I read this SHRM article on Bettina Deynes (hat tip to Kristen Hudak, blogger for MASN’s National Buzz, for sending this article) who is the Vice President of HR for the Washington Nationals. The cover story is about how Bettina and the HR department collaborate with General Manager Mike Rizzo and the front office.
Rizzo wanted a culture of winning in the organization after the Nationals lost more than 100 in back-to-back seasons. On one hand, Rizzo need to sign free agents and develop players who would change the team’s culture. Rizzo also wanted Bettina to hire more scouts and develop training programs to encourage that for this upcoming season, the Nationals are a serious baseball club.
There are two reasons I love this story. One was how much Bettina went through with the Nationals since joining in 2006: Alfonso Soriano 40-40 and bolted to the Cubs, the opening of Nationals Park, Dmitri Young and Elijah Dukes, the Dominican Republic player scandal, the Natinals, Jim Bowden, Clint, season ticket holders, Phillies fans, you name it. After all of that, Bettina is still the Vice President of HR and is reaping the benefits of a new (and in my opinion, better) regime and a growing organization this season and hopefully beyond.
The second thing I love this story is this really gives me hope that HR can collaborate with the front office, either in sports or business. I wish I was in the Nationals HR department to help out, but this made me wonder: does the Washington Capitals (or Washington Sports and Entertainment) have a HR department to improve the organization and hopefully (but really slim chance) to motivate the players on the team? If Ted Leonsis, George McPhee, or Mary Davis, President of Employment and Administrative Services for Washington Sports and Entertainment, are reading this, if there any HR openings, I’m available and hopefully the HR department collaborates with the front office a lot. Why not stop there: how about the Redskins? Ok, too far (the offices is at Ashburn and I don’t drive). How about working for the Wiz…oh wait, they’re cursed.
Anyway, this has giving me renowned hope that HR can work with the front office, and new hope that a HR department can help a sports team. Thank you, Bettina for giving me a new lease on my working career…
and I’m still waiting for that phone call Ted, George or Mary.
Update: Since the Washington Wizards won the NBA Draft Lottery and get the number 1 pick and likely select John Wall and possibly a big free agent, I wouldn’t mind working for the Wizards at all. But if I have a list of who to work for in order: