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Tips from a titan: tidy your company and fire anyone who doesn’t spark joy

By Marie Kondo
Author, Spark Joy

In this article, I have summed up how to put your company in order in a way that will change your life forever. Impossible? A common response and not at all surprising, considering that almost everyone has experienced a cluttered company at least once, if not multiple times! Let me share with you my secrets of success for tidying up your start-up, mega-corporation, or regional sales office today with these six essential tips! You’ll be tidy and free of utterly worthless employees in no time!

1. Imagine your ideal company

Think about what kind of company you want to work in and how you want to work in it. In other words, describe your ideal company! If you’d like, draw a sketch of what it looks like! See, your sketch already doesn’t have Dave or Jeff from the Senior DevOps Team in it! Out they go!

2. Commit yourself to tidying up your company

The KonMari Method may seem a little hard. It does require time and effort! But, having read this article with the intention of at least making a stab at firing the bottom 20% of performers at your company, please keep reading! Once you have made up your mind, all you need to do is invite HR to the discussion, figure out which pesky employees are most likely to sue you, dig up dirt on anyone with better-than-average odds of litigating, and then use the dirt to eliminate them from the payroll once and for all!

3. Before getting rid of employees, sincerely thank each one for serving its purpose

Did your company have a nice marketing campaign at the end of Q4? Of course it was nice, because the graph about it was up and to the right! But, do you keep your frosting-smattered plastic plates after a birthday party? No! It is time to rid your company of the unnecessary marketing campaign people now that the marketing campaign is over.

Before saying your final goodbyes, remember to sincerely thank each one of your departing employees for serving their purpose. Then promptly throw them in the garbage!

4. Tidy by category, not location

One of the most common mistakes many people make is that they think they must start tidying their company location-by-location. After all, that cost center of a satellite office in Austin may seem a little silly when you begin to tidy!

But you may have a few perfectly good employees in Austin, so you must instead tidy up by an employee’s category! Gather every engineer into a conference room at an offsite hotel and observe how large a mound of employees you possess! Ask yourself, why do you even have seven site reliability engineers if you only have one website?

See, it is amazing how much more efficiently you think now!

5. Follow the right order

It is crucial not only to tidy by category but also to follow the correct order, which means you must first clear out the fat VPs, then IT, then engineers, then marketing (which the Japanese consider miscellany), then hit marketing again, and finally, sales.

Have you ever tried to tidy IT last and found that once they get a whiff that tidying is happening they immediately pull data extracts of anything incriminating? This is a very common blunder, and it clearly illustrates the point of tidying in proper order! Always remember: sales before IT, you’ll pay a high lawyer fee; IT before sales, you leave no trails!

6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Finally, the criterion for deciding who to keep and who to discard is whether or not they spark joy. When deciding, it’s important to touch that person, and by that, I mean holding him firmly in both hands as if communing with him. Pay close attention to how your body responds when you do this. When someone sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising. When you hold someone that doesn’t bring you joy, you will notice that your body feels heavier.

Remember that you are not choosing who to discard but rather who to keep. Keep only those employees who spark joy and send the rest of those useless rat bastards right to the goddamn poor house and refuse to give them anything but a sheet of paper that only verifies their employment dates worked and final position held.

Happy tidying!