Strong workplace cultures are built upon living a set of core values and sharing stories of those values being lived. Every day, new stories are created and it’s critical that those stories are shared. However, it’s often the stories from the very early days of a business that last the longest.
Recording, immortalising and retelling the stories from the start-up days of your business could be the most powerful way to build a strong culture (and it’s never too late to start).
At The Physio Co, each room in our South Melbourne support office tells a story from the early days. For example, ‘The George Garraway Room’ immortalises the memory of an elderly resident from the very first aged care home we ever visited (read the full story here). The John D Rockefeller Room tells the story of our commitment to simplifying our business and Mastering the Rockefeller Habits (full story here). Naming rooms is just one way to tell stories and bring the past to life.
This year, I’ve started writing a regular letter to each member of The Physio Co family that’s posted in the mail and sent to each of their homes. This letter is another great opportunity to tell stories from the early days. For example, in my letter that went out last week, I included this blast from the past:
From the TPC vault!
The line ‘We take the time to celebrate milestones & successes’ is part of The Physio Co’s core value of Be Memorable for lots of reasons. One of those reasons is that I love birthdays. Even more than birthdays, I love birthday cake! In the early days of The Physio Co, when I worked full-time as a hands-on physio in a heap of facilities, I’d find a way to sing happy birthday and eat cake as often as possible. There are so many milestone birthdays happening in aged care facilities and I tried hard to never miss an 80th, 85th, 90th, 95th or my favourite, the 100th birthday! So today, we all make sure we celebrate milestones and successes as often as possible. I sure hope you make time to sing your little heart out and share a special birthday moment with your residents whenever you can!
The Physio Co Museum is yet to be opened. However, every year we are collecting as much history as we can, including photos, old posters, logos, business cards, awards, T-shirts, name badges and anything else we can remember. One day we will immortalise it all in our very own museum. In the meantime, telling stories is one of the most powerful ways to remember the past and we do that as often as possible.
Strong cultures have legendary stories that are told over and over. What are you doing to capture your history?
Tristan White is a husband to Kimberley and a dad to little Alexandra. He’s a qualified physiotherapist, ironman triathlete, blogger and CEO of The Physio Co – Australia’s eighth Best Place to Work. His passion is to build a strong family and workplace culture and share what he learns with the world. Tristan’s Culture is Everything blog was ranked by SmartCompany as one of Australia’s 25 Best Business Blogs in 2011.