Gold Awards Finalists: Why we love our team

Amy Black (Director)
Being a Director/Business Manager, what does being nominated as a finalist in the Gold Awards team category mean to you?
It is a great achievement for us, at Willis Street Physiotherapy, and something which I am personally very proud of as a director. Having moved from London to Wellington I really appreciate how much support and positivity there is in Wellington for small business, and what a great community it is to work in.
To be nominated in the team Gold category is a reflection of the work we have put into creating a strong team dynamic over the years, our business has always been about people, and getting things right with our own people has always governed our decision making.
What are some of your favourite qualities of your team at Willis Street Physio?
I love our team!  There is a really positive vibe that comes from everyone genuinely respecting and supporting each other. I think the fact we are in business to help and empower people helps create a good dynamic. Essentially people enjoy the work they do, and that shines through.
Gayle Snyders (Director)
What is the key to having a successful business?
Happy people! (that means staff and client, people enjoying the work they do, feeling free to explore their interests and clients getting the benefit of being helped by people who are passionate about what they do.)
Being able to go to sleep at night and know that the business you have created has stability, integrity and quality through it’s processes and its people.
What do you like best about working at Willis Street Physiotherapy?
The people and the ethos. I am so proud of the culture we have and the caring work environment that I believe allows us to work together in a collaborative way. We have a great diverse team, each person doing what they enjoy in life and continuing to be inspired by helping each other. I enjoy my business partners and all our staff and contractors and the opportunities I have to continue to learn and see growth and development in myself, in the business and in others.
Nick Conn (Director)
 What sets the Willis Street Physiotherapy team aside/ what is the key to running a successful team?
We are very lucky to have such and excellent team. The team includes people with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. For example the age of our clinicians range from early 20s to mid 70s. I think our team function well together because we have always valued the team and try hard to create a place which is enjoyable to work in. This includes facilities but also things like letting everyone determine how much they want to work rather than telling them their hours of work.
To build a good team requires the same skills as building good life relationships. We focus on values such as honesty, kindness, fairness and integrity. But we are also firm and quick to act when behaviors dont meet these values. I think that we do a good job of delivering on what we say we will do which builds trust.
We are good at letting our people be part of our decision making. We spend time with each team member looking at their career and looking for opportunities to develop a career pathway. As a service business our model relies on having good people who are enjoying their work experience and care about our customers.
What is your advice from experience to small businesses starting out re running a successful business?
The most difficult stage is when your business is very small – Willis Street was a 1-2 person business 10 years ago – and you are working hard to deliver services, market, fix the computer, pay the bills, manage cash flow and debts. It is very challenging to keep your head above water.
So my biggest piece of advice is to either set yourself up to be a small operator with low overheads and a simple business plan which is profitable; or plan from an early stage to be bigger which requires prioiritising business planning and strategy rather than getting bogged down in service delivery. A clear strategy which is reviewed and critiqued by a mentor regularly will make sure that over the years the business keeps evolving in a controlled way. Otherwise you will wake up one day, most likely the first work day in January, and be overwhelmed by the thought of another year of the same.
One final tip which has definitely been true in Willis Street’s case is having good people. We have been very fortunate to have retained a highly skilled clinicial and management team.

Erin Roxbourgh (Business Development Manager)

What made you want to work for WSP?
Firstly, for me, independence and autonomy are extremely important. If I am able to have both of these elements, I work well and can take control of my job and what I need to do. WSP offered me both of these. I chose to work for WSP because they allowed me to be myself in my work and the way I do things. Secondly, I have an incredible work-life balance, in fact my hobbies come into my role. I get to combine business and strategy with sport, health and fitness.  Lastly, the management are incredible at WSP. I always feel valued, I am allowed to speak my mind and be creative in role, and most importantly I feel trusted in the tasks I do.
Why do you think we work so well together as a team
We work well because everyone is allowed to be themselves at work. Not only that, but everyone is valued as individuals at WSP. The flat hierarchy at work also feeds into this. Everyone values the different skills sets people bring to the table.  Everyone makes an effort to get to know each other. We also have regular social events, and meetings which always bring the different sites and staff members together.

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