Rituals @ work
Every one of us has rituals, habits, manner or just little freaky behaviours. As society we have them as well, mostly linked to religious events such as the past Easter. But there are some other rituals that we keep close to our hearts, welcome flowers for new employees – welcome Anna to my team – farewell flowers for people that leave – an early good-by to Renate – or gifts for special contributions – thanks to the board for the nice gift voucher.
Why do I write about all that? -Yesterday I had my last day as president of the Swiss female entrepreneur association and Anna her first day at work for us as CEO.
When new people start or take over positions, we think of so many things that we need to share, information to pass or processes to be done. But do we also think about the rituals we have, the non-disclosed rules and attitudes we expect to be kept? Today is my first day in my new role as “just a member of the board”, the second day of Anna’s work and I’m already flabbergasted about all the things I have not thought of that will have an impact for her – AND most of them are no where written down.
As an organisation we hardly ever talk about rituals, we say: “this is what we do” or we try to frame processes, write guidelines and establish best practices. But the winning game are in the “humans” rituals: the hello in the morning, the going together for coffee or lunch, the smile @ work or the goodbyes at the end of the day. Every team, every organisation has those rituals, let’s be aware of them, especially when new people are joining our environments. Let’s make the entry point easy for newcomers, let’s be open and share what we know about the “how” and not just the what. Elude the big picture before picking on details. Show around, introduce and be there for questions to be asked and not only download “things” that are important for you. Inspire the mind and do not overload – an advise that I have to take on as well with Anna in the next few weeks. Kathrin