Rituals

Rituals are any activities or habits your team employs to foster culture, collaboration and connectivity. Below are just a few of our favourite rituals developed by Cosmic Centaurs and our community.  

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Community

Meet the Pets

Our team has a slack channel called 'CosmicKitties' where we post photos of our pets (those who started the channel happened to all have cats at home). One quick, easy ritual to create a more cohesive team is to dedicate a channel or thread for people's pets. It's a good way to get to know who is keeping your colleagues or classmates company at home. And let's face it - everyone loves sharing photos of their furbabies so this ritual will create a time and place for it making sure that the WhatsApp group isn't spammed with photos of your manager's parrot Ruby.

Community, Remote Learning

Hometown Trivia

Ask students or colleagues to share 3-5 unusual facts or fun stories about the city or country they are from that are not commonly known. It is a good way to learn something new. You will improve your understanding of the place and cultural environment where your team members and students are from/live. You may also ask them to prepare and share a one-page slide or short presentation that will include a map of their favorite places in their place and relevant pictures.

Community, Onboarding

Two Truths & A Lie

This activity is a great ritual to wrap up a busy week, start a workshop or introduce a new joiner. The idea is simple, ask people to come prepared with three facts about themselves, two of which are true and one is a lie. When it is a person's turn, the group has to guess which of the three facts are false. Individuals will get creative and share something about themselves that others may not learn otherwise.

Performance, Innovation

Praise Wall

Highlight good work or valiant efforts of your team members on a praise wall. This can be a slack channel or a weekly email thread commending employees on their achievements. A Praise wall will uplift morale, encourage performance and support a positive, nurturing work culture.

Onboarding

A Personal Welcome

A simple and easy way to make new employees feel at home is to send a short and personal welcome email. Sent before they join or on the eve of their first day, these messages are a great way to show you care about new joiners and that you are excited about having them on board.

Community, Performance

Grow Day

HubSpot hosts an annual #GrowDay for customer-facing employees. These teams spend a full day disconnected from their work and instead, invest their time in personal and professional development. HubSpot hosts sessions for employees to learn about and up-skill themselves in areas such as negotiation, consulting and inclusive leadership. This year, the remote off-site was orchestrated around 25+ time zones from around the world!

Performance

Retrospectives

A great way to make sure we learn from both the great and not so great aspects of our teamwork is to have a bi-weekly retrospective where the team can share the best and worst parts of working together. A good framework for this conversation is to list the things that as a team we should stop doing, start doing, or continue doing with clear action points for the next cycle. Check out our insights for more on retrospectives.

Onboarding, Community

Welcome New Employees

Find a special way to welcome new employees, beyond the usual introduction email. Assign a buddy to help them navigate the company. Invite team members they will need to interact with to a (virtual) lunch on their first day. Send them a t-shirt or a plant to make them feel part of the family.

Performance

Ring a bell

Remember to celebrate when something positive happens. A project being delivered, a new client, a milestone reached can all be good occasions to celebrate. You can do that by literally ringing a bell or you can design a proprietary emoticon that you use in your slack channel to make a happy announcement!

Innovation

Lunch & Learn

Lunch and learns are a great way to promote knowledge sharing and improve presentation skills. The idea is simple, a team member creates a presentation about any idea and presents it to teammates. Topics can be related to the nature of work, or of an entirely different subject.

Remote Learning, Community

Virtual Karaoke

If we're being completely honest, Karaoke is best enjoyed in-person, but there can be something very creative about virtual karaoke. Assign a song to every participant or let them choose their own. Everyone should record an individual karaoke session singing the best they can. Let them get creative with backgrounds, costumes and props. Each team member should send the clip to the karaoke organizer, who will run a virtual award ceremony showing the best songs and awarding prizes. This is particularly relevant to theater students who are learning remotely. Source: Hygger Blog

Community, Onboarding

Bucket List

During an onboarding exercise, or at a team building workshop, give each team member 3-5 minutes to think about a few important things they would love to do in their lifetime. Then, everyone shares the list. If some people have overlapping activities, you can ask them to play together. For example, two participants want to attend 10 professional courses in 2020. Your aim is to challenge them to do it and support each other. Hold them accountable by asking about their progress. Source: Hygger Blog

Community, Onboarding

Gaming - But Virtual

Companies around the world began to add bean bags and video games to their offices, creating space for employees to play, connect and take a break from work while in the office. This is easily replicated at home, whether it is a Words With Friends game or a Call of Duty tournament, this in-office ritual is super easy to create and helps employees with shared hobbies connect outside of 'working' hours.

Dance Party!

