What We Learned By Sharing Our Traditions
December 18, 2017
Author: Josie Sivigny
“I was happy to bring them in for my Tuft & Needle family,” Marisa Munoz, a CXer on our team, rounded out a brief history on her family’s favorite holiday tradition—making tamales—in front of our company at our monthly Town Hall. She painted a vivid image of her grandmother’s house, packed wall to wall with her family, and told of the hours and love that went into their tamales. Her tradition is just one of many our team got to hear about on our first ever Traditions Day.
At Tuft & Needle, we are a team of dreamers, disruptors, and creatives—a group of individual minds working together to achieve a common goal: disrupt the mattress industry. We are unique, powerful, and different. We invite and celebrate the diversity between our teams, our backgrounds, and our experiences every day because these are the things that make us who we are.
This year, as we planned our annual Holiday Week, we wanted to invite our team to share a bit more about their traditions. Between the snow days, cookie exchanges, and Star Wars screenings, we dove into our team members’ rich family histories.
We asked our team to submit their traditions so we could explore our differences, our similarities, and, of course, experience a bit of nostalgia. As hilarious, unique, and meaningful traditions poured in, it was clear that these traditions deserved to be shared—so we dedicated an entire day to celebrating them. By participating in each other’s traditions we got to learn something new about our colleagues and their backgrounds.
The responses ranged from food to activities and included the likes of Polish dumplings, traditional Mexican tamales, puzzle-making, dancing, candle-lighting, and more. Throughout the day, the room was filled with a variety of contrasting smells from posole and tamales to bagels and lox and plenty of baked goods.
The sound of conversation and laughter reached every corner of our HQ, and teammates reminisced, related, and shared with each other. As our team enjoyed experiencing each new tradition, we learned more about each other and why feeling comfortable enough to be your authentic self in the workplace can have such an astounding impact on the culture of an organization.
Each of the individuals that shared their story at our Town Hall expressed significant passion about their traditions. Their focus on love, family, and home was a feeling we could all relate to—even though our traditions may be vastly different.
While each tradition may be expressed in a unique way, we realized very quickly that nearly all of them were tied back to what each of us valued: themselves, their families, and their friends.
We set out to share a bit about ourselves with the rest of our team and, in the end, our takeaway was that it really strengthens a team to have a culture that makes your colleagues feel like family.
We’re hoping that Tradition Day will become a tradition of its own around here.