Generally when a company fires someone for scamming its customers, so he or she can make their quota, you place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the rogue employee.
However, when it transpires that you’ve had to fire 5,300 over the last few years, you start to ask about the culture that employer has created. You don’t just make five thousand bad hiring decisions. That’s the question hanging over the head of Wells Fargo as we learn:
…it had fired 5,300 employees over the last few years related to the shady behavior. Employees went so far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said.
So that employees could meet goals set by the bank. They did so by:
- Opening deposit accounts and transferring funds without authorization, sometimes resulting in insufficient funds fees.
- Applying for credit-card accounts without consumers’ knowledge or consent, leading to annual fees, as well as associated finance or interest charges and other late fees for some consumers.
- Issuing and activating debit cards, going so far as to create PINs, without consent.
- Creating phony email addresses to enroll consumers in online-banking services.
Does it get any more shady than that? I don’t think so.
Wells Fargo was hit with one of the largest fines in banking history and now has to not only pay back the effected customers, but spend millions convincing its other customers that it can still be trusted to manage their money.
Your employees are your reputation. And, when you create working conditions or set incentives that tempt them to cut corners or stoop to illicit behavior no one wins. Customers are robbed, employees are fired, and you’re left with a hit to your profits and reputation. Keep that in mind, the next time you think about implementing a new way to incentivize employees. Might I suggest one that focuses on the satisfaction of your customers instead of the bottom line.
Keep your customers happy and they’ll open the new accounts….for real. 😉