Baseball players swinging a baseball bat.
Corporate Culture

Hit a Homerun with Spring Training for Your Business

Jason McMurray
Jason McMurray
Client Executive, Property Casualty

It’s March, and the world of sports is buzzing with baseball-related news and predictions as Major League Baseball’s Spring Training has begun. For those unfamiliar with baseball, Spring Training is a preseason program where teams conduct practices, play exhibition games, and choose their players before the regular season starts. A team owner or coach can evaluate more than 50 players within their organization before selecting the 25 players who will make up the team. Players can demonstrate all the effort they put into their offseason to impress their management and secure a new contract or extension.

Players and coaches aren’t the only ones feeling the enthusiasm of Spring Training. Fans enjoy seeing their new favorite team’s makeup, praising or critiquing the team’s ownership for making adjustments to the roster during the off-season, and getting excited about the new season and spring weather while enjoying their first ballpark hotdog. Spring Training also provides players and teams with the opportunity to learn from each other. They begin the process of establishing the team culture, and they get to evaluate new talent in a stress-free setting.

Most changes are accompanied by a healthy level of apprehension. Players, fans, and coaches share similar concerns on if the change works, how it will impact current players’ roles or opportunities, and what led to the changes.

There are endless hypothetical questions in the minds of those invested in Spring Training, such as the following:

  • Often, players wonder why the organization has chosen to hire a new player to fill their position – “Am I not valued anymore or does team ownership have a plan for us to be incorporated in different roles in the future?”
  • For fans, they see the stories on sports networks and predictions made by experts and immediately develop an opinion – “Wow, our team’s ownership spent all this money and we aren’t even predicted to make the playoffs!”
  • For owners and coaches, they seek validation that they made the right changes and hope for an improved product on the field – “Will this player take us to the next level, or should we have chosen someone else?”

Preparing for a New Season

How does this relate to business? In this industry, March signifies the end of Q1. It’s not uncommon for businesses to implement changes in their operations, teams, or goals heading into Q1 at the start of the year. They now have 3-months of data, experiences, and evaluations of how those changes have performed.

Like players, fans, and coaches evaluating Spring Training performances and decisions, business leaders find themselves asking questions like the following:

  • Is the business willing to take the time to use Q1 performance, morale, and experience to make changes to what isn’t working?
  • Is the business ready to solidify, praise, and broadcast the changes that are working to ensure the “buzz” of a new year is enough to last the rest of the year?
  • Has the organization effectively communicated the changes that were implemented and their potential impact on key stakeholders like employees, customers, and partners?
  • Have we considered how stakeholders may perceive these changes and whether it may affect their willingness to continue working with or for your organization?
  • What additional measures must be taken to ensure that the changes have the intended synergistic effect?

In today’s world, businesses that have impactful cultures, consisting of enthusiastic and committed employees and loyal customers, are the ones that stand out from their competition. In baseball, I’d argue the same to be true.

Our All-Star Expertise Helps You Win

At Holmes Murphy, we’re on your team. We know changes can impact culture, performance, and profitability, and we’re here to help you make the most of it in Q1 and beyond. If you’re ready to hit your goals out of the park, reach out today and let’s have a conversation!

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