in Alignment with Business Goals

It’s the start of a new decade! The heart and soul of your business, your employees, are most likely working hard to uphold their New Year’s resolutions. With this being at the top of everyone’s ‘to do’ list, it makes sense to take a look at your company’s own goals. By aligning company goals with employee's goals, an organization can be more productive throughout the year.

Keeping resolutions isn’t easy! It takes time, effort, focus, and a lot of self-discipline! When it comes to aligning employee resolutions with those of your business, the best approach is to start with a strategic plan.

To some, it means getting everyone on the same page. To others, it means looking at the bigger picture and understanding everyone’s role within it. Either way, good employee alignment is essential to help employees stay motivated and keep the company on track.

By aligning company goals with employee (or personal) goals, an organization can be more productive throughout the year.

Here are five ways to help get your team on the same page as your business.

1. Create clear company goals. Tell your story, help your team understand the principles your company was founded by. If employees are unaware of the company’s core values, it’s difficult for them to strive to achieve those values and operate with them in mind.

2. Hire for the cultural fit. The company vision and strategy should be widely shared with potential employees to discover if they are willing and able to internalize the message. Could they work in an environment where goal setting and striving toward achieving the company vision.

3. Employees set their own goals within the company framework. Goal setting allows staff to make decisions with the long or short-term target in mind, and to achieve tangible results. The goal must be a vision that all can share, see and strive toward daily in every aspect of their roles. When clearly articulated and defined, personal goals are often the most immediate and effective regulators of self-action.

4. Give your employees a voice. Encourage them to be open and honest about their opinions and, most importantly, listen to them. When planning your alignment strategy, create an inclusive planning process where everyone is heard. Regularly communicate progress made toward achieving company-wide goals. Share how each staff member's contribution affects the big picture. Reward and encourage your employees. Happy employees lead to a happy work environment.

5. Hold Regular Trainings. Regular trainings offer a great opportunity to reinvigorate your team. Not only can you teach new skills while reinforcing the old ones, you can also underline those company values you’re trying to share. Seeing what it looks like to put these values into action in their day-to-day work life is powerful.


Wake up Routines are the Key to Success!

Successful people are known for waking up at the crack of dawn. Studies have shown that 90% of executives wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays, and nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their workday begins.

It’s safe to say mornings are an opportunity to set the tone for the day. Accomplishing something right away, whether that’s clearing out your inbox, exercising, or eating a nutritious breakfast, sets off a chain reaction of other productive behavior throughout the day. Set your alarm a little earlier tomorrow and see what you can accomplish.

A few examples of morning routines of some of the most successful leaders:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up before 4 a.m. and begins his day by reading hundreds of emails from customers, then works out for an hour, all before 6 a.m.
  • LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wakes at 5:30 a.m., checks email, reads the news, exercises, meditates, and always starts the day with a healthy breakfast.
  • The late, great Steve Jobs woke up early, made his bed, showered, then looked himself in the mirror and asked, “If today were the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I’m about to do today?”
  • Businesswoman Martha Stewart uses natural light to wake up, usually around 5 a.m., works out, walks her dogs, eats breakfast then reads the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and New York Times on her ride to work.
  • Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is out playing an hourlong tennis match every day at 5:45 a.m., then drinks Starbucks coffee and reads English and British newspapers.


“Fine Point is always willing to help and there really has not been an instance when they have said, no we can’t do that.”

Jonathan Ryan, Company Founder & President

With 40 employees, Verdanterra is a consulting company that does land survey work for the energy industry. In 2014 company founder and President Jonathan Ryan he launched Verdanterra, seeing the need to cut down on the administrative steps used to accomplish certain tasks. A lot of the work they do is time sensitive, so his step-saving process quickly found footing in a competitive marketplace.

Get Familiar with HR Regulatory Changes for 2020

At the beginning of each new year, there are always HR regulatory changes all business owners should be aware of. A few of the "most talked about" changes are:

1. Form W-4 Changes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 forced a revision of the federal withholding process, resulting in a brand-new Form W-4 for use in 2020. Key changes include the elimination of withholding allowances and the ability for taxpayers to have more tax withheld.

2. Final Overtime Rule. The final rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative, or professional employees from the FLSA's minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The final rule includes raising the "standard salary level" from the currently enforced level of $455 to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker).

3. Privacy. One of the more actively discussed regulations going into 2020 will continue to be the California Consumer Privacy Act, (CCPA). What this means is that any business that meets the CCPA criteria is required to provide employees with a privacy policy notice. Even if you aren’t operating in California, this is important, changes in CA laws often are implemented in other states.

Need a check-up? If you would like to see if your business is compliant with the new 2020 State and Federal law
changes, call Janel Day at 608-960-8474.

Fine Point Consulting is a boutique consulting firm offering expert-level professional accounting & human resources services customized to meet your budget. We help entrepreneurs who are trying to scale fast get more done and stay lean.

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