Bring on the turkey and mashed potatoes.
Table for 200, please. That’s exactly what we needed last Thursday when we gathered our entire Firespring family around one very long table at our headquarters to share a lunchtime meal and give thanks. It’s no small feat, but we’re pretty savvy, so we always find a way to make our celebration both festive and functional.
This is a tradition that goes way back to the early days of the company when there were just a handful of scrappy team members. We continue to hold it near and dear to our hearts, no matter how large our family grows.
Like most families on Thanksgiving, we enjoy delicious food, lots of laughter and ultimately, a food coma. Rumor has it that a few team members have been caught catnapping under the table after the feast. I can neither confirm nor deny.
Creating workplace traditions like this goes a long way in developing a great company culture—one that fosters a sense of loyalty among employees. Lest you think workplace traditions are a waste of time, here’s why we’d disagree.
Traditions create comradery.
That is if you plan them right. We don’t cater in our company-wide Thanksgiving meal, we potluck it. Culture Club provides the turkey and mashed potatoes while the rest of us provide sides of corn, stuffing, green bean casserole, salads, rolls, casseroles and, of course, desserts. We pig out just like a real 200-member family would, with savory and sweet homemade goodness. When everyone pitches in to make a tradition successful, people take ownership.
Memories create bonds.
When you bring back celebrated traditions in your workplace each year and create memories that will be dished about for months, you’re not “wasting time.” You’re developing a team.
People need connection.
To the past. To each other. To your company. Many of us spend eight hours a day connected to our computers, which may be necessary in this digital age, but I’d argue that’s not enough to keep your employees loyal to your company, no matter how large of a screen you provide. Traditions allow everyone to break away from the day-to-day routines and connect in person, something most people crave.
They also allow your people to connect to the past. Do you know how many conversations I’ve heard about the “old days” when “we had to cram 30 people around a table for four?” I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea: People love history. They love to remember the past—it connects them to something bigger than themselves.
We’re already planning for next year’s table configuration. How about you? Any workplace traditions you’ll be celebrating this holiday season?