The Power of Workplace Rituals

Workplace Rituals

Workplace rituals may be just what employees need to help reconnect and readjust back into the workplace after two years of the COVID-19 crisis. While rituals will vary and often unique to each workplace, research from Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton, found that having team building rituals led to a 16% increase in how meaningful employees judged their work to be. He also found that these employees place a greater value on the organization goals and are more likely to go the extra mile for the organization. Additional research shows that rituals help employees be more productive and feel happier when at work.

The Three P’s

In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Erica Keswin, bestselling author and workplace strategist, explains the “Three P’s” of workplace rituals. Keswin explains that by applying the Three P’s, leaders can better understand their own rituals, both current ones and those that have yet to be discovered.

  1. Rituals should help create psychological safety. The best way to do this is for leaders’ to be willing to model it. Be open and transparent with employees to let them know it is not only okay, but it is encouraged, that they be their authentic selves at work.
  2. Helping employees find purpose in an organization is critical to engagement and innovation. One way to do this is to ensure that a company’s values are clear, actionable, and widely distributed. Tying those values to key rituals is the perfect way to incorporate purpose into employees’ shared experiences.
  3. By regularly showing up and participating in these rituals, employees and leaders alike will see an improvement in their performance. When you feel like you belong, have a strong connection with employees and feel your work is meaningful, you are bound to see a boost in creativity, productivity and engagement.

Implementing Rituals

It is important to note that rituals can not simply be chosen and enforced. Take the time to observe what employees are already doing and brainstorm ideas for rituals that support your organization’s core values. You can also ask for feedback from employees and see what rituals might interest them or will help reduce stress levels. A few examples include:

  • A Mindful Start. This is where everyone takes a few moments each morning to practice mindfulness and mentally prepare for the day ahead.
  • Time to Connect. A weekly in person or virtual gathering where teams can catch up on out of the office events, personal successes or struggles, and ask for support if they need it.
  • Yoga Lunches. Either daily or weekly, set aside 20 minutes during lunchtime for everyone to practice yoga. You can hire an instructor or follow along with a YouTube video, but either way this is a great time for employees to relax and stretch out.

The ideas for workplace rituals are endless! Using the tips above, we are confident you will be able to create the perfect workplace rituals for your organization.


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