- Companies need to pay attention to their organizational identity if they want to attract not only loyal employees but spending consumers, according to research from Gallup. But many companies struggle to close the gap between their “actual and aspirational identities.”
- The key issue: many consumers can tell when a company doesn’t live up to the values it espouses. They are twice as likely to spend money on companies that deliver on their brand promises versus ones that only pay lip service.
- Gallup’s research reveals five questions companies must ask themselves in order to live by their values, including: “How do the company's leaders communicate and act?”, “Who are the company's employees?” and “How does the organization measure and reward performance?”
Actions speak louder than words, for both employees and consumers, meaning that companies that actually act on their value messages receive considerably more positive attention from consumers. If a company says that they strive to be cutting-edge, for example, that company must have policies in place that actually encourage innovation. Otherwise, as in Gallup’s focus group, top managers will be reluctant to take risks in order to keep their jobs and no actual innovation will happen.
Many employers struggle because their employee recruitment, development and engagement programs are all in separate silos, according to Gallup. Such silos can create inconsistencies in how company values are applied (if at all).
“Aligning a company's measurement and performance systems with its identity is also crucial to maximizing business performance,” says Gallup. Leaders will need to take a step back and honestly examine how their company initiatives line up with stated company values. Some shaping up may be in order.