It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when employees feel like they are part of something, they contribute more than just positive energy. Their energy ripples throughout the entire framework of an organization and ultimately contributes to bottom-line profitability, even though the exact effect is mostly immeasurable. This is what’s known as employee engagement, and it’s the new watchword for human resources professionals who are doing more than just doing their job.
As every HR professional knows, a lot of time and money goes into finding and training the right person for a job. It seems that far less is being done to keep them, however, or at the very least, to keep them “plugged in.”
Even though the subject of employee retention tends to be a lot like a multilayered onion, one vital and often overlooked aspect of keeping good people on the job is using company traditions to connect employees with each other and with the company as a whole.
Whether traditions have been in place since the company’s beginnings or if they are newly instituted makes little difference; they are a great way to get people out of the doldrums of doing repetitive tasks. Traditions can create new interpersonal interactions and foster new relationships by bringing people together to work toward a common goal—and one that is different than the usual profit or quota-driven goal.
What traditions are maintained by your company? Do you have an enthusiastic company sports team with a history of incredible wins? Perhaps your traditional company picnic is the rallying point that employees look forward to all year, then talk about throughout the following year.
Do you value your company’s traditions as much as your employees do, or do they feel like an unnecessary expense? Can you see their importance in the longevity and growth of your enterprise? Should they be maintained, changed up or dropped altogether?
Perhaps it’s time to evaluate the effect and worth of your company’s traditions. Are they connecting or alienating your workforce? Are they creative and stimulating, or are they uninspiring and routine? Should they be revamped, reinvented or left alone?
Whatever your particular traditions may be, they are—or have the potential to be—the personal connection points that pave your company’s road to the future. Company traditions infuse life into an otherwise lifeless corporate world. They play an active role both in attracting new employees, and retaining the ones you have on board.
Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on November 18 for #Nextchat with special guest HR consultant, Tedx speaker and author Rita Barreto Craig (@RitaBCraig). We’ll chat about how workplace traditions can be created not only to engage talent but also to create an environment—a culture—that they’ll never want to leave.
Q1. What workplace traditions are enjoyed most by your employees and why?
Q2. Do you think that workplace traditions can help encourage greater employee engagement and retention? Why or why not?
Q3. What specific types of workplace traditions can employers establish to help connect employees and strengthen teams?
Q4. How can you ensure that your workplace traditions are diverse and inclusive and do not alienate employees?
Q5. What are the signs that an organization’s workplace traditions needs to be updated (or dropped altogether)?
Q6. Why is it important to update traditions instead of get rid of them?
Q7. What would you say is the return on investment for the workplace traditions in your organization?
Q8. Why is it important for HR to champion and maintain workplace traditions in organizations?