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write a 3-page (minimum 750 words) response to the following assignment. Do not
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write a 3-page (minimum 750 words) response to the following assignment. Do not use the questions in your response. Include at least one (1) biblical example in your answers.
Complete the case at the end of Chapter 1, “Organizational Culture Gone Wrong” by answering the questions at the end of the case.
Requirements: APA Format; 3-pages (Minimum 750 words)
The power of organizational culture is rarely as obvious as it was at Wells Fargo Bank. Whether positive or negative, culture within an organization drives employee behavior, sometimes in ways that are either not intended or not desired. Consider the case of Wells Fargo Bank where employees were pressured to cross-sell products to their customers. While trying to increase revenues and customer loyalty through selling multiple products is a fine strategy, in this case things went a bit too far.
The bank managers emphasized cross-selling and had a goal for each customer to use up to eight products from the bank such as checking and savings account, mortgage loans, and credit cards. Personal bankers who worked at bank branches faced daily, sometimes hourly, sales goals to generate 10 to 20 product sales per day. District managers met multiple times each day with branch managers and employees to track their progress. This high-pressure environment was clearly intense and very competitive. Employee performance results were scrutinized and those who fell short were subjected to additional coaching by their managers. Incentive plans at the bank rewarded employees on the basis of the number of products, or accounts, they set up. Lacking good checks and balances, employees who wanted to earn bonuses took the shortcut and made up fake accounts. This shows how incentive schemes can go offtrack without proper monitoring. Under intense pressure to show new accounts being opened, tellers and personal bankers made up fake names and e-mail addresses for phantom customers, just to meet their quotas.
Over 3.5 million fake deposit and credit card accounts were set up by employees desperate to meet unrealistic sales goals. Many auto loan customers were forced to take unneeded auto insurance and hundreds of thousands of customers were signed up for online banking without their knowledge or consent. When the scandal was first made public, the bank placed the blame on employees and fired over 5,000 employees accused of establishing the fraudulent accounts. However, as the investigation continued, it became apparent that the problems went much deeper than several thousand rogue employees acting on their own. Rather, authorities determined that widespread, systemic unethical behavior existed at the bank. The culture fostered this highly competitive, results-driven approach, and branch managers turned a blind eye to what they may have seen.
A congressional investigation along with investigations from multiple government agencies consumed bank leadership and tarnished the Wells Fargo brand with its customers. The CEO resigned after the scandal broke. In an unusual decision, the bank’s board did not provide him with a severance package and asked for repayment of bonus awards he had received in recent years. The head of retails sales also resigned. Further, the bank paid penalties in excess of $185 million to regulators and over $2.5 million in restitution to customers harmed by the scandal. The loss of trust that customers felt after the scandal has led to negative outcomes for the bank. Credit card applications have declined significantly, and loan applications are also far lower than in the past. The bank has posted poor operating results as time and money must be invested in researching and correcting these unethical practices.
Organization culture and values set the stage for how employees will behave. HR practices such as incentive plans guide employee conduct. In the case of Wells Fargo Bank, the culture was one of “win at all costs” coupled with incentives that drove employees to meet the only goal for which they were financially rewarded, opening new accounts, one way or the other.
1.How did the culture at Wells Fargo become so focused on growing sales through cross-selling? What might be done in the future to reduce the reliance on single outcomes for rewarding employees?
2.What steps should an employee take when faced with coworkers who are acting unethically in order to meet performance objectives? How could HR be informed and asked to help remedy such situations?