Blue Jays #ComeTogether

The Blue Jays can teach us a lot about team building

What can we learn about team building from the Blue Jays to get our own teams to #ComeTogether?

The Blue Jays became top contenders last season when former General Manager Alex Anthopoulos put more emphasis on hiring team players with a strong character.

This season the Jays upper management is focused on shoring up a weak bullpen.

It’s never easy to build a dream team. But the Blue Jays are establishing themselves as division leaders in spite of bullpen challenges and budget constraints.

As staffing professionals, we all identify with the challenges of finding top talent on a tight budget.

Here are three ways the Blue Jays succeeded at building a team of top performers who came together to rise to the top of their league.

Act fast to fix staffing problems

The new GM Ross Atkins has added veteran pitchers in Jason Grilli, Francisco Liriano, and  Joaquin Benoit.

An old adage in recruiting is to fire fast and not let things drag out. As soon as you realize that a new hire is not working out, don’t hesitate to replace them.

The Jays used this approach in moving Drew Storen and Franklin Morales. Both of their resumes looked like they would really help the team. But in the end they were unsuccessful. Sometimes in business or in baseball we have to admit a mistake and learn from it.

Don’t burn out your star players

If you turned on a sports station in the past month,  you heard about the Aaron Sanchez debate — should they put him in the bullpen or limit his innings pitched and preserve his arm for the playoffs.

Originally upper management said they would shut Aaron down and not let him continue pitching this year to preserve his arm.

In the end Blue Jays upper management listened to the players and managers who emphatically said they wanted Aaron to continue being a starting pitcher for the rest of the year.

Give the team a voice in big decisions

When you give the team a voice in big decisions that will impact their work, you are creating a culture of team spirit and collaboration.

After meeting the players, Aaron and the managers, they came up with a compromise. They decided to go with a 6 man rotation which will allow Aaron to pitch less innings but still continue pitching.

Many pitchers might not agree to this because it will hurt their personal numbers. It shows the team spirit and team culture the Blue Jays have created where individuals are putting the team’s goals first.

Your thoughts?

I’d love to hear your take on this.

  • Do you agree that the Blue Jays have succeeded with their team building?
  • What would you do to improve their staffing strategy?
  • What have you learned from the Jays that makes you a better manager?

Please leave your comments below.

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