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You are Only as Good as Your Least Engaged Employee: 3 Steps to Build a Culture of Excellence

Uncategorized Jun 22, 2023

Creating a culture of excellence within your business requires careful attention to the people processes that shape your organization. Once you establish your CorePurpose™ and CoreVals™, it is crucial to implement effective unhiring™, hiring, and evaluation protocols to preserve and nurture these values. In this blog post, we will delve into the three steps that will help you bring together and set your people up for success within this operational framework. By integrating Core People Processes™ with Core Workflows™, you can establish major business procedures that have the power to make or break your organizational culture.

Step 1: Unhiring™: A Process of Mutual Agreement

While hiring the right people is essential, parting ways with employees who no longer align with your CoreVals is equally crucial. Instead of using the term "firing," consider adopting the concept of "unhiring." This approach suggests a mutually agreed-upon separation, where both parties acknowledge the hiring mismatch and take responsibility for the situation. More on this…

The term "firing" has a negative impact on organizational culture, and upon reflection, this becomes evident. At The Culture Fix®, we advocate for the term "unhiring™" as a more preferable alternative. If employers take credit for successful hires, they should also accept responsibility for hiring mistakes. The term "firing" places blame solely on the employee, whereas it would be more beneficial for both the unhired™ individual and those who remain in the organization to witness a conversation acknowledging the parting of ways. Additionally, many unhiring managers fear these difficult conversations. However, when equipped with a strong set of CoreVals™, engaging in such conversations becomes second nature.

Unhiring individuals who drag your culture down is necessary for the well-being of your team and your organization's reputation. By implementing Core People Processes, you create a clear framework to evaluate employees based on their adherence to your CoreVals. We’re careful not to use phrases like, “One bad apple spoils the barrel.” It’s actually a neutral scenario - either the employee resonates with your Core Purpose and aligns with your CoreVals™, or they do not. A lack of resonance always results in resistance, which inhibits the team & mission, and that employee’s success. At The Culture Fix®, we deeply believe employment should be a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship. So do not feel guilty or afraid to step into these conversations, knowing that this is not only the best decision for your company, but also for the professional.

Unhiring should be approached with empathy and open communication. When an employee's behavior or performance deviates from your CoreVals, initiate a private conversation. Start by revisiting your CoreVals one by one, allowing time for reflection and discussion. By asking questions such as "Do you feel like these values resonate with you?" or "Are you still finding fulfillment within our culture?", you create an opportunity for self-reflection and self-awareness. Surprisingly, in many cases, employees may acknowledge their misalignment and express a desire to seek a workplace that better suits their values. This realization can lead to a mutually agreed-upon separation, ensuring that both parties accept responsibility for the cultural mismatch.


Step 2: Hiring with CoreVals in Mind & Creating Core People Processes

After going through the unhiring™ process, if necessary for your company, you’re likely now looking to hire. You’ve got your top talent and fresh slate. This is why it’s essential to have Core People Processes in place. It’s best to really take the time to vet potential candidates, as employee attrition is one of the biggest drains on company profitability

To maintain a culture of excellence and foster a thriving organizational environment, it is crucial to prioritize the alignment of your hiring practices with your CoreVals, or core values. By consciously incorporating these guiding principles into your recruitment process, you can ensure that potential employees truly grasp and resonate with the essence of your organization.

One effective strategy to achieve this alignment is by employing behavioral-based interviewing techniques. Instead of merely assessing technical skills and experience, these techniques delve deeper into candidates' mindsets, behaviors, and values. By exploring these aspects, you gain valuable insights into whether individuals possess the qualities and perspectives that align with your CoreVals. This approach enables you to identify candidates who not only possess the necessary qualifications but also have the potential to thrive within your defined culture and meaningfully contribute to your team's success.

During the hiring process, it is essential to emphasize the mutual fit between candidates and your organization, placing considerable emphasis on the value of shared values. By doing so, you provide candidates with the opportunity to express how they align with your CoreVals and showcase their genuine commitment to the principles that underpin your culture of excellence.

By making the alignment of CoreVals a central focus in your hiring practices, you create an environment where employees feel a strong connection to the organization's values. This sense of shared purpose fosters a deeper level of engagement, motivation, and commitment among your workforce. It also helps to cultivate a cohesive and collaborative team culture, as individuals who align with your CoreVals are more likely to work together harmoniously and share a common vision for success.

