The end of the year at work: why rituals are important in a team

The calendar fills up with Christmas parties.

The end of the year at work: why rituals are important in a team

The calendar fills up with Christmas parties. Also at work. While some are enthusiastic about it, others are already looking for a legitimate excuse. But why such rituals are good for all of us.

Actually, everyone wishes for a quiet and contemplative time at the end of the year. But in addition to the stress of presents, all sorts of Advent and Christmas celebrations are suddenly on the agenda. Kita festival, school singing, club elves and then the traditional December celebration in the company. However, it is still helpful to get involved in the end-of-the-year rituals at work.

Christmas parties are primarily symbolic for people, says executive coach Markus Jotzo. The pre-Christmas period is all about love and cosiness. This warmth should also be taken up in companies. Without a social get-together, the stress in the weeks leading up to the end of the year is all the greater. According to the coach, the annual Christmas party is the minimum of team building activities.

If everyone feels comfortable in the company or company, not only is there more mutual support on the job. A friendly, collegial working atmosphere also helps people feel joy instead of stomach ache when they go to work. So having fun promotes a sense of togetherness.

And rituals should bring that at the end of the year. As Maike Sauermann, who works in the Measures team at the Institute for Occupational Health Advice in Constance, says: "Christmas parties are the perfect occasion to look back on the past year and celebrate together." Collective reflection creates a bond.

And companies themselves can also benefit from pre-Christmas events. "The social interaction also helps business," says Markus Jotzo. Many executives would underestimate social interaction. Last but not least, a good team atmosphere means that employees are more motivated at work and ultimately achieve more.

The question remains how teams can find a good setting so that everyone can enjoy the end of the year event. "Every type of person should be taken into account," says Maike Sauermann. This works best when the team decides for itself.

Maybe the Christmas party will be sporty while climbing, dignified at an Italian restaurant or casually at someone's home. If it is a visit to the Christmas market, however, you have to expect that a large group will eventually get lost and break up into smaller groups.

In order for everyone to feel comfortable, it is best to clarify questions in the team before the event, such as: Are partners also welcome? "Offer, put up for discussion and try it out," advises Jotzo. The more informal it is, the more the team atmosphere benefits. And not everyone wants to socialize for hours after work. Others have family responsibilities to attend to. This should also be taken into account.

If no boozy excesses are desired, it can help to limit the duration of the celebration in advance, advises Jotzo. Various program items, such as speeches, video contributions or joint games, also contribute to the fact that drinking tends to take a back seat, says Sauermann.

In any case, Markus Jotzo recommends only offering beer and wine instead of schnapps. If someone nevertheless looks too deep into the glass, it is best for a trusted colleague to intervene in a friendly manner. The manager can also give the impetus for this.

However, neither managers nor the team should have too high expectations of the joint events at the end of the year. If the team blessing isn't right, it can hardly be solved with a trip to the mulled wine stand. Jotzo recommends making team building a topic all year round. A team leader can organize an optional social gathering about every three months. It doesn't matter whether it's a bowling alley or after-work drinks.

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