Remote group work sessions can be extremely productive, but also a little tiring. Recently, our team had one of those and we broke out into a dance party to lighten the mood and take a step away from the slides. A few pets got involved and the endorphins that good music brought were a huge help in getting us re-energized for the hours of work ahead!

performance, upskilling

Mindful Moments

Begin each class or meeting with a short exercise to encourage mindful participation. This can be a short meditation, a moment to enjoy music with eyes closed or a quick intention-setting exercise. These rituals will result in a more concentrated, intentional approach to work and learning.

Onboarding

Welcoming Committee

On the first day of an employee assign people from different teams to take them out to lunch (or to join for a virtual lunch). This will allow your new joiner to start building relationships with people from outside their direct team.

Performance, Community

Peer Nomination

Prompt employees to nominate a peer that they feel embodies the values of the organization by creating an online submission form or adding a functionality to your HR software.

Innovation

Crowdsource Innovation

Set up a way to collect innovative revenue or cost management ideas from all employees, create a committee to select some of these ideas for implementation, and provide a small budget for each idea. You never know which one ends up being what helps you grow or save the business.

Innovation

Thank God It's Thursday

"To ring in the weekend, our team hosted a small TGIT (TGIF) celebration. We hosted a game/activity or invited an internal/external guest speaker. These were usually friends or acquaintances who are happy to share their story, adventures or cause. At the end of this session, we brought in lunch for the entire team which was a great way for colleagues to gather in the canteen and socialize."


- Submitted by Rami, KSA

Performance

Weekly Recaps

Appoint a team member in charge of sharing the successes of a team in a single Slack post or e-mail thread. Keep it short and sweet and be sure to shout out any special all-star performers.

Community

Movie Night

Many of us have felt the shared excitement of seeing a teacher roll-in a television to a classroom. Who says we can't have that while distributed? All you need is a shared movie platform and 10-15 minutes to arrange this activity. Agree to watch the same movie during the week or during class time. Challenge students/team members to share and compare their feelings about what they saw. Share your own review and get requests for the next movie night selection! Source: Hygger Blog

Community, Onboarding, Remote Learning

Guess The Desk

The main idea of this online game for remote employees and student to get everyone organized about their workspace! Teachers or managers request all individuals to take a photo of their desk, arranging all items in a 'flat lay' and upload the photo to a presentation. Individuals can guess who the workspace belongs to and share their 'must-haves' in terms of remote work and learning accessories. We all know that a clear physical environment can mean a clear mind, leading to better performance overall.

Community, Onboarding

Picture of Your Life

Ask team members to take a picture of something important from their private life. It can be their family portrait or a photo from the last vacation, a shot of daily activity or a new pair of shoes they have recently bought. This pic should reflect one of their interests and passions.

Ask everyone involved to post the picture during an online meeting. Each person should take a turn discussing their choices. It's great way to get people to share their important stuff without making them feel nervous and can help introduce new joiners to a team. Source: Hygger Blog

Performance

Stretch it out

Sitting at a desk all day can leave you feeling achey and sore. One easy way to promote more active team participation and comfort is to lead a short 1-2 minute group stretch. Add music to encourage movement, combat fatigue and promote healthy blood flow.

Performance, Upskilling

Critical Thinking Starters

Begin each online meeting with a single question for employees/student, activating their critical thinking skills. This question should be relevant to the topic of the class/meeting, adding to the conversation and not distracting from the objective or purpose. Everyone can either share their response to a single question, or leaders/instructors can share a number asking the group to guess what that represents or stands for. It's a great way to get a group engaged before diving into the content of a meeting.

Community

Random Virtual Coffee Breaks

Every week send random coffee break invites to employees that are not part of the same team. This will help create new connections inside the organization and allow people to discover what other teams are working on.

Performance

Pinning Ceremony

You can use this ritual to celebrate an important milestone for individuals or teams in terms who have really delivered for the company. By pinning a symbol of the company onto the individuals' clothes you welcome them into the circle of trusted employees. Be careful of this ritual becoming a way of excluding people if badly managed.

Community

Volunteering Day

Show your company's commitment to giving back by allowing employees to dedicate a day to a volunteering activity.

Community

Lifecycle Transitions

Beyond our work titles, we are all humans with families, friends and hobbies outside of work. Check-in and ask questions about colleagues who are expecting kids, getting married, moving into a new home or going through a hard time. These lifecycle transitions are meaningful, easy ways to connect with your colleagues.

Performance

Weekly To Do's

On the first day of each week, schedule repeat meetings for the team to all speak over Zoom and go over the priorities for the week. Note down every intention your teammates set for the week ahead. This meeting may take longer than usual but it will be worth it!

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