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The Built on Values® Culture System is Simple yet Effective

Structure for building your culture.


Our method is based on over twenty-five years of experience and proven by some of the world’s greatest brands such as JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Doubletree Hotels, P.F. Chang’s China Bistros, Juniper Networks, Loma Linda University Medical Center, and many more.

built on values culture system

What Drives Organizational Culture?

Leaders are the owners and creators of culture.

Through every interaction leaders demonstrate values. Stated values that are not universally applied lose their meaning replaced by the values of whatever management personality is strongest.

This is why leadership commitment is the single most important success factor in establishing and sustaining a high performance culture. Leaders must position the organization for change, exemplify company values, and demonstrate their support and commitment.

Built on Values Steps

1) Create a Values Blueprint

A Values Blueprint is the strategic and forward thinking vision for your ideal workplace. The Blueprint sets the stage for action by defining minimum behaviors. When established correctly these values can serve as the basis for communication, hiring, rewards, and company identity.

A Values Blueprint is your opportunity to set your company apart in the eyes of employees and customers.

Values and behaviors are unique for each organization and therefore the exercise of discussing what the values mean is very important. An example of the value, Integrity, with its definition and behaviors for one organization follows.

Once the Values Blueprint® has been created, refined and approved by senior leaders, we recommend developing a comprehensive communication plan to roll out the new values to the organization. This is an opportunity to engage all employees in understanding the values and contribute to the discussion.

2) Hire "A" Players

Hiring the right people is the most important thing you can do to build your organizational culture. That is why we put special attention on hiring as part of the People Ink Culture System. Our system utilizes several powerful hiring and selection methods to take the guesswork out of hiring decisions and produce more consistent results.

Our hiring process, PeoplePix® is based on proven best practices:  
1) Behavioral Interviewing.

The idea that past behavior predicts future behavior.

2) Peer Interviewing.

We have found the best recruiters and interviewers are your own people because they know exactly what it takes to do that job.

3) Interviewing for Values.

Hiring for values and competencies ensure consistent behaviors across the organization. 

Our online interviewer training is available for anyone interested in implementing PeoplePix.

3) Accountability & Rewards

 It’s isn’t enough just to hire “A” players. You have to make sure they stick around. A values-based total rewards and recognition system ensures that employees are rewarded for not only performing well, but also for “living” the values. 

Accountability. When values and behaviors are incorporated into the performance review, the organization is saying that values are important enough to be the basis for compensation.

Accountability. The values established in your Values Blueprint set minimum behavioral expectations for all employees. Multi-rater peer review, starting with senior leaders, is an excellent tool for surfacing behavior you want to encourage and behavior you want discourage.

Rewards and Recognition. Good people stay in organizations that support their lifestyle and value what they value. Total rewards, including bonuses and recognition, must also be aligned to values. 

4) Customer Branding

The Values Blueprint, at its most fundamental, is a rebranding effort. Your values are your brand, and the words you use to communicate those values will solidify them in the minds of both employees and customers, so be consistent in language and presentation. Effectively communicating and rebranding your new values plan requires a focus that goes beyond ordinary marketing and PR efforts.

In the beginning, it is all about awareness – getting the values into everyone’s brains. Over time, you will increase the sophistication of
your branding and values communications. Eventually, the values communications should reflect the growing familiarity your people have with the values and how they are applied application.  A values branding plan will help you stay true to your values inall situations and develop a trust-based relationship with you customers.

5) Continuous Discipline

A culture built on values requires continuous discipline. Even if you are happy with the way your people are executing the values and behaviors, you must be constantly vigilant and revisit your progress on a regular basis. Organizations that succeed with culture change over the long term have a plan for continuous improvement.

Building a values-based culture takes time. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It helps to establish success criteria and celebrate your progress. We recommend making an annual review of the Values Blueprint and its component parts in your organization’s formal year-end planning. A Values Committee is useful here and will help oversee this discipline.

The Built on Values System

  • Our 5 step model.
  • The role of leadership.
  • Using values in hiring, rewards, branding.


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