Christian Leborg
Work hard, play hard

Corporate rituals

Rituals happen in organisations to create a shared identity among the employees.

What do the rituals do to your company culture? Ceremonies and rites are the actions that happen in companies to create a shared identity among the employees. For the ones that do not know their culture yet, rituals may be a way to bring new members or external groups up to speed and into the fold.

Why is it important to instigate corporate rituals? The right rituals for the right occasion may stimulate emotions and reduce anxiety. Rituals can also reinforce desired behaviours among members of an organisation. Without rituals, a culture, or the brand of an organisation, will not be very strong.

How can you make a ritual? As a leader, you might find it timely to instigate a ritual at some point. When you do, it is important that you balance the social need for a ceremony with a task-oriented behaviour. Ceremonies might combine well with stories. What stories revolve in the organisation? What heroic figures do they contain? Can the stories be shared with new employees through rituals?

“New rituals are frequently invented in response to new circumstances.” —Susan Cain, author

When do organisations use rituals? We perform a ritual because the act in itself has meaning or because doing it make us feel better about ourselves, or both. The occasion with rituals may create some kind of emotional neutral ground where we permit ourselves to enjoy feelings or express emotions that we wouldn’t want to express in any other moments.

Who participates in the corporate rituals? Mostly employees or other members of an association participate in corporate rituals to strengthen their sense of community. Customers or other types of partners may also be invited to organisational rites if their trust and loyalty are of importance.

Where do companies use rituals? If we as professionals do not have occasions with rituals, we would be physically and emotionally isolated. Unfortunately, not all situations or places where a ritual would have had a function have a ritual. Then we need to find or invent new rituals.

My working life is full of rituals: the checking of to-do lists, the daily stint of social media, and of course the weekly munching of French pastry.

What kind of workplace rituals do you have?

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg

Christian Leborg is a visual communicator and branding consultant. He specialises in building brand strategies and brand identities. Christian has worked with several specializations within visual communication as well as teaching and being an author. Christian now works on his third stint as an entrepreneur.