Thursday, April 14, 2011

Food For Thought - Spring Cleaning - Your Fridge. Or Your Staff.

Open your fridge door. See things that make you say "What IS the expiration date on that?"

Every fridge and/or kitchen cupboard can use a good once-over occasionally ...... consider it a Spring Cleaning Ritual. Don't start what you can't finish. You might need to be honest. Heck, maybe even ruthless at times, to get the job done right. Like other things - you might be attached to the memory rather than the item - did you buy that Raspberry Jalapeno Jam specifically for the Christmas Cheesecake? Might be time to let it go. The box of Crackers made from split peas because your Auntie said they were a New Years tradition, then she canceled her trip because the snow never stopped? Keep Auntie Doris in your heart, and there's no need to keep her crackers in your pantry. Grab a trash bag, and some cleaning spray and a sponge and dive in.

There. See. How. Sparkly. ?

Spring Cleaning may need to be an annual process in your organization as well. Is there a reason you resist your gut instinct and let Frowning Flo hang out, hiring her back year after year? After all, once upon a time she worked hard as a housekeeper, but in the last few seasons you've seen her enthusiasm and team spirit wane. Is it possible that it's time to consider Friendly Francey to take her place?

Seasonal employers have a challenge each year to put together a staff that gels and gets the "show" up and running in just a short period of time. It's a magical crystal ball experience. Some years, more daunting than others. However, one of the advantages of being a seasonal employer is the opportunity to "start fresh" if you so desire.

You've cleaned out your fridge. You've identified the solid, long term, stock items you want to keep. Tossed what served you in the past but isn't key to the present. Go on a mission to find new flavors, rich colors, aromas that bring a smile. So it is with your staff. Indeed, like any good kitchen magician, you need to have a plan, shop for the best ingredients, put together the right mix, have your tools handy, and then tend to the process with your passion, experience, knowledge blazing. Get your timing right, add a little BAM! for good measure and - voila!

Your next adventure in the kitchen, or the next adventure with your staff, could turn out to be your best creation to date. Let your "guests" marvel at the "well seasoned" combination, your own renewed spirit and your very own, secret "wow!" factor.

See. How. Sparkly. ?


Tomtom_HRGuy said...

I really like this article of yours! This metaphor is exactly what is needed to get through to some management to let some "spoiled" workers go. You want your fridge and workplace to remain fresh.

It's probably important to mention that this is a seasonable employer doing the spring cleaning. Not every employer can let go of their employees because they're no longer fresh; you still have to go through the proper legal route to let go of full time employees. For seasonal employers, you simply make the concious decision to not rehire the employees next season.

This was a great post! Thanks for that!

Tim Sieck said...

I think your post has a broader message than just to seasonal employers. An organization should be continually working on the refreshing of it's staff.