Bright ideasWhat are your organization’s KPIs – key performance indicators? If I ask you to list your company’s top five KPIs, it’s likely that you’ll know some of them right off the bat. Others may not be so clear.

It is the responsibility of senior leaders to make KPIs simple and succinct, to communicate them regularly, to demonstrate them, and to hold staff accountable for them.

Clear KPIs help everyone in the organization align daily plans, decisions, and actions to those important metrics.

KPIs are an important right in organizations today. Every organization member – leaders, managers, supervisors, front line team members – has the right to know what performance is expected and what performance they’ll be held accountable to deliver.

Everyone in your company has the right to, what I call, WPIs, as well – policies, procedures, and practices that create Work Place Inspiration.

It is the responsibility of senior leaders to make WPI practices simple and succinct, to communicate them regularly, to demonstrate them, and to hold staff accountable for them.

Clear WPI practices help everyone in the organization align daily plans, decisions, and actions to those practices.

In my culture work with senior leaders, I help them craft their organizational constitution – a formalized statement of agreements outlining how their organization will deliver promised performance (KPIs) in alignment with the organization’s valued behaviors (WPIs).

They build an organizational constitution that “holds these truths to be self-evident” – employees deserve KPIs and WPI practices!

The benefits of work place inspiration have been proven time and again. Research* indicates that happy employees – those with positive personal well-being – compared to unhappy employees:

  • Deliver 31% higher productivity
  • Demonstrate 3 times higher creativity on the job
  • Are ten times more engaged by their jobs
  • Are 40% more likely to receive a promotion within a year
  • Generate 37% greater sales figures
  • Are three times more satisfied with their jobs

* The Economics of Wellbeing by Tom Rath & Jim Harter and Positive Intelligence by Shawn Achor (from the January/February 2012 Harvard Business Review)

Some companies take their organizational constitution more literally, outlining governance of the business, i.e. employee ownership of the company (Shift Communications did that recently).

Most of my culture clients do not have concerns with or need for refining business governance. Their opportunity lies with understanding their organization is too KPI-oriented and is not a “great place to work.” Their constitution addresses both KPI and WPI rights.

KPIs raise awareness of performance metrics but do not, alone, guarantee delivery of those KPIs. WPI practices consistently boost employee performance, passion, and profits.

Your employees deserve a safe, inspiring, productive work environment. Honor their rights to both KPIs and WPI practices.

To what extent does your organization clarify both KPIs and WPI practices? To what degree is your company’s work environment consistently productive, safe, and inspiring for you?  Note your thoughts about this post/podcast in the comments section below.

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S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers: Good Comes First (2021) and The Culture Engine (2014).
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Reader Interactions


  1. Joe Scherrer says

    I read through the Gallup report…very compelling. The whole issue of employee engagement is really a big deal. Have to have leadership on board to make it happen. In fact, “they” may be the biggest impediment to engagement!

    • S. Chris Edmonds says

      Thanks for your insights, Joe. The Gallup engagement research is immensely powerful – as you say, compelling!

      Leaders are indeed the gatekeepers of employee engagement. They can honor employee rights to “WorkPlace Inspiration” and create an environment that boosts engagement – or not.

      I encourage you to check out Dr. Tony Simons’ work on behavioral integrity at Brilliant – and also places the responsibility of workplace inspiration squarely on the shoulders of leaders!



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