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Workplace celebrations: much more than fun

02 August, 2016

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Date of Publication: 02 August, 2016
We all know that workers are, first and foremost, human beings. What we often fail to do is act on the deep needs of the humans that ultimately make a company prosperous. Research has shown how ceremonies and rituals impact on performance of athletes and managers alike, because they respond to these needs. Needs that we all share:

We need structure

Work days can be chaotic - thanks to either clients, colleagues, or the very nature of what we deal with. Personal rituals as simple as coffe breaks provide patterns for otherwise shapeless, run-by-circumstance days.

On a company level, there can be entire months (even years) when everyone is working hard but process gets lost. That’s when the hard-working people risk feeling lost as well. Company rituals create structure and give a sense of direction, helping employees feel at home even during the most uncertain of times.


We need rhythm

Even when everything is doing fine, we perform better if we follow the beat. A slow beat when we need to think, a tighter one when action is required. Energy and focus both come from rhythm: ceremonies and rituals convey this rhythm, preventing motivation from drifting away.


We need acknowledgement

A business victory, a change of management, a long-lasting hard time - doesn’t matter wether or not “everyone knows”: a publicly staged acknowledgement helps strengthening bonds and values, be it for a celebration or to prepare for a change of pace.


We need meaning

Employees do not come to work every day only to make a living. They might like what they do, or feel proud to have a respectable job. They often have career plans. Perhaps they even share the company’s goals.

They’re mostly there for reasons that go beyond their paycheck, just as your company does not exist solely to make money. Meaning is a key factor in successful ventures. A proper ceremony - such as a launch event for the company Vision and Values - is a great way to remind everyone why they are there, together.


Incorporate ceremonies in your company culture. It’s a proven way to channel emotion and energy, the core assets that no successful corporation can do without.

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