Are You Rewarding Agency Employees the Right Way?

Pause for a few seconds and make a mental note of the five-to-ten most recent examples of how you are rewarding agency employees within your organization. In other words, who got a raise, a bonus, a promotion, an award or some other form of recognition for a job well done? In many organizations, perhaps even most, those honors go to people who achieved some tangible, measurable result. They hit their sales goals, signed a new client, or found some way to save the organization a few buckets of money. That’s all good, but it might not always connect in a positive way back to the organization’s stated values. When rewarding agency employees doesn't factor in the means that lead to the ends, they actually can become culture killers rather than culture builders. Tae Hea Hahm, the managing director of the venture capital firm Storm Ventures, once pointed out that “real culture” is defined by “compensation, promotions and terminations. Basically, people seeing who succeeds and fails in the company defines culture. The people who succeed become role models for what is valued in the organization, and that defines culture.” Performance is vital to success and growth, but values are foundational to organizational health. So, the challenge for Extreme Leaders is to increase the real value of things that are critical but hard to measure. Here are a few tips for doing that: ALIGN ON YOUR VALUES People often define their values based on their personal experiences and expectations. Your definition sustainability, for instance, might not be the same as someone else’s definition. So, it’s not enough to publish a list of things that are important to your leadership and your culture. Go a step further and [...]

Clients Should Align with Your Company’s Mission Statement

A company’s mission statement should influence every move it makes, including what clients or customers it takes on. Serving clients who don’t align with your mission statement might bring in more money, but it often can hurt your company more than you would expect. In the long run, it’s more profitable to work with like-minded people. Disadvantages of working with incompatible clients When you and your clients disagree fundamentally on unbendable rules, the relationship is tainted and unsustainable. Incompatible clients also hurt company morale. Employees won’t enjoy working for a client they don’t think shares their values. Rather than sacrificing talent to keep the client happy, fire bad clients to boost morale. Doing so will earn your employees’ trust, loyalty and respect. Advantages of working with like-minded clients People often care more about what businesses stand for than businesses themselves. Therefore, customer loyalty grows when a business reflects the values of its customers. For example, people are fiercely loyal to the Harley-Davidson brand because they identify with its rebel spirit. That bond helps the company separate itself from its competition. When clients reflect the company’s mission statement, the process of determining how to work together is easier. Both business and client will be supportive of each other’s successes, and when there is conflict, both can turn to shared values in a mission statement to find a resolution. Compatible clients also lead to more referrals. Clients are more likely to refer friends to businesses that share their values. How to determine client compatibility Businesses should vet potential clients with their mission statements in mind. One agency I work with uses its mission statement when creating interview questions for clients, customers and vendors. The leaders of that business make it clear that they work only with clients [...]

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