Birkman logo Get Started


Utah Valley University (UVU), a public university in Orem, Utah, faced several challenges related to employee development and organizational effectiveness. When pinpointing the challenges, the staff realized there was a lack of training and professional development programs, and employees were reactive in their approach to problem-solving. Ultimately, this led to missed opportunities for improvement and inefficiencies.  

The university’s People and Culture department recognized the need for resources to help employees be proactive in their decision-making, increase their emotional intelligence, enhance their leadership skills, and grow both inside and outside of the organization. The department also needed a consistent tool for professional development, leadership development, and employee relations.  


In 2019, UVU set a goal to enhance its organizational efforts. To achieve this, the university hired a human resources professional certified in The Birkman Method to provide strategic leadership, planning, and operational direction within the organization. The People and Culture department started implementing Birkman among university staff, with three individuals becoming Birkman Certified Professionals. 

Birkman is used for the development of: 

Individual Contributors 

UVU utilizes Birkman to enhance self-awareness. Individuals have three frameworks to choose from: debriefing, consultative conversation, and focus discussion. The debrief framework helps employees understand their motivations. Discussing interests allows employees to see if their job aligns with their interests and if not, how they can avoid burnout by leaning into interests in their personal lives. This discussion also helps employees expand their self-awareness by understanding their strengths, how to get their needs met to be most productive, and pinpointing what may cause stress to appear in their job role.  

Justine Gamble, HR Generalist for Communication and Culture, highlighted the importance of understanding employees' needs as an important aspect of Birkman's effectiveness. “Many other personality assessments like DiSC and Myers Briggs show productive and unproductive behaviors, but they don’t tell you why. Birkman’s bread and butter show productive behaviors, unproductive behaviors, and employees’ needs to be their best self—something important for our staff to understand.” 

The consultative conversation is personalized to cover a situation or scenario the employee wants to cover. The conversation coach pulls specific Birkman data that targets the scenario, helping the employee become aware of the behaviors they need to use to achieve the desired result.  

Lastly, the focus discussion allows an employee already familiar with their Birkman Signature Report to choose an area within the report to focus on. Because the conversation is based on specific insights and data, this helps an employee expand their self-awareness. 

Team Dynamics 

Teams and leadership teams undergo individual coaching sessions using the Birkman Signature Report to develop self-awareness skills. The sessions are followed by team building activities and team discussions using The Birkman Map to better understand the perceptions of others. Once the team building session is complete, a Birkman Certified Professional has a leadership coaching session utilizing the Birkman Comparison Report to analyze leader-team dynamics in various contexts, such as workforce planning, conflict resolution, and change management.  

Leadership Development 

The university's 11-month cohort program for 21 staff members incorporated Birkman by having each member experience a Birkman coaching session as well as three team trainings to develop emotional intelligence skills. The Utah Valley Senior Executive Leadership Forum assigns each staff member a mentor from the UVU cabinet, who serves as a Birkman resource to continue to develop their skills.  

Utah Valley University's strategic adoption of The Birkman Method has and continues to enhance the staff’s self-awareness, employee relations, team dynamics, and leadership effectiveness, driving positive organizational outcomes. 


Since implementing The Birkman Method at UVU, a neutral shared language has emerged among teams, leading to better communication and understanding. This language has permeated throughout the staff who have taken the assessment, leading to increased self-awareness and others’ awareness.  

Employees now have a clearer understanding of their own needs and behaviors, which helps them address causes of stress and allows them to be more proactive.  

“Once our employees understand their needs, they understand how to be more productive or what is causing unproductivity,” said Justine. “Birkman gives our staff concrete ways to have conversations to address the root cause of stress and go from being unproductive to productive instead of trying a bunch of things and hoping something sticks.” 

Team members have also recognized gaps in their understanding of their coworkers. Using Birkman terminology and data, employees have been more open and vulnerable, thus creating more meaningful conversations within the organization.  

Post-workshop and coaching conversation feedback surveys have shown positive results, with a majority of employees acknowledging the value of the insights gained. More than 87% of respondents feel that Birkman insights will positively impact their relationships with coworkers and direct reports, while 77% feel that the insights will help them with relations with their supervisor. 84% agree that their Birkman report gave them the words to explain their needs and behaviors to their coworkers and supervisor. 

Due to the high demand for Birkman among employees, Utah Valley University plans to implement a strategic, targeted approach for employees and leaders. This approach will allow individual contributors and leaders to request the use of The Birkman Method through an application process. Moving forward, the university aims to provide more targeted support to sustain the momentum generated by Birkman, ensuring consistent use of insights in daily interactions. The goal is to foster ongoing personal and professional development to avoid losing steam in the consistent development of leadership skills. 

Register for The Birkman Method Certification

Gain access to over 40 reports, including the Birkman Signature Report, and data-driven insights to improve your organization or consulting practice.

Register to Attend

Featured Resource

Nav Resource Panel Webinar

Watch the webinar on demand.

Learn how shifting from feedback to feed forward helps you develop talent in real time.

Watch Webinar