“The good news is your brakes are fine,” the service rep told me over the phone. “But your alignment is horrible.” I had taken my car in to get checked out before heading out on the annual summer road trip, so this wasn’t a welcome problem and would need to be fixed. Could it be that procrastinating on regular maintenance wasn’t paying the dividends I thought it would?

Just as proper wheel alignment is essential to keep your car running in tip-top shape, proper alignment of your employees with your organization’s goals, strategy, and culture is essential to keep your business functioning at maximum efficiency. When a car’s alignment is off, it can cause excessive or uneven wear on tires and cause it to veer off course. In a business, poor alignment can translate into lost productivity, lack of employee engagement, and, ultimately, lower profitability.

Assessing and adjusting alignment in your company starts with a consultative process to clarify strategic objectives, build awareness of your corporate culture, and ensure that team members, from senior leadership to summer interns, understand and are committed to the organization’s needs.

By using the results of a scientifically validated personality assessment such as the Caliper Profile and people analytics tools, you can analyze your team’s potential at the competency level to develop a detailed picture of your organizational strengths, limitations, and opportunities. In combination with an understanding of the crucial job functions that each employee fulfills, such an analysis can help you make better hiring and development decisions and ensure that you have the right team in place to execute your long-term vision.

Caliper’s competency-based analysis can help you create the framework for a fully integrated talent-management approach to align individual employee performance to the mission, goals, and strategy of the company. Over our more than 50 years of experience working with more than 30,000 companies, Caliper has found that employees who perform at high levels are working within jobs and cultures that align with their innate personality strengths and motivations. Aligning talent with strategy can enable you to adapt quickly to new opportunities, strengthen employee engagement, and build reliable, consistent success models for roles that are aligned with your business needs.

So, this summer, before it causes you to drift off course, take the time to check your alignment. And maybe change your windshield-wiper blades too.