Bringing out the values of an home for elderly people on the basis of self-observations

Initial situation

What makes you feel good at work? Spontaneously, you will tell me: “I need respect, mutual trust”. These are indeed some examples of basic and perhaps even universal needs. Together with the team from Béthanie, an EMS in the Lausanne region, we organised a one-and-a-half day workshop on the institution’s values.

How it happened

In order not to fall into this trap of hollow values, we gave them a rather amusing challenge: “To your logbooks and cameras! You’ll be the ethnographers for a few weeks! »

There is nothing like self-observation to reflect on the true meaning of our actions! The Béthanie team thus photographed and recorded little moments of their daily life that did them good. We met to exchange these photos and information gathered in the field. Commonalities between each person’s stories quickly emerged.


When what affects the gardener resembles the observations of the cook, the HRD, the nurse, or even the director, it means that we have identified fundamental values for the institution, those that make us work with heart.

In a second phase, these fundamentals could be written in more detail while keeping a touch of concreteness thanks to the images collected. The exercise can now be replicated within the institution to complement, reinforce and underpin the values now identified.

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