The past few weekends have been very full and exciting. We helped our daughter move from an apartment to her first house. We’re so proud of her because she was able to find and purchase the home on her own. Anytime you move from place to place, there is work to be done because you want to make it your own.
The weekend before the big move, I was “assigned” the task of getting the yard to look the way she wanted. When I surveyed all that was in front of me, I knew there would be more removal than adding to her landscape. The family who lived in the home before seemed to do just as much as they needed to so that things looked okay, but I wouldn’t say things were in shape. This was especially true with the backyard and the sides of the property adjacent to the alleys that run alongside and behind our daughter’s house.
One of Melanie’s dear friends, Paige, was eager to join me in tackling the jungle we saw. We grabbed our gloves and our tools and went after it !! There was a lot of grunting, pulling, cutting and trimming as we removed some troublesome honeysuckle and got other shrubs into shape just around the home’s perimeter. This set of tasks seemed manageable and we were hopeful the rest of our work would be as easy. It wasn’t.
As we moved further back on the property, we gasped and paused at what we saw. It looked like the tall shrubs skirting the fenceline were hidden because an overgrowth of vines had intertwined themselves. You couldn’t distinguish what was a vine and what was a shrub. We jumped in with full force to free the shrubbery and we found this amazing decorative wall hiding below the mass of greenery. That was quite a surprise and it added to the decor of the property.
(Quick aside – We didn’t really take into account what this maze of vines was as a plant. Let’s just say we should have paused before attacking it . . .)
Slowly the fenceline took shape and now it was safe for cars to travel down the alleys and not have their vehicle scraped with branches. Also, we unearthed buried random trash and could also get to the electrical lines that led to the house. We had one last task of trimming back a gigantic maple tree so that the roof of Melanie’s garage as well as the garage of her neighbor no longer had branches looming over them.
After all we had removed, we were spent. It was a good feeling of exhaustion though. Clearing the brush revealed so many beautiful facets of the house which may not have been seen for some time.
This is similar to our workplaces and our cultures. We let things become overgrown and consumed with “brush” because tending to everything and everyone takes time. We tend to stay in our place and do our work expecting someone else will address the endless clutter filling our environment. Soon the beautiful attributes of all we have to offer disappear and become forgotten.
As HR pros, we should be mindful of the entire work landscape. It’s a great opportunity to make sure that it remains fresh, attractive and cleared. The effort to remove the brush initially will be challenging. You’re sure to encounter pesky vines and unknown obstacles. The vines may even be a bit poisonous (as ours turned out to be), but even that is needed to be removed.
This week look around your workplace to see what has become overgrown. Then, get all your gear on and jump in !! Clearing the brush is needed so that all that is meant to grow and thrive can happen. After you put in the work, you’ll enjoy the culture and vibe you’ve uncovered.