Do employees buy into your corporate values?

Often large organizations promote their corporate values to the public in order to increase sales but what happens if you get caught not living up to those lofty ideals?  Before you even lose one single customer by not following the stated values you will lose employee enthusiasm, motivation and trust.  The employees know about corporate scandals and leadership lapses in judgment first before the general public.  They will then communicate this knowledge (often meant to be secret) to customers in a variety of ways. The first thing to go will be their attitude.  They won't stick to your corporate values if you don't.  They'll get surly with customers, gossip with friends online and offline about your corporate misdeeds and when they get truly tired of the hypocrisy they will leave the company.  The leadership lesson here is to create realistic values that leaders and employees can keep and if a leader flouts those values discipline them and let your employees know you've taken action.  A corporate value system is a valuable thing to waste.

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