Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Employers Can Learn from the Boston Red Sox

Much has been written about the steps the Red Sox have taken to make the team successful. A few of the decisions could be implemented by employers with something less than a $143 million payroll.

The Red Sox identified minor league players the team expected to move up during the season and provided them with an orientation program to address everything from media relations to tipping of club house attendants. The same could be applied outside the baseball world by identifying employees with potential and then providing them with early tools to help them in the next level of their careers.

Curt Schilling could earn $2 million in bonuses if he meets certain weight goals. Although this is an extreme measure, many employers are seeing the benefits of employee wellness programs. Employer programs on weight loss, smoking cessation, and similar health topics can encourage a healthier workforce with the potential for fewer sick days and lower insurance costs (and a quicker fast ball).

The Red Sox have seen the value in their “older” players such as Tim Wakefield and Schilling and have entertained new ways to play to their strengths (such as a six-man rotation). With baby boomers approaching retirement age, critical skills will be leaving the workforce. Forward-thinking employers are looking for creative ways to retain older employees and/or train younger workers to be ready to fill the shoes of retiring workers.

Enjoy the off-season and remember . . . spring training games will begin in less than three months.

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