TEDx Talk in Boca Raton

You may have heard me talking a lot about traditions in the workplace lately, especially since the TEDx Talk in Boca Raton in early May of 2015. In case you missed it, you can click here to watch it. Even after you realize the importance of preserving traditions in the workplace, you may wonder, well how can this be done?

These rituals are essential to keeping the workplace fun, as well as improving the quality of the work atmosphere while there. It gives employees something to look forward to! Plus, it helps to solidify your corporate brand and identity, helping your company to become “known” for something.

If you are ready to embrace this concept, but simply don’t know where to begin, here are 20 Fun Traditions you could apply or modify to bring into the workplace:

  • Days of the Week (or Month) Themes. Clash day, Bring your kid to work day, Pizza day, etc. or you can think of anything relevant to your organization to further develop these special days.

  • Create a corporate song/jingle. This could be a quick, 15-30 second, catchy jingle that will motivate and pump up the staff and that you sing or listen to every morning before starting your job.

  • Welcome tradition or indoctrination. Think of a tradition that your staff could do to welcome new employees; preferably something friendly or a type of indoctrination.

  • First day of the season celebrations. The first day of spring, summer, winter and fall could be an opportunity to celebrate, so think of a tradition that would remind your employees about these changes of season.

  • Birthday traditions. If you have a large company, it might not be feasible to celebrate birthdays every day, however, if you pass around a giant card and have everyone sign it, and acknowledge the employee’s individual birthdays with a gift card, this would be a great way to make them feel appreciated.

  • Non-profit of the month participations. Employees shouldn’t feel obligated to donate to non-profits; however some may have individual non-profits that they feel passionate about. At the beginning of the year, create a calendar of 12 non-profits that you wish to help and invite employees to suggest ideas on how you can all raise money for each organization. Examples include walk-a-thons, flea markets, kids’ carnivals, etc.

  • Appreciation jar. You could encourage appreciation in the workplace with an “appreciation jar” and every time someone feels appreciation towards another employee they would put in a quarter. At the end of the month, give the jar to the employee-of-the month or think of a way to honor someone. Repeat monthly.

  • Summer cookout. If you are not into the corporate holiday parties or perhaps your business is too busy during this time, organize an annual “outside of work” day that people can bring their family members. This is a great way to build a tight-knit workforce.

  • Spiff bonuses. “Spiff” money is a slang term for cash that is handed out the same day. If an employee meets a certain goal or milestone for that day, they would receive cash rewards. This is especially encouraging for employees who are money motivated, rather than having to wait for their paychecks. It gives them a reason to work harder in between paychecks.

  • Company hike once a month. Nothing makes people work together better than to experience some kind of a field trip together, so you could make it a hike, festival, bike ride or whatever is most appropriate for the type of people who work for your company.

  • Have a “Flop of the Week” award. It may seem counterproductive to reward failures, but this is not true. Laughing about errors can be a good way to teach everyone what to do and what not to do, so the “flop” should be something that reminds them about the flub. For example, you could have an ugly doll that gets passed around to the winner of the “Flop of the Week” and the employee has to keep it in a prominent place on their desk all week until it goes to the next person.

There are so many different traditions you could apply to your own organization, and it is a good idea to integrate as many as possible. By doing so, you will build loyalty, trust and commitment to your workplace. Your challenge: Assess your current and commit to developing one new impactful tradition within the next 30 days. The kind that puts you in a class of one! One of my favorites is The Holiday Inn, Panama City, Florida: The hotel involves its customers in a fun tradition. The hotel blasts “The Circle of Life,” the memorable song from the musical The Lion King, at 11 a.m. daily to wake the annual influx of spring breakers. The marketing director says when they first tried this in 2012 they didn’t dream it would become so wildly popular. Yet today people make sure the tradition continues before booking a room. That may be a bit over the top for a staid office, but a musical shot of adrenaline shouldn’t be dismissed, either.