The NFL Draft every year identifies the top talent available for consideration. Much like a manager vies for their top talent in the marketplace, the NFL teams select their recruits. After arriving at the team headquarters the young, inexperienced players are not left to their own devices. Instead a regimented program introduces them to the NFL and the specific characteristics of the team. This model should be in place when you bring a new employee on your team.
Training and Coaching
The NFL invests in their recruits through nutrition, exercise, and study. Mentors are assigned to maximize the recruits’ opportunity for success. When the season begins the players are ready to hit the turf. Investing in your top recruits should be just as important to you. Match your recruit with other employees that are engaged. Success breeds success.
Consider your rookie employee. They may not be your top talent this season but may have significant potential. Study their actions to determine if it would be beneficial to have a special teams coach work with them on specific skills.
Capitalizing on this top talent can be achieved through nurturing open and frequent conversations. The employee will be able to discuss items of concern, areas where they feel changes need to be made, or where they feel their contribution to the organization can be realized more fully. If there is trepidation on the shoulders of a top recruit because they are not content, addressing it may prevent them from becoming a free agent.
Your top talent will not be with the franchise forever. Take control by having a succession plan should an injury sideline this employee. Pre-empt early retirement by attempting to have a cohesive team with deep bench strength. Consider what the cost will be to not have someone on the field.
If you have an employee with skills that are slipping, or they are not achieving pre-determined standards, provide performance plans, sufficient coaching to overcome the shortcomings, and time to get into shape. If after a reasonable time the employee is not executing, cutting that player may be the best option for the organization and the employee.
The employee bench needs to be at capacity with dedicated members that are right for each position. Match what you have and find what you need. The organization should groom the field to make it the best playing surface possible for the employees’ success. Your best hiring tool is to keep your existing eminent recruits. Investing in your human talent is a capital investment in your business – whatever your business is.