How to Know Which Traditions to Keep vs. Which to Toss

The larger a company, the more likely it is to have multi-generational employees. A lot of workers are forgoing retirement until much later than the normal age of 55, for a variety of reasons. Some simply don’t have the financial safety net of social security or pension benefits to fall back on, either because they started saving too late or simply because of the increased cost of living. Others want to work because they enjoy the social camaraderie and bigger paychecks.

Meanwhile, keeping the new workforce relevant, engaged and interested in working also requires a strong company culture. In order to hire and keep the millennials and Gen-Xers interested, a company must incorporate relevant programs and systems that are more contemporary in values. As you might imagine, the struggle to maintain balance between the old and new is an ongoing topic for any business. There is often a gap between the “oldies” and “newbies” that is not only noticeable, but problematic in some cases.

Balancing Tradition While Blending New Methods and Technologies; Can This Be Done?

The importance of preserving tradition in the workplace is not about maintaining “status quo”. It is about connecting and bridging the gap between the baby boomers and the youth who are entering the workplace. By merging the new technologies and programs with the old, companies can satisfy the needs of all of the staff members on a broader scale, while creating a harmonious working environment.

Another reason to preserve the corporate traditions is for the benefit of the customers. Too many changes all at once can create confusion and discontent. There is nothing that will alienate customers faster than disgruntled employees, and after working so hard to build a brand that is rich in tradition, it would be a shame to throw it all away. Nevertheless, a company must evolve. The best way to provide balance is through training, implementing and by nurturing effective leadership. Teaching the management to pass on the most critical aspects of a company culture – while consecutively embracing the newer systems and concepts – is an ongoing process.

How to Know Which Traditions to Keep vs. Which to Toss

As far as knowing which traditions matter most, this can be done by using two methods.

  1. asking the employees; or
  2. asking the customers.

Both should be done subtly. You don’t want to alienate either of these vital aspects of your business, but there is value in their opinions. One way you could do this would be simply by asking for feedback. A straightforward approach makes employees feel included, whereas changes that suddenly appear might seem scary. Come outright in your approach. For example; “How do you feel about our traditional July cookout, do you feel that it should be changed?” or; “Our company is leaning toward a simplified method of networking online, how do you feel about that?” You could also ask which traditions are their favorite, versus which they care the least about. Their answers may surprise you! Traditions connect people and are very important in our very disconnected world!