Why Workplace Traditions Matter

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Why Workplace Traditions Matter

The holiday season calls to mind the importance of traditions in our organizations. Unfortunately, many companies fail to recognize the significance of traditions in the workplace, yet they are just as important in our companies as they are in our families.

If your organization wants to leave a mark on its employees and create a captivating culture, establish strong traditions—including rituals, celebrations, and routines specific to your company. Traditions may be one of your most important legacies as a company and the key to a great culture.

Not only will they be talked about for years, but they:

  • Create something timeless to hold onto, honor, and continue
  • Build meaningful connections between employees and with your organization
  • Create a shared history, rich with stories and experiences
  • Bind people together, forge bonds, and foster a sense of belonging
  • Strengthen your organization's identity
  • Bring energy to the workplace; heighten morale; and create a positive work environment

For these reasons, look for opportunities to create meaningful traditions in your workplace.

While the best workplace traditions often emerge naturally, here are some ideas that you could use:

  • Host an annual all staff event or celebration, such as a company banquet, retreat, or outing.
  • Celebrate certain holidays together, such as an annual holiday party or Thanksgiving luncheon.
  • Bring employees together for quarterly team-building.
  • Establish a tradition that connects your organization's mission to a bigger purpose.
  • Develop a monthly or quarterly recognition and rewards practice.
  • Create traditions for on-boarding new employees.
  • Establish a tradition for recognizing staff anniversaries.
  • Create traditions for recognizing employees' birthdays and other personal milestones.
  • Do something special to commemorate your organization's founding date anniversary.
  • Establish a weekly tradition (i.e. bring your pet to work day, dress down day Fridays, breakfast-on-the-company Mondays, etc.)

In addition, know what current traditions in your organization are important to your employees. Retain the valuable ones, retool others, and over time, discard the less meaningful traditions.

At times, we may be tempted to let go of our long-standing company traditions to save money, reduce time, and/or just change things for the sake of change and doing something new and different. But, if possible, resist dropping your tried and true workplace traditions...because that annual staff event you're considering canceling or overhauling may be a lot more important to your culture and employees than you think it is.

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