Recruiting, Drafting, Coaching – Applying Fantasy Football Methods to Your Team for the “W”

October 12, 2022 | 1902 Views

Recruiting, Drafting, Coaching – Applying Fantasy Football Methods to Your Team for the “W”

Rachel Richal, CHT

Vice President, Training | Buffalo Wild Wings

School is back in session, temperatures are starting to drop, and ads for Pumpkin Spice everything are starting to consume our lives. What does this really mean? Football is back! In my house, like many others, there might as well have been a countdown clock for 195 days until kickoff for the first game. On September 4th, I heard, “This is the last Sunday for a loooong time where football will not be on TV on Sundays.”

Football Stadium at Night

While the excitement of the game could be enough, fantasy football brings a whole other element to watching the game. Gone are the days where we simply root for our home team or the team with the all-star we followed since college. Now we get to draft our ideal team of players with the goal of beating the competition within our fantasy leagues. As I went through the process of drafting my fantasy football team this year, I couldn’t help but think about how this applies to “drafting” and managing the teams in our restaurants and hotels.

Prepare for the draft – In my house, when preparing for a fantasy football draft, there are lists upon lists in preparation for picking the best player in each position. These lists are based on both player statistics and scenarios that could happen during the draft or season. This same preparation can be applied to hiring. Do you have a plan for the roles you need to fill? Are all your “coaches” aware of the plan and aligned? What are the skills and core competencies you are looking for in each individual position? How do you balance the players who have different backgrounds and tenure to make up a winning team? Taking the time to plan and align the team will ensure a more efficient and successful “draft” of an all-star team.

Know your end game and how to get there – The goal of fantasy football is quite simple; beat everyone else and win the money. When you join a league, you bet money in hopes of winning it back and then some. When you invest in hiring your team members, you place a bet that the person is the right fit for your team. With proper training and the right team dynamic, your goal is to have a team member who benefits your brand from both a culture and performance standpoint. When the commissioner of a fantasy football team sets up the rules, they determine how many teams get to the playoffs. While the end game is to win, you know that doing well in the regular season to get to the playoffs is the path to winning. Think of the candidate experience, new hire training, and the first 90 days of any team member experience as your regular season and retention as the playoffs. If you work hard to perform for new hires in the regular season, you will likely find a dedicated team member worthy of and fighting for the playoffs.

Buffalo Wild Wings Team

Rachel and her Buffalo Wild Wings training team at the CHART Austin conference

Have a contingency plan – In football, injuries happen, trades happen, and so many factors can change up who shows up to play each week. Even with a great team, every game is not a great game. The same applies for our teams – injuries happen, trades to the competition happen, and many factors can impact performance of our players. In fantasy football you can draft multiple players of the same position to build your bench. While in our businesses we can’t have people sitting on the bench waiting for a shift, we can identify talent potential and use cross-training to prepare for when we must go to the bench. Having a good sense of the capabilities of each individual player can support creating a strong lineup even when the unexpected occurs.

Track Performance – When playing fantasy football, it is natural to constantly check the stats from Thursday night through Monday night when the games are held. Tuesday through Thursday, before the games, you look for who may be injured, who might not play the next weekend, and how your players did the previous week to predict how you will earn the greatest number of points in the upcoming games. Not only are you looking for your progress, but you are also continuously planning for the next game. As human beings we are both curious and competitive by nature. We have a desire for feedback and, when engaged properly, have a strong desire to do well. Being diligent about tracking performance stats and coaching accordingly taps into these natural characteristics of your team members.  Just like in the game, it is important to share both individual and team stats to align goals and allow the players to realize their role in the game.

I am first to admit that I am not athletic and will never have the athletic mind to coach any sort of pro team, however, playing fantasy football allows me to draft the ideal team, adjust my line-up and go for the win. Recruiting, drafting, training, and coaching are terms both synonymous with pro sports, fantasy sports and our everyday work environments. If we apply the diligence used when competing in these fantasy sports to our own teams, we can engage players with a diverse skillset to align on goals, drive results, and ultimately bring home the “W” for our teams and guests.

Do you have the team to head to this year’s big game?

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