The Workplace: Rituals of Connection with Coworkers

Create a community on the job with these tips and ideas.

Create a community at work with these tips and ideas.

Create a community at work with these tips and ideas.

Workplace rituals can be a powerful way for coworkers to demonstrate and build their emotional connection. Whether or not the following examples occur in your job, they may give you some ideas for instituting rituals that can help you improve emotional connections with coworkers in the future.


How new people are introduced and welcomed into a workgroup can have a significant impact on their ability to assimilate and perform. The more your workgroup can do to create rituals that make a new member feel welcome, the better. 

Arrivals and departures

Hellos and good-byes are simple rituals that can go a long way toward building rapport among coworkers. Don’t be afraid to take a few extra minutes to send a friendly message or email to your colleagues at the beginning or end of the day. 

Team meetings

Meetings can become even more productive if the people in attendance can be fully present and emotionally connected as they interact. The most important thing is that people feel free to speak their minds and their hearts to the group. Then, they’ll be in a better state of mind to focus on the agenda before them. 

Birthday celebrations

The wonderful thing about celebrating birthdays in the workplace is that everybody has one. Acknowledge the birthday person with a card or sing to them in a virtual team meeting. 

Recognition of special accomplishments

Many organizations sponsor rituals like “employee of the month” awards as a way to acknowledge extraordinary contributions. If the goal of such rituals is to foster emotional connection among coworkers, then it’s best to allow peer groups to select their own winners. This helps to establish a climate of appreciation. 

For more ideas for establishing rituals of connection with coworkers, check out Dr. John Gottman’s “The Relationship Cure.”

Ellie Lisitsa is a former staff writer at The Gottman Institute and editor for The Gottman Relationship Blog.