Furthermore, incorporating CoreVals into your recruitment process sends a powerful message to both candidates and existing employees. It demonstrates your organization's dedication to maintaining a culture of excellence and prioritizing the principles that drive your collective achievements. This, in turn, helps attract top talent who are not only highly skilled but also deeply aligned with your values, contributing to the continued growth and success of your organization.

Overall, aligning your hiring practices with your CoreVals is vital for cultivating a culture of excellence. By utilizing behavioral-based interviewing techniques, emphasizing shared values, and seeking candidates who resonate with your organization's guiding principles, you can create a team that thrives within your defined culture and contributes meaningfully to your collective goals. Such an approach fosters engagement, collaboration, and success while reinforcing your commitment to maintaining an exceptional organizational environment.

Watch Founder Will Scott provide valuable insights into developing a CoreWorkflow™ to gain a clear understanding of the specific roles that require hiring or replacement within your organization. Additionally, it will help you identify which of your CoreVals™ are most crucial for these roles.


Step 3: Evaluating and Preserving CoreVals

To preserve and nurture a culture of excellence within your organization, it is essential to establish a consistent and ongoing evaluation system to assess your employees' adherence to your CoreVals. This evaluation process plays a crucial role in ensuring that the values you hold dear are deeply ingrained and upheld by each individual. One effective method for measuring the degree to which employees align with your values is by implementing the CoreScore™ system.

The CoreScore system provides a structured framework for evaluating employees' alignment with your CoreVals. By assigning a rating on a scale of 0 to 3, you can effectively gauge the extent to which individuals consistently embody and demonstrate your organizational values. This rating scale allows you to differentiate between employees who exemplify your CoreVals exceptionally well (green), those who may require additional support or coaching to improve their alignment (yellow), and individuals who no longer align with your culture (red).


By utilizing the CoreScore system, you gain a valuable tool for identifying employees whose scores fall in the red category, indicating a misalignment with your CoreVals. Once these individuals are identified, it is important to engage in personal conversations with them that focus on your organization's values. These conversations provide an opportunity to deliver constructive feedback and discuss potential transitions out of the organization, emphasizing that finding a better cultural fit is ultimately in their best interest as well.

One of the key benefits of the CoreScore evaluation process is its ability to eliminate personal bias and ensure that tough decisions are made based on objective criteria. By using this system, you demonstrate a commitment to upholding your CoreVals and reinforce their importance within the organization. This objective approach to evaluating employees' alignment with your values helps to cultivate a culture of excellence by ensuring that individuals who embody and champion your CoreVals are recognized and rewarded, while those who no longer align with the culture are given the opportunity to pursue a better fit elsewhere.

In summary, implementing the CoreScore evaluation system provides a powerful means of measuring and reinforcing your employees' adherence to your CoreVals. By utilizing this system, you can objectively identify individuals who require support or who may no longer align with your culture, engaging in personal conversations to address these issues and facilitate potential transitions. Through this process, you not only preserve a culture of excellence but also demonstrate a commitment to your organizational values and their significance within the organization.

Case Studies: The Power of Unhiring and CoreVals

At Waer Systems, we encountered a cultural misfit who started to undermine team dynamics. Despite being a competent performer, his negative attitude caused significant damage to morale and productivity. To address this issue, we initiated the unhiring process by discussing our CoreVals in a closed-door meeting. We revisited each CoreVal, allowing time for reflection and asking him if he resonated with these values. Surprisingly, he volunteered the idea of seeking a workplace that aligned better with his beliefs. This acknowledgment facilitated a smooth and amicable transition out of our organization, ensuring a mutually agreed-upon separation based on our CoreVals.

Read more Case Studies Here:


Developing a culture of excellence requires strategic focus on hiring, unhiring, and evaluating processes that align with your CoreVals. By incorporating these steps into your organizational framework, you promote a shared understanding of values, foster accountability, and enable the growth of individuals who thrive within your culture. Implementing Core People Processes and Core Workflows ensures that your team is composed of individuals who genuinely contribute to your organization's success. Embrace these steps, and you will create an environment where people enjoy their work, and your business can thrive. With a culture free from red CoreScores™, you can concentrate on activities that energize you and fortify your business, ultimately leading to long-term success.


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