Spring Cleaning at Work

Published: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring is upon us.  The sun is shining, my wife saw a hummingbird at the feeder the other day, and the tulip fields are in full bloom.  Now is the time for that annual endeavor called Spring Cleaning.  You know what I am talking about.  Look around for the “junk” that is building up, open the windows to let fresh air in, and scrub away the dreariness that was winter.  Everyone understands this routine when it comes to your personal abode.  But how about when it comes to work? Whether your spring, is April or August, here are three Spring Cleaning tips that you can use as leaders in the workplace.

Tip 1:  Reevaluate Your Priorities

Take a deep breath and critically look at the priorities you set for yourself.  In hindsight, did the great work of your team align to those priorities?  If not why? Many times, we find out the work that was done, was slightly off course and needs some correction.  Next, look at the work that is currently underway.  What should be stopped or redirected to support your priorities.  Small adjustments can provide big gains to get back to your priorities.  Last, do you need to remove some priorities or adjust them based upon what you have learned from your work?

Tip 2:  Invest in Your Team’s Needs

Over time, peoples needs in the workplace build up.  Take a leisurely walk around the office.  Spend time with individuals.  Find out what has crept into their work/life that is holding them down.  It may be as simple as the need for a team meeting that used to happen to get restarted again.  Maybe, you notice a broken process that you have the power to change to make people’s life easier.  It could be a simple as hearing a request for more frequent communications to keep people aware and engaged.  Clean up the baggage of overhead and bureaucracy to clear the runway for the team to sprint toward the goal.

Tip 3:  Empower Your Team

Encourage your team to take on a risk with high accountability with great reward.  Point them toward a specific goal and be a cheerleader as they strive to achieve whatever it may be.  Stay out of the way and only provide advice when you have asked “what would you do?”  Provide the safety net as teams clean up processes that have bogged down, or add that extra shine to higher quality.


Periodically you need to take on the a cleanup role to keep the team, organization, and company performing well.  This may involve digging in and pulling out the weeds that have infiltrated.  Shore up the walls of team safety and security.  Let the team flourish and grow through empowerment.  These small elements of Spring Cleaning will help provide a fruitful summer and fall for you and the team.