At my business 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.
(You can read more of Kate's story here or listen to me retell it in the video below).
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.
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!
Storytelling to build a strong company culture.
How do you do it?
Here's an example of a story that we use at the The Physio Co that's really struck a chord. One of their team members, her name is Kate and she's a physiotherapist who works with elderly people to help them stay mobile, safe and happy in aged care homes, retirement villages and people's own homes.
Kate was working with a resident, an elderly resident by the name of Dot. Dot was a lovely person who had this goal of being able to leave the nursing home she now lived in and head home to the house that she used to live in - to spend some time checking it out, remembering the good times and just enjoying the old neighbourhood she used to live in.
So twice a week, Kate and Dot were doing physio sessions together to work towards this goal of Dot heading home. Now one day, Kate and Dot were working together in one of the physio sessions and Kate noticed that Dot wasn't as energetic as she sometimes is, so Kate decided to lean in to the goal and asked Dot:
"What's the first thing you're going to do when you get home to your house, Dot?"
Dot stopped, she thought and then she looked back at Kate. She smiled and she said:
"Kate, the first thing I'd do is head to the kitchen, put on the kettle, boil it, make a cuppa, cook a crumpet and then head out to my front verandah to enjoy my cuppa, my crumpet and watch the world go by."
Kate could just picture her doing just that.
They continued to work together for a while after that conversation but sadly Dot did get pretty crook. She ended up with a stay in hossie (hospital) and then she did, sadly, pass away.
Afterwards, Dot's memory was very strong for Kate. So Kate went to the shops and she got a packet of crumpets and a box of teabags and she found a moment to cross paths with Dot's daughter and passed on the crumpets and the tea bags and she asked if Dot's daughter would go home and enjoy the moment just like Dot had imagined on the front verandah. Dot's daughter loved the memory and the connection.
Kate loved the connection and the conversation that happened and I'm sure Dot would have loved it too.
This story was captured by a member of The Physio Co family who nominated Kate for living our core value of think big, act small.
Kate, after the nomination on our intranet (TPC online), received an email to say that she'd been nominated which put a smile on her face. She then was nominated and won one of our MVP awards, Most Valuable Person awards, at The Physio Co's 14th birthday party. The story then went out in TPC Talk, our monthly newsletter, and just today, it's been published, this very story of Kate and Dot is being published on thephysioco.com.au to share the great work of Kate and the value being lived of think big, act small.
All those ways of capturing and sharing stories is the way that we use storytelling to build and reinforce a strong culture here at The Physio Co.
Hope it helps. Have a great day!