Rituals at Work

Rituals at Work

Work rituals help structure our days, keep us grounded and on track, and give us cues that tell us when to “turn on” and “turn off” work. They can also be used to create and reaffirm workplace culture by forging bonds, reaffirming hierarchies, and creating community based on shared experiences.

Rituals can be a powerful tool for managers since they communicate on so many levels. It’s about paying attention and making the most of a particular moment. Think of the last time you were with a group and someone asked for a moment of silence. Wasn’t that a powerful experience regardless of the context?

What if you established a performance review ritual? How different would the conversation become if you started by sharing a thought on the importance of clear and open communication?

Consider establishing a team ritual if you don’t already have one. One company has a friendly internal competition where the winning team gets possession of a stuffed elephant mascot. As the elephant travels throughout the office, it inspires conversation and community, and reinforces their culture. While it may sound silly, that elephant still inspires positive feelings among former employees.

Rituals do not have to involve a lot of time, but they do take thought. How can you use ritual to help yourself—and others—thrive in your workplace?

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