Yesterday, I took an inordinate number of phone calls from sportscasters who are…uhh…shall we say frustrated with their employers. I started thinking about all the employer horror stories I’ve heard over the years and thought they might make for interesting reading. Ultimately, though, there are many more good employers in our industry than bad ones, so I decided to approach this post from a glass-half-full standpoint.
With that in mind, here are 10 traits of great sports broadcasting employers…
1. They communicate with employees
If you don’t like something one of your employees is doing, tell them now and give them a chance to fix it. Don’t let the first time they hear of your unhappiness be when you call them into your office to fire them.
2. They mentor their talent
Great sports broadcasting employers work to help their talent grow. A better broadcast equals more revenue. It used to be part of the job description of a station Program Director to do regular air checks with their talent. Today, though, mentoring talent is more the exception than the rule.
3. They clearly state expectations
Employees can perform to maximum capability only when they know exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Great sports broadcasting employers address expectations today to avoid problems tomorrow.
4. They are facilitators, not dictators
Great employers provide employees with the tools necessary for success instead of just telling them what to do.
5. They are complimentary
Employees work harder when they know they are appreciated. An employer might not be able to offer a salary increase but they can keep employees motivated with the occasional well-earned compliment. Employees will work hard to please a boss when they feel appreciated.
6. They foster an atmosphere of teamwork
Bear Bryant said,” If everything goes great, YOU did it. If it goes moderately well, WE did it. If anything goes wrong, I did it.” Great sports broadcasting employers are similarly selfless leaders.
7. They are receptive to input from employees
On the hit TV show Undercover Boss, employers gain insights into their businesses by receiving feedback from employees. The people who know most about what is happening on the front line are those who are fighting on the front line.
8. They have their employee’s backs
Listeners contacting employers to complain about air talent happens every day at every station. When it does, employers need to support their talent. There is also no need to share listener complaints with talent unless it is necessary to help understand something that has happened on the air. Otherwise, sharing listener complaints will lead talent to start questioning how they are going about their job.
9. They return correspondence
Nobody is so unimportant that they should be ignored. An issue about which someone might be contacting you may be of little or no importance to you, but it might be of great importance to them. Dignify them with a reply. Even a brief reply shows great class.
10. They treat job applicants with respect
Professional employers take the time to notify job seekers that their applications have been received, and they notify applicants when they are no longer under consideration. Bill Wanless of the Pawtucket Red Sox is outstanding at this. I once had an employer fly me across the country to interview for a position at his radio station. After I walked out of the station following the interview, I never heard from him again. I only found out I didn’t get the job when he didn’t return my calls and emails. Believe it or not, it’s a scenario I have seen played out many other times in our industry.