Play Ball! 4 Ways Spring Training Can Inspire Your Staff Management

Major League Baseball spring training games are in full swing in Arizona and Florida. It’s an important time of year for these players but just as important for the managers and coaches.

Spring training offers a crucial opportunity to identify a team’s strengths and weaknesses. Coaches can spot their all-stars, players who need extra support and gaps on their roster.

Here’s how you can use spring training as an inspiration for your own staff management.

1. Identify your MVPs.

Which finance employees are your most valuable players (MVPs)? They’re the ones who regularly demonstrate excellence — and go beyond their job description to provide strategic guidance and ensure your organization’s success. They have the drive to learn and seek out new challenges.

As you take stock of your MVPs, look at their salaries and job satisfaction. With today’s competition for talent, many star players are being wooed away with offers of career advancement and higher starting salaries. Don’t let failure to regularly benchmark your compensation levels lead to the loss of a top performer.

2. Know who your role players are.

Role players typically differ from MVPs in one main way: They’re not prone to seeking out new projects on their own, usually because they lack the necessary confidence. However, they do their jobs well. And when they’re asked to step up to the plate, they do so willingly — and often knock it out of the park.

As part of your staffing management plan, give a bit of extra attention to these members of your accounting and finance team. Encourage them to take advantage of professional development opportunities. You could inspire them to gain confidence and help them reach the MVP level.

3. Keep an eye out for future managers.

Current MVPs may be your most likely candidates for management roles, but even rookies can demonstrate leadership abilities. Start by identifying a solid bench with management potential.

Then, offer these candidates a chance to hone their skills in a leadership development or mentorship program, or through cross-training or career pathing. Also determine how they fit into your organization’s succession plans.

4. Know when to bring in new players.

Look for any noticeable gaps in your lineup. For example, you might find that the team functions well as a whole but would benefit by working with someone with excellent business analytics skills or extensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience.

In that case, you may benefit from bringing in financial consultants. The best financial leaders recognize the shortcomings in their team and know when it’s time to call on specialists to step up the organization’s game.

To get your organization to the top, regularly evaluate your finance and accounting players. With this proactive approach to staff management, you can increase your chances of building and retaining a successful team.

What business lessons do you take from spring training? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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Photo credit: Albert Pujols swings spring training 2009, by Leoraúl Torres [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons