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Cross-Level Alignment

Cross-level alignment

Alignment across different functions, teams, departments, and locations (i.e., cross-functional alignment) definitely contributes to organizational effectiveness, but what about alignment across different levels?  Alignment across levels (i.e., cross-level alignment) is relevant in the organizational Performance Management cycle, where both organization-level goals (i.e., vision and strategic plans) and employee-level goals (i.e., performance and developmental goals) can be conceptualized as contributing and supporting one-another.  Goals and objectives for both levels are developed and continually refined by careful needs analysis and evaluation, and both are supported by strategic HR management activities.  Below, we present a model that shows the framework of cross-level alignment and the HR practices that can support it.

Achieving alignment between organization-level and employee-level performance management cycles can contribute to a performance-based culture and ensure that employee activities support vision and direction (Graham, 2004).  At the same time, this type of alignment also makes it easy for staff at all levels to see how their professional growth and individual performance both serves their own interests and contributes to organizational effectiveness.

Does your organization practice cross-level alignment? 

Organizational PM Cycle


Graham, J. (2004). Developing a performance-based culture. Journal for Quality and Participation, 27, 4-8.

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