Capturing the Essence of a Time-Honored Culture

NICH offers a wide range of services tailored to meet any company’s exact needs and individual goals. Here’s an inside look at how we created a customized approach for the nation’s oldest homebuilder to memorialize, define and articulate their established culture.


Based in Atlanta, GA, PulteGroup is the oldest national homebuilder and has revenues exceeding $10B. With over 5,500 employees, they have one of the most engaged workforces in the world (top 5% globally – Gallup).

They are a certified “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work Institute. Never getting complacent and always looking to improve, Pulte reached out to NICH to assist them in the most comprehensive culture initiative in their history.

When we met the CEO of Pulte, we knew immediately that he was a business leader that just gets it. Throughout several of our first one-on-one conversations, he talked about the power of their culture – and how it was built around their employees caring so much about what they do. This became the foundation of our strategy, informing our process every step of the way.

Through comprehensive discovery, NICH came to understand the intricacies, beliefs and common behaviors of Pulte culture. With this knowledge we helped Pulte develop an authentic and unique Culture Story. One that reflected the real experience of the Pulte employee and delivered through our creative storytelling capabilities.


After almost 70 years of business, Pulte’s culture was stronger than ever. It was centered around their founder and everything he had believed in, stood for and wanted for the company. But they realized they didn’t have a way to describe their culture easily. They also weren’t able to articulate the business strategy to their employees in a way they could understand. With continued growth and a new generation of employees joining the company, it was important to not only feel and live the culture and business strategy – but to capture and record it somewhere more concrete.


To identify key behaviors and analyze beliefs across the company. To use this comprehensive view to develop a complete Culture Story (Purpose, Vision, Guiding Principles) and bring the business strategy to life for everyone who works there. To create messaging that’s memorable, relatable and woven into every aspect of their culture. It must be sustainable, scalable and adopted by the people as their own. After all, this isn’t an “event” – this is who they are and where they’re going as a company.


Our approach was centered around a comprehensive discovery strategy that led to
250 hours of meaningful conversations, storytelling and discussions with more than 100 employees of varying tenure, location and career level. Through individual interviews, panel discussions and focus groups, we gained a deep understanding of the common behaviors and beliefs of the employees at every level.

From there, we started developing their unique Culture Story. This is when we were able to take everything we learned to develop critical concepts like their Purpose, Vision, Guiding Principles and Organization Priorities. We also created a 28-page Culture Manifesto that clearly articulated everything that made the company special – not only from the perspective of their employees, but from their leaders. And that’s just the beginning.

The final work serves as the foundation for how the company communicates to its employees now and in the future. Through our Culture Messaging Sustainability Roadmap, NICH identified how to incorporate the Culture Story into every touchpoint of the employee lifecycle. Pulte is currently on a three-year strategic plan that includes talent acquisition, training & development, new hire onboarding and a variety of other internal communication pieces – all copywritten and designed by our Creative Services team.


When it came time to share the Culture Story, the CEO wanted to deliver it to every employee across their 28 divisions personally. He wanted everyone to hear it directly from him – which also allowed him to hear employee feedback and reactions firsthand. We worked with the CEO to make this happen by working on a script, including personalized stories from his background that brought each culture concept to life. We then turned these stories into a robust creative presentation, which he expertly delivered in-person to every single employee in the organization.

Making this initiative more than an “event” was a priority identified from the beginning – so this couldn’t just be a presentation from the CEO. To do this, we worked closely to develop a three-year strategic plan to integrate these concepts into the total employee experience. A significant part of that plan included empowering local leadership to make the Culture Story their own by providing a toolkit to be used at the local level:

Local leaders were provided with a step-by-step guide to the toolkit. This included several turn-key options – from how to deliver an all-encompassing presentation, to just key parts of it.

To personally set up the entire process and convey the meaning behind the work in a way that every employee would understand. The script was meticulously matched to each component of the presentation.

To visually unveil the Culture Story using a custom-designed presentation built with storytelling as a focus.

To build excitement and add dimension to the messaging through two professionally-produced videos (“Our Purpose” and “Our Guiding Principles”), written and directed by NICH – both featuring the CEO and his commitment.

More than just a presentation, opportunities to empower the employees in the process through thought-provoking exercises.

A complete digital library of all branded graphics, icons and imagery to be customized at the local level for future communication materials.


Now the culture is accessible for employees and potential candidates to see, touch and understand. In the case of Pulte, it keeps the legacy of their founder and the very essence of who they are in a safe place that anyone can refer back to.

Through leadership engagement and feedback, we’ve learned that the entire company has rallied behind the Culture Story. Not only is it a true representation of their feelings towards and experiences with the company, but it’s a living testament that they belong to something special.