Rituals at Work: Teams That Play Together Stay Together - Deepstash
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Work rituals

Work rituals

According to research by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Norton, participating in regular group bonding rituals, such as doing the Walmart Cheer or firing a Nerf toy gun to conclude a project, increased how meaningful employees judged their work by 16%.

Employees who engage in these rituals show better "organizational citizenship" and tend to go the extra mile for the company.


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Rituals take many forms

Rituals take many forms

Many group activities involve food, from community potlucks to global design firm IDEO’s tea time.

Group rituals have three core elements:

  • physical, such and specific words or actions
  • communal, meaning we're all doing it together at the same time.
  • psychological. It feels good to do this in the way we do it.


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How to create workplace rituals

Managers shouldn't start mandating daily chants or trust falls. To develop a group ritual with more meaning, consider using these steps:

  1. Observe. What are teams already doing? Watch, for example, how meetings get started.
  2. Keep it employee-driven. Look for ways to encourage employees to create their own team rituals.
  3. Provide resources. If team members tend to eat lunch together every Thursday, an employer can consider providing money for them to venture out regularly as a group.


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