How To Improve Company Culture With Team Rituals

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happy company employees talking

If you're looking to learn how to improve company culture for your team, look no further than team rituals.

First things first, a ritual is defined as a series of actions or a specific behavior exhibited periodically and without questioning by someone.

These are actions performed by individuals or groups that bring meaningful and sometimes senseless but magical meaning into their experiences.

Rituals are powerful tools that can enable you to form a new habit and get rid of old habits, improve and build relationships, and bring about transformation.

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How to create team rituals to improve company culture.

Are there any rituals you follow at home in your personal lives?

You can probably think of a few examples. Maybe you light incense every morning. Or brush and floss before going to bed at night. How do your rituals impact your life?

Similarly, you may have some rituals at work.

Quite interestingly, research shows, rituals have a unique power to bring people together and give them a sense of purpose, connection, and meaning.

They can unite people and bring out deeper emotions, particularly in sports, politics, and religion.

You can harness this power of rituals in organizations in the corporate world, too. Rituals can shape the company culture.

The practice of creating rituals towards specific objectives is often an instrument or tool that is used in defining and shaping the culture of a team, department, or organization.

Intentionally or unintentionally, every organization creates and develops its unique culture. A business's culture affects the interactions between the various stakeholders, individuals, and parties that are part of the organization.

The culture is built by defining the company's vision, mission, and core values. However, rituals are one of the methods to execute it.

As a part of the organization's efforts to improve company culture and transformation, specialized training and consulting companies may help employees create practices for their teams for various reasons.

Here are 6 organizational goals of work rituals.

1. There's a new employee on board.

Assigning a buddy and a mentor can help translate and explain the company culture to a new employee, ensuring that they automatically start imbibing the culture.

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2. They want to improve connection across geographically dispersed offices.

Making sure that you start every virtual meeting with a quick video connection first can be a good ritual for this.

3. They want to facilitate collaboration among employees interested in similar areas but working in different areas.

Instituting clubs based on interests, for example, a book club in place with a specific theme. It helps people come together, get familiar, and interact with each other beyond work.

4. They're looking to maintain enthusiasm.

Work-life balance is important. Companies maintain enthusiasm frequently through a regularly scheduled happy hour or offsite visits.

5. They want to create a conducive environment for innovation.

Calling out someone for taking a risk or having a special award assigned for a failed decision could be one such ritual.

6. They look to set the right tone for meetings.

I've seen an example of this at a major multinational bank. Every session starts with answering a few questions on how each individual is feeling and what they want from the meeting.

Intensity vs. frequency

You can also choose the intensity and the frequency of the ritual based on your need.

A team that wants to take advantage of a yearly meeting at a beautiful destination could create a high-intensity, low-frequency routine as opposed to a daily ten-minute stand-up meeting as in agile.

Individual vs. group rituals

People can use rituals to achieve certain expected behaviors, both in individuals and teams.

As part of executive coaching, in the last part of a session, I may sometimes invite the client to think of a ritual that they would want to commit to, which will help them achieve their goal.

There are no right or wrong rituals. They are unique to all the members of the group and must be derived collectively. They have to work for the individuals and the group together.

Rituals can have a positive and powerful impact on the team's productivity and performance if designed effectively.

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Bhavna Dalal is a Master Certified Executive Coach MCC ICF, Speaker, and author of "Checkmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills, such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing and networking, women leadership, and so on. To read her writing which has been published in Forbes, Fortune, Economic times, and many more, and to know more about her work, visit her site and follow her on LinkedIn.

This article was originally published at Forbes India. Reprinted with permission from the author.