Core Values & Success Part I: Why Using KPI Only Will Lead To Your Company’s Demise

Those who are familiar with my blog posts often hear me discuss the fundamental importance of core values. This is because core ideology is the very definition of a company’s character. Long after technological breakthroughs, fads and leaders come and go, a company’s core values will be its very essence, its legacy. Markets will change, leaders will leave, products will become obsolete but a strong set of core values is constant and enduring.

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E-Web Marketing Core Values

Without a core ideology, a company will drift aimlessly through attempted expansion as employees never feel ‘at one’ with the business. Because the company treats them as a number, the employee treats the company as a pay check only. Yet in the corporate world, too many companies are focused entirely on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and forget about core values. Performance is viewed through a very narrow scope with sales, customer retention and the speed at which you answer the phone all examples of KPI.

This just makes people anxious, nervous and less likely to relax enough to engage in a friendly chat with a colleague. When a workplace only thinks about a performance review, ‘results’ mean more than friendliness and camaraderie. Imagine a place where everyone walked around like robots, failing to make eye contact on their way to the photocopier or break room. Imagine a place where lunch is eaten in silence. Yet this is the scene in companies all over the world. Without core values and a company ethos that is little more than a request to earn the business profits, there is neither excitement or joy in the workplace.

KPI Flaws

While KPI has certain merits, running a company based entirely on sales figures and other business data misses the big picture. It neglects the customer and the employee and can actually lead to a downturn in performance over the course of time. If the company is entirely about sales figures, what’s stopping the employee from lying to the customer to make sales? Consumers are promised the Earth but fall victim to over-promising and under-delivering on the part of the employee. Suddenly, the lifetime value of each customer plummets and within a few years, the company falls into financial difficulty.

While it is easy to point the finger at the employee, he/she can claim that it is a case of ‘following orders’. Therefore, the company needs to take a massive share of the blame. When it uses KPI as the sole measurement of analysis, such mistakes will occur. Ask yourself this:

 Does KPI measure how often a colleague helped you out?

Will KPI reveal the positive mood on a Friday afternoon as employees enjoy lunch together?

Can KPI convey the gratitude of an employee going through a rough time that is cheered up by concerned colleagues?

NO! KPI alone will never reveal the intangible, seemingly minor yet incredibly important details that spell out ‘teamwork’. Without recognising the effort of a group of employees to establish a genuine team ethic, a company is in danger of operating without an identity. Such businesses don’t last long and rarely reach the top. If you really want longevity, you will do everything possible to instil a set of core values that defines who the company is and what it stands for.

Not having core values is the ultimate mistake in business and in part two, I will give you a glimpse into how E-Web Marketing operates and give you an insight into how having core values positively affects employees and your business.

In the meantime, take a close look at your company and ask yourself: What are my company’s core values and how do I emphasise their importance to employees?

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One comment

  1. Great explanation of how Core Values relate to Key Performance Index. I was looking for a clear explanation of the role of empathy and organizational ethos and this helps a lot.

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