In the world of baseball it is Spring Training season! The free agents have been signed, the rookies have been called up from the triple A teams, the fields are manicured, and the Mascots’ outfits have been dry cleaned. Now it’s time to dust off the cleats and get to separating the all stars from the little leaguers! In the corporate world, we call this time of year the end of first quarter. Leaders are reviewing team and individual statistics and assessing how the organization has performed on the field against the expectations set at the beginning of the year.
Cover All Your Bases
Companies that achieve their objectives year over year do so because they have the right players in the right positions. General Managers are providing leadership, setting direction for the team and working with their “on the field” leaders to build confidence and execute the plays. Talent scouts and recruiters are scouring the fields looking for the next MVP. Coaches are stationed at first and third directing players around the bases. In baseball there are pitchers with a nasty curve ball or change up and they know how to throw the competition off. Thoughtful Corporations may have this same talent that they have yet to identify. These are the innovators, the idea generators. It’s critical to engage this talent, allow them the opportunity to show off their stuff and recognize their achievements.
Don’t forget about the competition. When faced with competitors that are able to connect with your best pitcher’s curve balls and change ups, you need a well-trained and capable staff in your infield and outfield that provide you support and back you up. These are the players who are able to make great catches and turn momentum around. They’ll be there to get you back to the plate, to give you another chance. You will also need a flexible management team that is able to swiftly adjust a game plan and possibly put in a new player when needed.
Do you have all your bases covered?
Do you have a sound succession plan? Take a good look at your team and across your organization. Have you identified the up and comers, your Farm Team? The National Baseball League has minor league teams made up of high potential players, gamers the scouts have been watching for years. These individuals have been scouted out and identified as future all stars. These minor league players are given the tools and resources needed to hone their skills and many will eventually get called up to the Bigs! Successful companies do the same. They see the value in bringing interns and early career individuals on board to give them the exposure and experience they need to become specialist or utility players and eventually take on bigger roles as the seasoned professionals move on to coaching assignments and/or the Hall of Fame.
Leaders and coaches of winning teams do several things to aid in the success of the team. They have a game plan, clearly communicate the strategy and objectives to the team, continuously evaluate team members, are transparent with their feedback and they celebrate the wins.
Not every win has to be honored with a ticker tape parade and a Commissioners Trophy, but companies should take the time to celebrate achievements and give teams a pat on the back for a job well done. When a group clearly understands the objectives and works hard to achieve them, like implementing that new HRIS on time and under budget or increasing sales by 3% quarter over quarter, they should be recognized for their collaboration and efforts.
Mascots and Employee Engagement
If you’ve been to a professional sporting event, you have most likely seen a mascot. Mascots have an amazing way of getting the fans in the stands engaged in the game and excited about what the home team is doing. Rain or shine. And they do this all without talking! What can be gleaned from this is leaders can positively impact their company culture and employee engagement through their actions. They don’t have to write a policy, post a plaque on the wall, or give a speech about company culture, leaders can just simply DO. And the engagement and culture will likely follow.
With your bases covered, your succession plan in place and your Mascot getting the fans engaged, grab your game plan and baseball cap and….Let’s Play Ball!!