Organizations can benefit tremendously from rituals for work and some have already done so. Those who haven’t are overlooking effective and inexpensive tools to help employees bond and instill a sense of belonging at work.
What’s more, at a time when connection, purpose, and values are central to attracting and keeping the best talent, work rituals are only gaining in significance. The challenge is how to create meaningful rituals for work. For many companies – especially those with distributed or hybrid models – it won’t be as simple as mandating a Swedish-style fika.
Mentessa is an innovative learning platform which has helped organizations from diverse fields and of different sizes introduce effective work rituals. Mentessa’s approach is to focus on connection and make group activities effortless and fun. Read on to find out more about how to supercharge your organization by introducing powerful rituals for work.
Work Rituals: How Effective Are They?
There is a good reason why rituals have been an essential part of human civilization for centuries. Social rituals provide emotional comfort, support group cohesion, and connect people to their ancestors.
Work rituals are no different. They can imbue everyday tasks with special meaning and promote unity. Consider the findings of this recent study, which measured how the simple act of performing a regular group activity – like firing a toy gun to mark the successful conclusion of a project – affected employees’ perceptions of how meaningful their work was. It turned out that participation in group rituals lead to an 16 percent increase in how work was perceived. In addition, the scientists from Harvard Business School and several other leading US universities discovered that rituals for work increase organizational citizenship. These are behaviors that benefit colleagues and the company, which staff do out of their good will. In other words, employees who participate in meaningful work rituals are willing to go way beyond their formal job descriptions.
Some companies may already be benefiting from rituals without knowing it. For example, it is not uncommon for colleagues to have lunch together on a particular day of the week. Such routines unite staff and make work more enjoyable. Smart managers and leaders notice them and find ways to support and scale them.
And here comes the challenge for remote and distributed workplaces. For employees who are working from home or in offices thousands of miles apart, bonding with colleagues is not as easy as stepping out for lunch every Friday. Group cohesion is already a challenge for organizations which rely on remote work and the paradox is that while they will likely find it more difficult to introduce engaging work rituals, they are the ones that most need them.
Mentessa’s Work Rituals
Mentessa helps organizations engage and train employees through a number of interventions, including work rituals. The AI-enabled platform offers a menu of pre-existing automated rituals which can be launched with just one click. Below are some examples:
- Happy Hour: How about inviting people to a virtual happy hour in which the only thing on the agenda is meeting colleagues? This ritual matches participants at random and is very useful if many new people have joined the team recently, or if the goal is to build connections across the organization. Such kinds of impromptu interactions should not be underestimated. They can generate many creative ideas.
- Skills Matching: As the name suggests, this ritual matches employees in a manner that supports peer learning. The matches are created by Mentessa’s algorithms using data from employee surveys. Once a pair is matched, they collaborate for a month, and then it is time to work with new colleagues. Typically, each employee is matched with three colleagues over the span of three months. This ritual harnesses the power of collaborative learning, connecting those who want to obtain a new skill with subject-matter experts within the company. Compared to hiring outside trainers, this approach is faster, more cost-effective and provides knowledge derived from the specific context of the company.
- Mentor Matching: Learning from a great mentor and mentoring others are two of the most satisfying and transformative workplace experiences. In the past, only a select few had access to mentoring programs, but now, thanks to Mentessa’s unique mentor matching algorithms, an organization’s entire team can benefit from mentorship. Typically, mentors and mentees are matched for a period of six months – enough time to transfer essential skills and knowledge without participants getting bored.
- Event Matching: Many companies still invest in special events, and with good reason. An engaging event can motivate staff and get them to interact socially. Very often, however, people just keep close to colleagues they already know well. In addition, functions can be awkward and even stressful for introverts. One great way to ensure staff actually get to talk to new people is to organize one-time quick matching during live events. Employees are invited to fill in a poll and are then matched with coworkers, based on similarity or difference – depending on the goals management wishes to achieve.
First Steps with Mentessa’s Rituals Work
How to launch Mentessa’s work rituals? Easy: the first step is to schedule the ritual, choosing its frequency and timing. Then comes the decision on how to match participants. For example, if the goal is to encourage staff from across the organization to connect and communicate, random matching may be a great option. If skills transfer is the goal, participants may be matched based on interests and expertise. Further, reducing the administrative burden, each ritual in the Mentessa rituals grid comes with a set of automated emails that guide participants in the process.
Advantages of Mentessa’s Rituals for Work
Mentessa’s overall solution provides a guided framework for structured company interactions, and its work rituals are no different. Their goal is to make connecting with others fun and effort-free, laying the foundation of a connected company culture. Sometimes the goal of the interactions is to promote peer learning and sometimes – to create social ties and balance out the isolation and alienation of the distributed workplace. Here is more about the features of Mentessa’s rituals and their benefits to organizations:
- Fully automated matching saves HR teams time and effort
- Rituals create bonds where they would not have otherwise existed
- Frequent exchange among staff accelerates learning and promotes lifelong learning
- Consistent pattern of interaction and transparency of the automation parameters helps to communicate company culture and inspire belonging at work
- Flexibility allows companies to create their own rituals to fit their unique culture and needs.
How Flexible are Mentessa’s Rituals?
As mentioned already, one key feature of Mentessa’s solution is the possibility to customize it to fit clients’ unique needs. This makes sense considering how different organizations have different sizes, structures, habits and routines. Why shouldn’t they have unique rituals, right? Regardless of whether clients opt for the rituals already available in the Mentessa rituals grid, or use the platform to create unique group activities, or combine both approaches, what matters most is to offer staff the opportunity to participate in workplace rituals consistently. This consistency is the key to providing the space for interdisciplinary connection and creativity, which are so needed in today’s workplace.
To find out more about Mentessa’s rituals for work: