by: Scott Kroh
One of the keynote speakers at this month’s Arkansas SHRM HR Conference & Expo was JetBlue Airways Board of Directors member Ann Rhoades. Ms. Rhoades has spent her career building what she calls “people-centric” organizations such as Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and DoubleTree Hotels.
The topic of her keynote presentation was her book called “Built on Values.” The book focuses on how companies can create a workplace culture based on values and performance. What resonated with me the most from what she shared is that values must be backed by behaviors, that you should recruit to your values, and whatever your culture is make sure to be passionate about it.
One such example she shared was about a safety executive that had been hired by JetBlue Airways. At JetBlue, one of their stated values is safety. During the interview process he told them of how he had been let go by another airliner for “grounding” a plane that had passed inspection, but in his judgement needed a follow up review before being released. He knew that such an action would result in his termination. However, he valued airline safety over his own employment. His alignment with one of their core values of safety and his extensive experience made him a great fit for their organization.
She shared several more great examples and stories of how to build a great company through living out your corporate values. I encourage you to read more about Ms. Rhoades here.