57. Stomping Ground

Today, amongst a flustered schedule of tasks to be completed, I went back to my old stomping ground to train some new staff. For those who don’t know, I worked at the Barracks Cafe in Waratah for a couple of years as a supervisor. The Barracks is a training centre for year 11 and 12 students studying Hospitality – which means I had the opportunity to teach the same basic skill set many, many times (and don’t let the sarcasm fool you, I actually adored those kids!)

So, I went in today as an objective third party to lay down the law (who am I actually kidding right now?!) and refine some of the experience they already had in coffee making and customer service.

Amongst preparing for the training, I inadvertently wrote up our two pillar values for Wildflower. If you haven’t heard the term ‘pillars’ used in business before, they are just a fun analogy to say that those values are really freakin’ important – like, if you took the values out of the establishment, the whole thing would come crashing down. Pillars, hooray!

So, most places have 3 or 4 pillars – but so far, we’ve grown two! Keep in mind I was talking in a Christian workplace today, so stay with me here:

Work Ethic

This addresses the motivation of why we do what we do. When your work ethic is grounded in something firm, solid and secure (I’m talking about God here, people!), the way in which you work totally changes;

  • You act with integrity
    (Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not man. Ephesians 6:7)
  • You stay motivated
  • You feel significant in your role (and outside of your role!)
  • You’ll be free of self-imposed limitations

Work Order

This is the practical side of things that enable a deeper level of engagement with customers; which means that you can’t have significant moments with people if you’re fumbling because your work setup looks like a four year old’s actual bedroom (chaos). Work order as a pillar means pulling yourself together until it feels natural:

  • Taking orders – get it right, all the time!
  • Points of contact – you gotta welcome those customers in like they’re old friends, yo!
  • Counter Habits – oh, you lazing on the counter? checking your phone in front of a customer?! That’s not how we roll.
  • Setup & consistency – Consistency is the breeding ground for improvement (yep, I just made that up … call me Steve Jobs, dammit!)

Well, there are our two pillars so far – one is spiritual, subjective and pretty deep stuff! The other is objective, hardcore and to the point (is it normal that in my mind that one is wearing hippy clothes and the other is dressed like punk rock?! Just me …?!  Oh!)

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