Standing on Ceremony

Ceremony is present in almost every stage of life. In honor of the New Year, holidays, birthdays, marriages, and more, ceremony is a way for us to celebrate. Many spas use ceremony as a way to bless a new spa opening or to set an intention for the practice of healing within the spa itself. Rituals are often used in spa menus to localize the experience by helping to create authenticity for our guests. Ceremonies have been prevalent since the beginning of time. The act of a ceremony itself helps prepare us all in anticipation of a life event and can often alleviate stress. They can help create safety for some and offer protection to those who are resistant to change. In history, ceremonies were often seen as lessening the chance for bad events when superstition played a large role in everyday life. Regardless of the reason a ceremony is performed, it is an accepted and often expected path by the traditions of a community and can be an exceptional addition to the workplace.

One of the biggest expenses in operating any business, including a spa, is employee turnover. We all know that employee retention is generally a reflection of good management, along with shared common vision and values. Incorporating the rites of ceremony can assist managers by offering a haven for staff, helping to allay anxiety or honoring a special date for the employee or for the company. Here are a few things you can do to bring ceremony into your workplace.

1. Honor birthdays and work anniversaries. This is common sense, and many employers currently celebrate these milestones. But adding a simple handwritten note from a manager to a staff member or from staff to a supervisor shows appreciation and recognition for those with whom you work.

2. Set a daily intention with your staff, either collectively or individually with those you are coaching. It can be a mantra the staff creates that is said every day and followed by a period of silence just before a shift begins. If mentoring a coworker or employee, share something positive you’ve learned that might help enhance their skills.

3. If working on a remodel or new enhancement project that has caused stress in the workplace, have an opening ceremony with everyone who has been affected by the transition. Then use their energy to set good spirits moving forward so that the negativity that has existed in the workplace can be replaced by excitement and new opportunity.

4. Acknowledge when a key staff member or manager leaves your employment. While not discussing specifics around the employee, allow staff to vent to you in private and be respectful to allow staff to celebrate the transition with whoever is leaving.

5. Host award ceremonies where employees honor certain individuals, and during the ceremony, let them speak about what the person exhibits that is deserving of an award. Award ceremonies can create an emotional connection in the work community.

6. Designate options for team-building events or after-hour activities that enhance employee morale and camaraderie. Allow free flow of conversation that doesn’t intrude into your work environment. Managers should participate fully.

Perhaps the strongest positive attribute for ceremony is that it helps bond relationships, families, communities, and work environments. Strong bonds build solid organizations, and isn’t that something we can all celebrate?