I recently saw the following text in a presentation about HR at Netflix:
The actual company values, as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go.
I agree with the sentiment, but bad English muddies the message. Sentences like these are downright confusing. Why not split the single, run-on sentence into two or more comprehensible ones? And why not lose the passive voice while we’re at it?
How’s this instead?
Any company can pay lip service to obvious dictums like “people and culture matter.” In reality, an organization demonstrates its actual values not through its words, but by its actions: promotions, reward systems, and how it handles employee exits.
Want to learn to write and speak better? Recognize that, while writing is subjective, words matter. In this case, arguments are often better and more clearly expressed as several sentences in the active voice. Don’t try to cram everything into one sentence or bullet point.
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