Can a values integration program prevent a manager misconduct?
An end-to-end value integration program, often ignored, helps equip an organization to culturally, structurally, and administratively prevent behavioral misconduct.
In my 30 years of pre-pandemic experience in talent management and development, 80% of the training programs we developed are geared towards skills development.
A skills-based learning intervention is a norm but an equally important and often neglected is an end-to-end values integration program. The latter has an impact on company culture, corporate philosophy, and policies.
Companies that lack value integration programs have this in common- code of discipline is often not enforced, business ethics compromised, direct reports doubts management sincerity, and a notable incidence of dishonesty. The total employee experience is weighed down because of this.
Values Integration and Pareto Principle
Let me substantiate my hypothesis by applying the Pareto principle in talent development.
If efforts for values program is 20%, good or bad, it affects 80% of the organization’s performance encompassing culture, employee relations, and revenues.
If the core values of the company are not defined and integrated into corporate systems and programs, there are inconsistencies in policies and practices. The risk or opportunity to misbehave is high. And the damage is not only monetary but also reputational. Good direct reports leave the company, the mediocre ones stay but they kept quiet, and the bad ones emulate the bad eggs.
However, when an end-to-end values integration program is in place, behavioral indicators are reflected from onboarding to off-boarding (and everything in between)– Performance measurements, promotions criteria, codes, policies and procedures, employee engagement, and culture enhancement programs.
With this, the company has a basis to decipher whether a candidate for hiring or promotions is both culture and values fit. And in case a manager is presented with an opportunity of fraud, s/he knew they cannot easily wiggle out.
When Managers Misbehave
In an article, Lala Rimando highlights the repercussions when executives misbehave (published in Newsbreak on August 2. 2004)
I can’t take it anymore,” Mike, a thirtyish company vice-president, told Newsbreak. For the past years, his boss has been paying off a government official to avoid taxes.
“They are the bad cells that contaminate the good cells until the whole body is too sick…When CEOs distort the meaning of wrong and these cascades down the line, the excellent and honest employees leave. But more usually, employees tend to adopt the behavior of their superiors.
The cultural rejection of whistle-blowing is strong among most senior executives, the study shows. Since executives twist the meaning of wrong to protect their own interests.. In fact, 57 percent of the respondents say it is acceptable to keep quiet about the misconduct of others.
In a more recent article published at Corporate Compliance on May 24, 2019, Michael Volkov wrote
Managers commit fraud and other misconduct at a high rate of almost 40 percent. And when managers who engage in misconduct often do so on more than one occasion. In other words, manager misconduct, when it occurs, does so on a repeated basis.
Let me share some stories.
A male HR manager, separated but legally married, became romantically (and sexually involved) with his staff who is a fresh graduate and 25 years his junior. He is adamant that he has done nothing wrong, and whatever happened between them is mutual. The other staff spilled the beans because they’re deeply disturbed. When the news spread, the HR division became a laughing stock in the organization. Even the prudence of hiring male HR managers was questioned.
A VP in operations has a habit of seducing pretty girl employees to have sex with him. A time came when the male managers are the ones pimping girl employees to the VP and to each other. At one point, news reached me that they scheduled an orgy with these employees in one of the motels in Pasig. I thought hiring lady managers can neutralize this macho culture but boy I was wrong. Pretty soon, one of the lady managers was involved too, while the rest of the lady managers kept quiet.
An HR head connived with operations and accounting to commit fraud. Some direct reports are aware but pretended they did not know. But some direct reports were paid to keep quiet. The fraud is ongoing for 5 years and the group pocketed a total of more or less 1M from the company, suppliers, and employees. There is a total breakdown of rule and order and employee morale down. It took us a year to bring the house in order.
Another story is about an operations manager conniving with Supervisors and regular employees to steal the cash transactions of casual cashiers. They are smart enough not to touch the money of the company but cold-blooded heartless creatures to steal the hard earnings of newly hired cashiers. The poor employees cried to me and sought my help because an equally heartless finance department deducts these transaction shortages from their salaries without due process.
On a side note, I just want to point out that it is different when the HR head misbehaves. There is 90% dominance and manipulation of employees. No, they are not afraid, but they have this deep sense of pakikisama or gratitude to the point that they are willing to keep their silence for as long as their stomachs will allow it.
I can share more stories to belabor the point, but I think you have similar experiences and you are also aware of its impact on the organization.
What I hope to accomplish in this article is for the B and C suite officers will give serious thought to the “end-to-end” values integration program. The company philosophy, core values, mission, and vision are not a decoration on the wall.
Care to share your experience?