At The Physio Co (TPC), we tell stories of how our core values are being lived in as many conversations as we possibly can. Stories are such a powerful way to share information, praise, reflect and learn.
A few weeks ago, a TPC Team Leader told me this wonderful story of connection and living of our ‘Think Big, Act Small’ core value from TPC team member, Kate.
Kate, a TPC physio, had been working with her client, Dot, at an aged care facility for quite a while. Regular physio treatments had been happening to help Dot stay as mobile, safe and happy as she could.
Over time, Kate had become close to Dot and they both loved a chat while they worked together on Dot’s goal of being able to walk well enough to leave the aged care home and go back home.
One day, during a physio session, Dot wasn’t very well, and was thinking ahead to what could be the future. Kate could tell Dot was doing it tough and decided to ask Dot about her goal they’d been working towards.
“Dot, what’s the first thing you’ll do when you get home?” Kate asked.
“I’ll have a cup of tea and a crumpet on my front verandah,” said Dot, with a smile.
A short while later, Dot peacefully passed away.
In the days after Dot died, Kate continued to do her job, visiting other clients in the aged care home to help them move better, exercise more, manage pain and achieve their goals. In the back of Kate’s mind, as she continued to help her clients, was Dot’s smile and goal of heading home.
To remember Dot and pass on the special moment that they had shared, Kate bought a packet of crumpets and some tea bags.
She knew that she would be seeing Dot’s daughter at least one more time, so she went out of her way to give the crumpets and teabags to her daughter. Kate explained Dot’s goal and asked her daughter if she would take a moment to have a cuppa and crumpet, at home on the verandah, to honour Dot.
The daughter loved it. Kate loved it. And I’m sure Dot would have loved it!
Show more love
This is a wonderful example of Kate living one of The Physio Co’s four core values. It also plays into a Culture Is Everything secret of ours: Show more love.
TPCers are all passionate about helping seniors stay mobile, safe and happy. From time to time, we do lose elderly clients as they become more frail and unwell. After such great human connection, this loss can be difficult.
Reflecting, remembering and sharing powerful stories like Kate’s help us to stay authentic and true to ourselves.
We keep every day fresh, authentic and energised by remembering our core purpose, drawing upon our rhythm of connection with each other and staying close to people: our teammates, clients and their families. Along the way, we capture stories, dreams, goals and challenges.
Every day at our brief team huddles, a one-minute story of a team member living a core value is shared. Positive stories of teammates getting great results and being recognised by their peers is fun, feels great and helps to focus everyone on what works. In fact, it was at one of these daily huddles that I first heard the story of Dot and Kate.
Growing a values-based organisation is about attracting more and more people who share the same values. The way those values are lived every day is what builds a strong culture. Importantly, the very smallest gesture that lives a core value can make the biggest impact.
Storytelling is, without doubt, one of the best ways to build and strengthen a strong culture. No matter how many stories you’re already telling, you can always tell more!