Traditions and rituals are great ways to add some fun and passion into the workplace on a consistent basis. They can be used to inject some energy and life into the workplace. Traditions help create a sense of shared history and team cohesiveness. They can help cement your workplace’s identity and even your brand. Traditions and rituals also give employees something to look forward to and something to reminisce about, which, according to happiness experts, are two things that can substantially boost happiness levels. Traditions also can help give employees a chance to flex not only their funny bones, but their creative muscles as well.
There’s one more reason to start a few great traditions in your workplace, and that’s simply that fact that traditions can quickly become habits. There’s nothing worse than starting a new initiative at work and having it fizzle out after only three weeks. Creating some traditions, on the other hand, help ensure some practices stick around for a long time.
Some of the best traditions are those that come about organically and spontaneously, like the “Golden Banana Award” that a Hewlett-Packard office started after a senior engineer once handed an employee the only thing he could find quickly to thank him for his hard work: a banana!
Similarly, my own speaking association has its annual “Passing of the Banana” ceremony wherein all the former past presidents pass a banana down the line to the new incoming president. The tradition began the first year of the association when the only object that could be found to honor and “knight” the incoming president was a banana. (Of course, not all traditions involve bananas. I’ve heard of some fabulous traditions involving oranges as well.)
But traditions can also be planned for and can also help your workplace achieve other goals at the same time. Rituals that celebrate certain milestones, for example, can not only become deeply entrenched parts of your organizations’ DNA, they also help ensure you stay committed to appreciating and thanking employees. Rituals that help you jump start your meetings also help ensure meeting participants show up on time and can help set the mood for a more open, relaxed and creative meeting. So look for traditions that can help you achieve another goal, but also look for opportunities to create rituals that are simply fun.
Here are just a few opportunities you might want to consider for creating a fun, creative ritual or tradition around in your workplace:
If you have a tradition or ritual in your workplace, we’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2011, Humor at Work. www.HumoratWork.com. Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame international business speaker, trainer and very funny motivational keynote speaker. His latest book is called, The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank.
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