What comes to mind when you hear the word “tradition”? Turkeys with all the trimmings? Opening day at Yankee stadium with your dad? Sunday brunch with your besties? Or maybe even this ditty from classic musical theater:
Our personal lives are filled with traditions – annually, seasonally, monthly, weekly, and even daily. And more and more, traditions are appearing in our professional lives as well. Workplace traditions are key to providing a strong sense of company culture and are often instrumental in building and maintaining colleagues’ job satisfaction. Traditions in the workplace are fantastic relationship building activities, morale boosters, and team energizers. Great ones are often highly anticipated and talked about for months after they’ve taken place, making them a wonderful legacy for your company.
One of my favorites here at Ovation Communication is our team dinners. They typically happen at least once a year and include all members on our team, and it’s usually when we’re gathered together to prep for a large upcoming project. I may see small groups of my teammates semi-regularly on business trips or Skype, but there’s nothing like getting to interact with them face to face. Like employees in most companies, Ovation colleagues are busy little bees, and the nature of our business often has us scattered all over the globe solitarily or in small groups. The team dinners give us an opportunity to mix and mingle – in person!
It’s also a much-appreciated opportunity for a “State of the Union Address” from senior leadership within the company. We get firsthand information about exciting news and upcoming projects, and reminders of the value of our work. Everyone on Team Ovation leaves these dinners stuffed to the brim with good food and drink, funny stories, and feeling inspired and reconnected to Ovation’s mission, vision, and values.
These events are not always easy to build, as they can require time, money, and organizational effort – resources that are often scarce in today’s companies. But they also don’t have to be complicated or elaborate. Something as simple as “Casual Friday” can go a long way toward strengthening your company culture. Consider them a worthwhile investment — that annual staff event you're thinking of canceling or overhauling may be a lot more important to your culture and employees than you think it is.
What are some of your favorite workplace traditions? Leave us a comment below to share.