Can Wells Fargo’s New Plan Save the Day?

Based on research I have done in workplace dynamics, how employees are assessed is the single biggest determiner of an organization’s culture. Wells Fargo provides a classic case study, validating this assertion.

In my book From Bully to Bull's-Eye I describe how performance management systems can either motivate people to perform to full potential or create toxic environments where people are pitted against each other and or have to resort to unethical and illegal behaviors to meet expectations.

Wells Fargo in rolling out a new plan based on customer experience to replace sales goals, a good step in their initiative to regain the trust of their customers. But to be successful the new plan must be part of an overall initiative.

 The new plan should not be considered a magic bullet, but must be in agreement with everything an organization does, including how it is governed and its structure, decision making, risk management, communication, and intelligence gathering.  All of this determines the outcome of value exchanges with various stakeholders and aligns the company with values, beliefs, principles, purpose, visions and initiatives. 

Based on my experience, if Wells Fargo takes the approach I suggest they will regain the trust of their employees first—who will then become positive ambassadors to regain the trust of their customers. In this I wish them the best of luck.