I often have conversations with servant leadership clients about how to effectively assess an employee’s performance, and build appropriate action plans for their development. I encourage the utilization of a tool called the Performance-Values Matrix.


Performance – Values Matrix


The Performance-Values Matrix is a graph introduced to me by the Ken Blanchard Companies to help evaluate employees. It encourages leaders to evaluate people both on how well they perform the technical functions of their job, as well as how they emulate the values of the organization. Both are equally important! Use it faithfully and you will build a “dream team”, and move your team toward your desired culture.

At times you will have an employee in the high performance/low values quadrant. Traditionally this is the most challenging employee situation to deal with. You may think that without their work, the organization might take a step back. But in reality, keeping these people on the team will gradually deteriorate your desired culture and morale. Then good folks will start to drift and leave.


Steps for Setting An Employee with Misaligned Values Free

After some years of being tenuous in this area, here is how I encourage you to deal with these individuals:

  • Insure that you have clearly articulated values and associated expected behaviors behind each value.

    Your values and behaviors must be well documented and communicated with everyone in the organization. People cannot be expected to perform to behaviors that they are unfamiliar with. Therefore this foundational work rests on your shoulders to insure everyone knows how they are expected to behave.


  • Use your organization’s values and behaviors as the funnel for all actions and decisions.

    Once you have these values and behaviors well documented, it is no longer about opinion. Instead, everyone is equally evaluated against the same set of standards. This makes dealing with low-values individuals much easier! It is your job to be a good steward of the values.


  • Live as a model of these values and behaviors.

    The values and behaviors in the organization must be seen in action from their leaders. If you are not modeling the values, your ability for holding people accountable breaks down. Therefore it is up to you to be the living billboard for the organization’s values.


  • Have a specific, documented conversation with the individual(s) in question.

    Outline the expectations necessary to bring their behavior inline with the values and behaviors. Be very clear on what good performance on values looks like, the timeframe they have to improve, and the specific consequences if they don’t. And be sure they know the final consequence will be an exit from the organization.


  • Celebrate the win if they improve!

    Continue to help them stay in line with their new behavior and positively recognize them for their improved actions. Let them know how much the organization is benefitting from their improvement in this area.


  • Without change, lovingly set them free – quickly.

    By failing to make the necessary changes, it becomes their choice to leave the organization; people fire themselves. At that point, “Share them with the competition”. There is a place for everyone in this world, but not a place for everyone within your organization. Only those that exhibit the organization’s values and behaviors get the opportunity to be on your team.


The Results

I will absolutely guarantee, if you stay true to this practice you will accelerate your progress towards your desired culture. You will move closer to having the dream team that is required to win. And, the rest of your team will thank you for having the courage to address these issues.


Do you have someone on your team that doesn’t align with your organization’s values? What steps do you need to take today to start moving things in the right direction?


“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.” Matthew 21:12