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Workplace Engagement InsightsLatest Employee Engagement NewsWorkplace EngagementValues Must Be Part of How Companies Measure Overall Performance

Values Must Be Part of How Companies Measure Overall Performance

employee-compensationI have written before about the necessity of building a strong culture that will keep your vision (see Collins and Porras for a full description of vision) alive and well in your company.

This article about Wells Fargo discusses the latest in a long string of corporate governance failures to recognize the need to have a strong culture that will keep customer loyalty front and center in the actions of all staff. This cannot be done without a deliberate exercise of outlining the customer experience, defining the core values of the company, and giving employees permission to push back on programs that threaten either one of them.

All too often, companies’ compensation programs lack the thoroughness to be certain that they are rewarding the right behavior – rather than expecting the compensation system to drive the right behavior. What do I mean by this? Very simply, that managers set goals, coach, and provide feedback to drive the right behaviors. Compensation systems should then reward those who do the right things.

Do Employees Have “Line of Sight”?

To do this I think the most compelling and simple model I have come across is called “Line of Sight”. In this model, every employee needs to clearly understand the value of the job they do in contributing to their team’s goals, the department goals, and the company goals.  Furthermore, every employee needs to go home every day feeling valued for having done that job.

While this is easy to state, it’s much harder to carry out. It requires every person in a leadership role to understand that their job is to make meaning. Specifically, the company vision needs to be discussed in plain language and translated from the lofty level of corporate down to each job in the company. This cascading takes time and needs to be deliberate.

Unfortunately, all too often the Company Vision becomes a plaque on the wall that is largely ignored. Once developed, many think that the job is done. Doing this is like an advertising executive thinking that once they come up with the campaign they simply need to put it in writing and everyone will get it right away. Great advertising needs to be deliberate and sustained; otherwise it is just wasted money.

Creating a strong corporate vision and avoiding the traps that Wells Fargo fell into can only happen if the dialogue is alive and well in every action a company takes. I recall one company that I helped start wanted to put a clear focus on the customer. In order to remind us of that, we had two stuffed people (remember the nylon stuffed people that were so popular once?) in the meeting room to remind us that the customer was here.

Another key point often missed is the need to hear the voice of your employees. Employee engagement surveys give employees an opportunity to anonymously comment on behaviours that run counter to the culture. They begin dialogues with employees that bring about change and clarity in your corporate culture – and on top of that, they help root out the bad apples in the leadership.


Workplace Engagement Insights will help your organization build a high performance culture of engaged employees and great leaders. Get a free consultation with me to discuss your business needs.

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Written by Dwight Lacey

Dwight Lacey

Dwight is the President at Workplace Engagement Insights. He leads Workplace Engagement Insights with a clear understanding of the latest employee engagement research, survey best practices, and leadership styles that create successful businesses.

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