Harvard Business Review:
Rituals in the workplace can reinforce the behaviors we want, create focus and a sense of belonging, and make change stick. I have gone on and on in the past about the benefits of established rituals and routines for personal productivity – how they capitalize on our brains’ ability to direct our behavior on autopilot, allowing us to reach our goals even when we are distracted or preoccupied with other things. And there are plenty of companies who’ve been smart enough to harness this power. At Google, for example, new employees have a ritual now made famous by the Vince Vaughn/ Owen Wilson film The Internship – they wear beanie hats in the Google logo colors with propellers on top that say “Noogler.” Far from feeling ridiculous, Google employees feel that the ritual of the Noogler hat marks them as part of an exclusive group.
But new research demonstrates that the power of rituals goes even further – they can increase our perception of value, too. In other words, if employees perform rituals as part of their jobs, they are likely to find their jobs more rewarding. And if consumers use a ritual to experience your product, they are likely to enjoy it more and be willing to pay more for it.
Kathleen Vohs and Yajin Wang of the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota, along with Francesa Gino and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, conducted a series of studies looking at how ritual changed the experience of consuming a variety of foods.
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