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Still standing after 15 years

We StandUP every day at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), because we value building culture, improving communication, and extending our mission. Quite literally, we stand up together for a brief, 10-15 minute meeting called StandUP - offered on every shift, every day, for all employees. For 15 years we’ve committed as an organization to this practice of gathering daily to reignite the passion of our work’s purpose and to lift each other up in prayer. 

It’s 8:58am and we glance at the clock, wrap up what we are doing and head to StandUP. The team gathers in a circle, exchanging greetings before the day’s StandUP leader calls the room to attention and welcomes everyone. A common script used all across PHS guides the conversation, connecting to core values and sharing community news and celebrations.

Each StandUP is a bit different depending on the nature of the team and the personality of the leader, but a common practice at PHS is to close with a verse of the day (today’s is  from Psalm 33), and an invitation for prayer requests. This is one of the touching and unique facets of our Christian culture. Every day, beyond discussing activities for the day and other departmental updates, employees are invited to share what is on their hearts. It might be remembering a resident who passed away and praying for their family members. It might be prayers for a niece or nephew facing a new cancer diagnosis. It might be learning that a teammate is expecting and sharing in their praise and joy. Even when nothing is said, it is a time to acknowledge that we each bring our whole selves to work, and that we can provide compassion to those we serve only when we receive compassion from one another.

Engaging in our mission, vision and values—every day
Part of the purpose of StandUP is to reinforce our culture by communicating our mission, vision, and values in tangible ways. Each week we highlight one of the five PHS values: Christian Ministry, Ready & Engaged People, Operational Integrity, Service Excellence and Stewardship. It can be easy to lose sight of work’s purpose when we get caught up in the whirlwind of the day. So we dedicate these 10 to 15 minutes to remind ourselves of the greater purpose of our work and the older adults we serve.

Shelly Pastrano, Creative Services Director says, 
“The most meaningful part of StandUP to me is that it sets the foundation for the work I do each day. I am reminded that we are all here to serve together, we serve a larger purpose – to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we work to enrich the lives of those we serve, and we are part of an organization that keeps employees fully informed about what is happening internally and throughout our communities.”  

StandUP group in prayerSharing celebrations and struggles
AmyJo Powers, Regional Director of Operations, describes the multi-faceted impact of this daily meeting:
“Daily StandUP at PHS makes a positive impact in my day, every day. The blessing of time to join together in contemplation of new ideas, celebration of birthdays and anniversaries and give visibility to the needs and sorrows of my fellow PHS family gives me a greater sense of connectedness at work, more than any place I've worked before. Daily StandUP validates my calling to work in this ministry serving older adults alongside so many other exceptional people.” 

Inspired by The Ritz Carlton
PHS adopted the practice of StandUP based on The Ritz-Carlton company’s daily meeting called “Line-Up.” The Ritz-Carlton won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice due in part to this daily meeting and its lasting impact on employee engagement and organizational culture. We took this model and tailored it to fit our non-profit and faith-based ministry. Although some things have changed since we established this practice 15 years ago, StandUP allows us to connect with one another in a real way every day.

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