Key Team Rituals to Improve Alignment at Work

Key Team Rituals to Improve Alignment at Work
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Need to Boost Your Culture?  Use Team Rituals to Improve Alignment
Rituals, a sequence of activities including words and actions, are a feature of all human societies. Rituals reinforce the culture and traditions of a community — especially a business community. Within organizations, team rituals exist by design or by default.

Do you always begin meetings a certain way, celebrate wins with a traditional team lunch, or give bonuses at each five-year work anniversary? Those are your team rituals, and they can have a purpose. Why not adopt key team rituals to improve alignment at work?

Alignment at Work Research
Our organizational alignment research found that highly aligned companies grow revenue 58% faster and are 72% more profitable while significantly outperforming their unaligned peers in terms of customer satisfaction, leadership effectiveness, and employee engagement.  When we assess organizational culture, we measure team rituals related to employee attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs.   And those cultural team rituals matter.

In fact, culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.  If there’s a way to strengthen workplace culture by intentionally creating team rituals to improve alignment at work, what’s to lose? Team rituals can build shared identities, boost emotional connections, and reinforce positive behaviors.

4 Team Rituals to Improve Alignment at Work
Of course, it makes sense to reinforce current team rituals that are already in sync with your existing strategy and culture. If you are looking for more ways to use team rituals to improve alignment at work, here are four to get right:

  1. New Employee Onboarding
    Finding, hiring, and onboarding a new employee is time consuming and costly. And according to a recent Jobvite report, nearly 30% of employees quit within their first ninety days.  Misaligned onboarding practices do not set employees, or their bosses, up for success.The good news is that Forbes found that almost 70% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding process. Accordingly, new employee onboarding is one of the key team rituals to create alignment at work.  Purposely define and invest in what would ensure new employees feel welcomed and part of the team.

    Benchmark your new employee onboarding practices here.

  2. Celebrate Wins, Both Big and Small
    Most teams admit that they do not have an explicit strategy for celebrating big or small wins. And most high performers tell us that they feel like they do not have the time or support to stop and celebrate.  This is a mistake.Celebrating team success boosts team morale, promotes a culture of collaboration, and motivates higher performance.  Celebrating is a great way to highlight and value people’s contributions at work and a positive way to reinforce a clear line of sight between actions and strategies.

    Does your team acknowledge and celebrate successes, promotions, wins, collaboration, effort, results? If not, they should.  What’s your celebration strategy?

  3. Project Kickoffs and Close Outs
    A well-designed project kickoff is an effective way to set a project team up for collective success. It is also a great time to use team rituals to improve alignment at work in the areas of project team goals, roles, success metrics, processes, interdependencies, communication, and decision making.The same is true for project close outs. A well-designed project post mortem is a powerful team ritual to promote reflection, transparency, continuous learning, and accountability. Are you creating connecting and reinforcing team rituals around each and every project?  If not, you should.
  4. Team Meetings
    Our employee engagement survey data tells us that most employees think that meetings are a waste of time because they lack proper meeting planning and facilitation. And Bain & Co. reports that that almost 90 percent of executives are dissatisfied with meetings at their company.  Yet, team meetings are a great opportunity to identify, live, and reinforce team rituals to improve alignment at work.Invest the time to agree upon meeting guidelines for what you do before, during and after every team meeting.  Then only hold meetings for the right reasons, with the right people, with the right process.

The Bottom Line
Team rituals at work should be visible, relevant, consistent, authentic, and meaningful. They can also be fun. Work with your team to create team rituals that bring your workplace culture to life and align with your organization’s vision, mission, values, and strategic priorities.

To learn more about how to use team rituals to align your culture with your strategy, download The 3 Levels of Organizational Culture that Matter Most

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