Embedding Values & Behaviours

Image of Alice Ackroyd, Leadership & HR Associate

‘The sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have, but how many leaders you create’

- Mahatma Gandhi

Values and Behaviours are enablers of performance and are part of creating a culture unique to your organisation.

Ideally they’re created collaboratively, so everyone is involved in helping to identify what’s important to the way the organisation works, what sets them apart and what enables it’s success.

Once established, it’s useful to create a Ways of Working Document which lists all the values and behaviours, together with examples of ‘What I Say and Do’. This then becomes the reference and source document for the values in the organisation.

Ways to Embed Values and Behaviours

The best way to ensure values are seen as important to organisation and not just a token gesture, is for its leaders to model the behaviours in what they say and do and, to encourage their teams to do similarly.

Leadership Team

  • Use behaviours regularly in conversations with colleagues and team members
  • Model behaviours and provide feedback where behaviours are not being demonstrated, with examples of how to improve
  • Highlight and celebrate examples of how values are being lived and breathed
  • Capture stories and soundbites and create case studies to help illustrate values in practice
  • Anticipate questions or challenges and respond in a consistent way which reinforces the collective belief that the values are important and fundamental to the success of the team and organisation.


Build values and behaviours into the recruitment and selection process and the following documents.

  • Create a bank of interview questions, levelled for individuals and leaders, to check alignment with values & behaviours.
  • Job Descriptions, adverts and advertising channels, ‘About Us’ and ‘Employment Application’ pages of the website.
  • Candidate Interview Packs – include Vision, Mission and Values together with the reasons they are important to the organisation and the way it works. 


Include time to explain and discuss the values and behaviours and how they are incorporated into the way the organisation works. Build in opportunities for individuals to discuss these with their manager and colleagues.

Policies and Contracts

  •  Our values are the reason why we are successful – how does that relate to your policies?

Employee Handbook/SharePoint sites

Use the tone and spirit of the values to articulate touchpoints on the employee’s journey.

PDR and 121’s

Include values and behaviours in conversations and documents.


Recognise and celebrate great examples of values in practice,

Your leadership will set you apart

Almost above all other ways, train and equip leaders with the tools and confidence to embed values, this will have the greatest impact on how they are lived and breathed in your organisation and this in turn this will speak volumes about how important the values are to the organisation and the leadership team.


As Mahatma Gandhi says, The sign of a good leader is not how many followers you have, but how many leaders you create”.