Today we would like to share an article by Jim Paluch from jphorizons.com.
SNOW in Atlanta, SNOW in Texas, SNOW in Chicago, SNOW in Greenville, South Carolina. So let out a cheer for a group of professionals that too often go unrecognized just by the hours that they keep! Professional Snow and Ice Management Companies, whether they be 3 people or 300 people, are one of the greatest examples of teamwork, commitment and execution that can be found anywhere outside of NAVY SEALS! Put into perspective the WINTER REGIMENT of a SNOW & ICE MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL.
For many of these professionals starting sometime in December, they start to sleep with one eye open, their cell phones close, and warm clothes arranged so that they can jump out of bed and into them as they hustle to a truck stopping only to tighten their boots and fill up a coffee cup! This continues until the last bit of ice and snow has come and gone in the spring sometimes for many using the same truck to haul landscape materials in the morning and to manage a late season snow fall in the night. After we offer this group a standing ovation for the work they have accomplished as they help us to STAY ALIVE OUTSIDE throughout the winter, as leaders in a wide variety of businesses, we should stop and consider what we can learn from this band of committed and passionate professionals.
1. THEY KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING – Long before the snow flies, they are planning with their teams on organizing routes, assigning tasks, and creating contingency plans. They know that the only way that they can succeed out on the roads and parking lots under the pressure of time and safety is to plan. I have sat in on some of those planning meetings, and one thing that always stands out to me is how attentive everyone is. From the veterans to the rookies in the crowd, they are listening, asking questions, offering suggestions, and taking notes. They realize their success depends on a plan that everyone understands.
2. THEY HAVE A PROCESS TO COMMUNICATE – In some cases it may be as simple as a “flip phone call chain” set off by the first flake of snow that the person sitting up and watching the weather reports. Once the process is set into motion, everyone knows who they need to call next and in a matter of minutes the troops are being assembled and heading into battle with boots on. In other cases, a snow command center would make even the most sophisticated government intelligence agency look on with envy. There are computer screens picking up web-cams monitoring sites across the city, and a texting process where all that needs to happen is touch a button for the campaign to begin. They are watching satellites and monitoring ground temperatures to make educated decisions with a degree of accuracy that parallels landing a lunar module on the moon.
3. THE EQUIPMENT IS READY – They leave nothing to chance and when the time comes to move into action, they want to be prepared to do what they need to do. Knowing that lost minutes on the front end could cost hours on the back end of a storm, lose a customer’s confidence or possibly cause an unsafe situation at a site they are being trusted to keep safe helps everyone know the importance of being ready. The preparation time up front to have everything they need in working order will always help them get the work accomplished most efficiently
4. They TRAIN & TRAIN & TRAIN . . . Mark Adamson, VP of SALES & MARKETING for the WESTERN, FISHER, BLIZZARD & SNOWEX brands, often talks about the process he sees his customers all across the country going through in preparation for the snow and ice season. “They will practice by pushing old tires around a parking area with their plows. They put plows on and take them off and put them on again, just to make sure they are ready when the time comes. And every great Snow and Ice Professional will train on the important details from how to keep warm in the sub-zero temperatures, to equipment maintenance, to how to make sure the team is getting enough sleep to be safe and effective.”
The four points above are important things that any business and professional should be doing, yet the one thing that has always been the most important lesson to learn from the SNOW AND ICE PROFESSIONALS across the country is . . . they have an incredible commitment and passion for what they do. It takes a special person to jump into a cold truck in the middle of the night, shake the last remaining fog of sleep from their head and go out to what is very tedious, demanding and stressful work. Commitment and passion are the words any of us would want attached to the work we do and the profession we are part of. Commitment and passion come in part from the points listed above and working to perfect them, but mostly commitment and passion come from the work itself and knowing that it is meaningful and important. They are willing to accept the challenge, the demand, and the stress as simply part of the job. In accepting the pressure, they deal with it, they have control over it, and they perform an important duty. Whether it is getting us to and from work or school safely or making sure that a young couple driving to the hospital in the middle of the night during a winter storm can make it safely and timely for their child to be born, or a thousand other reasons . . . it’s okay to say THANKS to the guys and gals that make snow and ice THEIR BUSINESS!
If you want to learn more about the power of PEOPLE SOLUTIONS THAT DRIVE BUSINESS PERFORMANCE, contact: JP Horizons Inc. | Phone: (440) 352-8211 | [email protected] | http://www.jphorizons.com