Keep It Alight – Next-Level Change

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Exploring culture and creating engaging rituals that set your workplace apart

Exploring culture and creating engaging rituals that set your workplace apart 1200 800 Flint Change

During Covid, we set up Friday night rituals with our kids. We created a restaurant at home and took turns to cook, wait tables and we all dressed up. It became something that we all looked forward to, and as we didn’t have loads to do. We took time to create new menus, make a shopping list, and cook. We all loved it!

Research showed that the people who created these rituals with their kids were happier with their parenting during the lockdowns. Many workplaces have their own rituals, and research has similar findings.

What IS a ritual?

In his book ‘Rituals for Work: 50 Ways to Create Engagement, Shared Purpose, and a Culture that Can Adapt to Change’, Kursat Orzenk defines it as “Actions that a person or group does repeatedly, following a similar pattern or script in which they’ve imbued symbolism and meaning.”

We looked into the research behind it and our reading was fascinating, backing up our experiences that this is a great way of embedding the culture you want. Tami Kim’s research in 2021 (Workgroup rituals enhance the meaning of work) showed that rituals increase team bonds, boost performance and show an increase in meaningful work and organisational citizenship behaviours. In addition, it identified the psychological underpinnings of rituals, demonstrating how they can lead to increased immersion in experiences, greater feelings of control, reduced anxiety, and increased liking for teammates.

Why are rituals helpful in embedding culture?

Rituals bring people together, enhance understanding and support bringing culture to life. To give you an example, we love the Customer Chair ritual from Nissan Motors (Source: Hussein M Dajani – General Manager, Nissan Motors). There is a customer chair in all meeting rooms to remind everyone that when decisions are taken, they need to be relevant to, add value to, empathetic with and compassionate with customers.

If one of the values in an organisation is ‘customer first’, but employees don’t see that lived out, then it will not be embedded in the same way. By creating a ritual that genuinely puts the customer at the heart of what we do, it is far more likely to be lived out by teams.

Many employee engagement surveys tell organisations that their communication isn’t strong enough. We recently supported a business to create a meaningful two-way dialogue with their teams in relation to their strategy and values. Instead of a traditional tell town hall approach, we created global ‘live’ sessions with both managers and team members providing updates and stories. Once the update is finished, the teams break out into groups with open questions to encourage feedback and conversation.

There is then a follow-up on the feedback via other communications. The new approach has been a game changer in getting more feedback and interaction and people look forward to this global get-together once a month.

Where do I start?

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Start by looking for any rituals that already exist and relevant ways to bring your culture to life
  • Be clear on what you are trying to achieve. Design rituals that celebrate the impact or behaviour you want to reward
  • Be aware that rituals can have a negative impact if not managed correctly
  • Make sure they are inclusive
  • Don’t overwhelm people

To find out how to create your own practical rituals, check out our FREE resource 10 Rituals to Set Your Culture Apart Guide which gives you 10 examples of rituals and the impact they have and tips on how to apply and choose the right rituals for your business.

Empowering People Through Effective Engagement | Helping Staff Engagement | Empowering Change | Flint Change

Empowering people through effective engagement

Empowering people through effective engagement 1920 1280 Flint Change

One of the most powerful outputs that we have seen from our Keep it Alight – Next Level Change support is to really engage employees at a meaningful level. We have used it to great effect to empower people by getting them involved in how to implement a strategy.

One of the most important engagement enablers is ‘employee voice’. This is a great way of hearing what employees think in a structured way that directly impacts what they do – and how they do it.

When Exec teams create strategies, they look forwards. They don’t necessarily have the skills or knowledge to determine how that strategy should be implemented at a really granular level of detail. Often, it’s teams working with customers that have a really strong view on how a particular strategy should be best carried out – and it’s important to listen.

Clients have used our Keep it Alight support programme to effectively engage with people at all levels of the organisation, to ask “how should we do this?”

It’s an inspirational activity as people feel genuinely engaged and consulted. They have the opportunity to be part of a bigger plan. It makes it real for them and they also feel much more connected to delivering ideas which have come from the people doing the jobs.

How does it work?

With one of our clients, in the health sector, we spent time with experts in one clinical area. They saw the existing strategy and understood the direction they needed to take. However, it wasn’t fully meaningful to them in their roles.

They were asked what they would do to achieve the strategic goals in their area. They knew the frustrations that both they, and their patients, had with the current approach and they offered an alternative approach.

We used the principles from our Ignite Change – Take Action Handbook to help them develop their plan, ensuring that it still met the strategic goal. The strategy was transitioned into something that still worked towards the same target, but took a far more pragmatic and patient-focused route.

The teams were clear that no extra cost should be added (in fact, ideally, cost would reduce), but the quality and access targets were still crucial. “Their way” showed that there was a better way and the results proved it!

They had higher engagement from ‘at risk’ service users, and the teams were more engaged as a result.

This was a great example of how effectively engaging your people can drive empowerment and ownership to great effect.

Enhancing The CX | Customer Experience Programmes | Flint Change

Enhancing the customer experience through proactive alerts

Enhancing the customer experience through proactive alerts 1920 1280 Flint Change

Before joining Flint Change, Marianne was Head of Customer Experience within the UK Cards Issuing Team at leading credit card provider.

One of the customer experience initiatives Marianne owned and delivered was setting up of proactive alerts for customers impacted by acts of God and who needed financial assistance or reassurance. Not normally something you would associate with a Credit Card provider!

The story

This Financial Services Provider aims to be the most recommended brand to help buyers buy and sellers sell, in the way they want. With a track record of firsts from the first credit card to the first wearable device the organisation has continued to evolve.


A team was mobilised across the business to act quickly to reach out to the impacted customers to let them know how the organisation could help and to provide reassurance about paying their bill or incurring late charges

Colleagues across customer services, marketing, legal and systems were brought together so that an approach could be agreed and implemented.

  • Speed of contact – from the point of notification about customer-impacting issue, a team was mobilised, copywriters and 3rd party suppliers were engaged and customers living or transacting in the impacted areas were identified
  • Copy was approved
  • SMS messages and emails were deployed complemented by content being posted on Twitter, Facebook and a message being shared on the website.
  • Flags were added to the accounts of the customers living in the impacted areas and those who had been travelling/ visiting the area (these customers were identified via recent transactions)

The business received some fantastic customer and press feedback on this initiative.

Ways to help stranded customers included:

  • Access to Emergency Cash
  • Temporary increases to credit limits
  • Late Payment and cash transaction fees waived


A templated approach was put in place that could be used for future incidents where customers needed to be contacted and reassured.

  • The speed to contact customers reduced from 11 hours down to just 2 hours!
  • Social Media posts were live within a matter of minutes.
  • After the initial incident, templates were created and were pre-approved by the legal and regulatory compliance teams, which removed the requirement to get copy approved for each new incident.
  • All that was required was to identify the impacted customers (this naturally took longer when the scale of the incident was larger, and millions of customers were impacted).

There is now a proactive team in place who manage this sort of activity and winder communications across the credit and debit customers.

This is an example of the type of work that the Flint team could deliver as part of our Keep it Alight – Next Level Change offering.  We have worked with a few clients on bespoke change programmes. Get in touch if we can help you with a piece of bespoke change.