We all know that strong, cohesive teams are more effective teams. But work days are busy, and even though we know it’s important, it can be hard to dedicate time to team-building activities. This is where small rituals can have a big impact, and act as a kind of social glue to strengthen teams. Introducing the right kind of workplace rituals can boost engagement by providing a common set of shared experiences for employees to connect over.
Here are 5 of our favourite team-building rituals:
1. Set the Tone: Adding a new team member? Introduce traditions around how you welcome new employees. Go out for a meal as a group, decorate their desk with balloons and streamers, or circulate an email announcement that includes fun facts about themselves that your new employee has pre-approved for sharing with coworkers.
2. Take a Break: Take intentional breaks together to defuse stress, reconnect with team members, and refuel with a healthy snack or a warm beverage. These don’t have to be scheduled to be effective – notice tension in the office running high? Give everyone an opportunity to recalibrate by calling an impromptu team huddle over freshly baked muffins.
3. Makeover Meetings: Meetings are a great opportunity to introduce little rituals that support strong teams. After all, you’ve already got everyone in the same room, which is half the battle! Your culture will dictate what kind of ritual works for you, but we’re big believers in recognizing successes as a team. Kick off meetings by giving folks an opportunity to briefly share a highlight from the previous week.
4. Celebrate Milestones: On the same theme of celebration, incorporate opportunities to recognize personal milestones at work. We all spend a big portion of our lives at work, so it feels good to have important moments recognized by our coworkers. A simple way to start celebrating is to keep track of everyone’s birthday, and circulate a card for everyone to sign or leave flowers on their desk. In larger organizations, host monthly “Meet and Treats” and gather together to recognize that month’s birthdays and work anniversaries over a sweet treat.
5. Make Time for Play: The team that plays together, stays together. Start a rec sports team and join a league, sign up for a charity event and volunteer for a cause, or look up a community calendar and attend an event together on your lunch break. If your office is near downtown Victoria, there are free lunchtime concerts in Centennial Square on all summer – the perfect opportunity to gather up a crew for a team picnic!
Your Engaged HR Assignment:
Does your team use rituals to reconnect? Now’s the time to add a few team building rituals – choose an idea from our list above, or introduce your own! The important part is to create opportunities to connect as a team.