Office Rituals – Good or Bad for Office Culture?
Rituals bind people together and have been around since the beginning of human development. So, it only makes sense that they arise somewhat naturally in an office environment as well. Company rituals have pros and cons – let’s take a look at how they affect office culture.
Workplace rituals have a huge impact on office culture, and using them wisely can certainly be to your benefit. People want to share experiences, it’s what connects them. In addition, research shows that company rituals encourage higher functioning, more engaged employees. So if you’re looking to create a super tight knit staff, developing some rituals may be the ticket. Plus, these activities are fun!
- Morning coffee in the break room
- Weekly lunches
- Birthday celebrations
Rituals bond people together, but they can also create a separation between those who are involved in the activities and those who are not. If only one department goes to lunch together regularly, it could be seen as overly exclusive. As a result, people feel left out. It’s critical to make sure that all staff feels like they can participate. You don’t want to inadvertently establish an “us versus them” mentality.
Be mindful about the impact of cancelling events as well. People become accustomed very quickly to these bonding experiences, and suddenly removing or changing them damages trust. Once you start an activity, try not to let it fizzle out. Birthday celebrations are a great example. Don’t fall off the wagon half way through the year and ignore anyone with June-December birthdays. That would not be good for morale!
Whether it’s a weekly lunch or project ending celebration, these rituals create a team bonding experience. They serve the same basic purpose now as they did 1000 years ago. Acknowledging and continuing existing rituals or creating new ones depends on the office culture you would like to cultivate. Most of all, keep in mind that inclusion is key for the workplace. Rituals can have a positive effect if executed properly!