What Professional Sports Can Teach Us About Staffing

The other night I was watching the World Series and heard the commentators mention CC Sabathia. They were discussing how well he's been pitching. It brought to mind how he used to play for the Cleveland Indians.

And that thought took me to the Cleveland Browns and Braylon Edwards. When Braylon played for the Browns he couldn't catch a pass toward the end of his time here. Now with the New York Jets, he is back to being his best.

So, what does this have to do with staffing? Everything. Have you ever wondered why a player can do so poorly with one team and then shine with another? It's because of the synergy between the players and the coaching staff. To put it in business terms, it's the synergy between the employees and the management.

These players are skilled at their roles. However, they excel or struggle depending on the environment they are in.

What can you do with this knowledge as a business owner or manager? You can understand how important synergy and culture are. Once you've determined what your culture is, you can define your expectations. Sharing those two pieces of information with your staff will help them determine whether yours is an environment they want to be in. You have the chance to determine how well they are playing in your environment and whether they'd be better off somewhere else.

Business, like sports teams, works best when all of the players fit into the culture and structure of the organization. That is when everyone can rise to their best and benefit the company. Whenever something changes - a management shift, a new hire, a life change - there may be a change in behavior. Paying close attention to how everyone is acting and performing will help you identify anyone who needs to be traded to another team.

There's nothing wrong with being traded. Frankly, it's what's best for everyone. You only want those players on your team who are in synch with your environment and culture. They may be skilled, but if they can't perform you'll do them a favor by letting them leave.


Rodger-SigmaCDad said...

Very thought provoking. I find it interesting that players can thrive in another environment. It seems to be a common and consistent thing with Cleveland. It begs the question " Is management utilizing the talent to the maximum?" If we see that our "previous talent" seems to be thriving in another environment, we should ask the question " Are we utilizing our talent to the maximum by providing the right environment for growth?" If the leaders are continuously growing then it is easier for the "talent" to follow.

Diane said...

Rodger, you are so right! Many times the problem is the management. I guess my feeling is that the talent is better off leaving and finding the right environment for them.

Companies need to take a good look at what's happening in their environment. If good talent seems to be leaving they would do themselves a favor by looking seriously at their management staff.