Wells Fargo is one of a latest organizations exposed as a toxic workplace.
The banking giant first came under fire late last year when it was revealed that over two million accounts were opened without customer consent. The bank responded by firing over 5,000 low level employees. The fired employees seemed initially to blame, until a report was released this week detailing an internal investigation into their toxic workplace culture.
The extensive report revealed that the problem wasn’t specifically the fired employees, but rather the pressure put on them to meet unattainable sales targets. Wells Fargo created a culture where employees were left in the dark, and ultimately living in fear.
If communication did exist, it was likely one way, leaving employees helpless in their pursuit of unrealistic goals. These challenges likely could have been alleviated had they leveraged an enterprise video platform for employee communication.
If these companies implemented effective technology, such as enterprise video tools, as part of their company’s communication policy, Wells Fargo’s corporate culture would have been different. Here’s how:
Video promotes transparency
Wells Fargo’s organizational structure was reportedly very decentralized. Distorted and disjointed sales models and performance management systems created low morale and unethical behavior. Such decentralization and disorganization also made it easy for problems to go unnoticed, as even senior leadership seemed disconnected from what was happening. By using video, they could have created a transparent culture. Video makes it easy for organizations to host events like town hall meetings. Employees don’t need to all be in one location, and most importantly, they can ask questions and respond to polls, therefore creating real dialogue and discussion. Video is a fantastic conduit for bridging the gap between executives and employees.
Video helps improve training practices
In the case of Wells Fargo, there likely would have been some level of training or onboarding provided for these employees. While we will never know what this training looked like, we can assume it wasn’t enough for employees to successfully understand their objectives. Video helps organizations amplify their employee training, by including clear and trackable objectives and milestones with interactive communication. Your onboarding program should continuously evolve so employees feel supported and enabled.
Video fosters trust
Employers who have achieved high levels of trust are more successful that those that don’t. Senior management likely didn’t trust the employees, and the employees clearly didn’t trust their supervisors. Even during times of stress and unpredictability, trust is an essential element to a harmonious workplace. Video can help foster trust by creating an ongoing channel of communication. By hosting frequent meetings, either one on one or team meeting, you can communicate to employees and address their concerns. Video is also the best vehicle for conveying crisis communications to employees.
Video enhances communication
Failing to communicate with employees can have miserable consequences, from increased turnover, to the spread of misinformation. At Wells Fargo there was an obvious cultural problem–one that stemmed from top-level executives. We don’t know for sure what their employee communication consisted of, but it probably did not include frequent announcements from senior leadership; and if it did, it likely was one-way communication. An enterprise video platform can play a pivotal role in centralizing employee communication, engaging employees, and connecting them to the culture.
Ultimately, had Wells Fargo invested in improving its culture and communicating effectively to their employees, they could have saved themselves this embarrassment and, more importantly, their reputation.