Creating workplace traditions that stand the test of time
What will your employees say about their career experience years from now? Will they sit with friends and reminisce about exciting projects and notable accomplishments, or will they talk of seemingly endless hours that rolled into years of drudgery? Chances are good that if the friends are reminiscing with were co-workers, the conversation will be positive and upbeat.
Creating these types of memories is more important than it may seem on the surface. People—not products—are at the center of everything you do as a company (You wouldn’t be able to do what you do without them!) and as a conscientious employer you should be concerned about their overall well-being. In addition, word-of-mouth is as powerful a component in recruitment marketing as it is in your outbound marketing to potential customers, so you should do all you can to ensure that employees, both current and former—are talking you up and not down.
This is where the value of workplace traditions begins to shine. You cannot create relationships between your employees, but you can create environments where they happen naturally. When your employees begin to develop relationships with one another, they are more engaged, their performance is enhanced and the entire enterprise reaps the benefits.
Workplace traditions are not one-size-fits-all. For many companies the annual picnic or holiday party is a great way to facilitate connections. As committees are formed to oversee the various aspects of planning and preparation, relationships form along with them—many of which will outlast the tradition itself.
The bottom line is this: When it comes to creating traditions in the workplace, it’s not what you do that is most important. It’s that you do SOMETHING that is employee—not profit—centered, and you do it consistently. When you do, employees will be talking about their positive experiences for years to come.
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