Posted: Tuesday 11 March 2014. Author: Capita HR solutions.
It’s fair to say this season isn’t going as well as it might for reigning Premier League champions Manchester United. rather than gaze imperiously down from the top of the pile they are enviously looking upwards. Manager David Moyes advised that: “You need to have a football intelligence, a football brain” to understand when being quizzed on their difficulties. Maybe he could have benefited from some Hr nous as well?
Let’s consider two key Hr staples that might have helped Mr Moyes. first there’s change management. Every year new players, coaches, managers, chief execs and even owners will appear and disappear. this is fine in principle because organisations can’t stand still and need fresh blood, new ideas and different thinking to move forward and keep pace with the competition. By the time the 2013/14 season started Man United had undergone a massive change, having lost their most successful manager ever, their chief executive, assistant manager and most of the backroom staff.
A quick chat with an Hr professional might have helped identify the following keys to ensuring the change process runs smoothly:
The second key issue is job analysis/competency frameworks. square pegs do not fit in round holes. rather than buy exceptional players because they are available and might please the fans it would prove more prudent to first analyse what the needs of a particular job (position) are then map the competencies (skills) required to execute that role well.
Then you hire (buy) the person whose skills set matches that competency profile.
Consider the evidence: real Madrid got very little return from money spent during their ‘Galactico’ era of buying very individually talented superstars who they could not fit into a system while Barcelona dominated by ensuring that they placed players in positions where they were naturally suited and could thrive.
Jose Mourinho ‘gets’ this. He realised that the supporters player of the past two years (Juan Mata) did not have the skill set he required (including the competencies of defensive solidity and work rate) to play in any of the positions that he required filling. so Chelsea sold him.
David Moyes bought Mata form Chelsea yet does not appear to have figured out where to play him to maximise his talent. square peg, round hole? Hire first, fit later? Go figure.
While this article is a little tongue in cheek, it’s worth noting that football is referred to as a business for good reason – there are advertising contracts and sponsorships worth millions, many teams are floated on the stock market, and it’s employees earn thousands per day. there is no reason why Hr principles, applied in other successful businesses across the world, should not be applied here.