The Power of Ritual
Don't Underestimate How Meaningful Habits Can Build a Powerful Project Culture
Rituals are all around us at work. Office parties and happy hours are obvious examples, and these certainly help form a corporate culture. But they are not the most essential culture-building components. It's the mundane daily rituals that are key to motivating and retaining employees: the way meetings are run and important decisions are made, how colleagues greet each other in the morning and when people are thanked for their work. All of these rituals can satisfy (or frustrate) project participants. In the project life cycle, we find rituals like signing a contract, kicking off the project, reaching a milestone and celebrating completion. In addition to marking important transitions, rituals can have social purposes such as improving team coherence, loyalty and commitment. They are in many ways a project's culture at its most tangible and are essential for maintaining structure and security in the mundane project life.