Right or Wrong Call: NFL Replacement Referees
October 2, 2012
If you were the president or CEO of one of the most profitable businesses in the world, would you disrupt your brand’s consistency by replacing a key part of your veteran workforce with entry-level employees?
If you’re the NFL, that’s exactly what you would do … for three months. Last week, the NFL and NFL Referees Association came to terms on a new deal for the referees, ending a lockout that brought officials from small college conferences to the pros. A tough assignment for individuals suddenly expected to manage the most talented and seasoned football players in the world.
From missing game-altering penalties to improperly spotting the football, the miscues displayed by the replacement officials reinforces why proper training and veteran leadership are vital to maintaining a consistent, quality brand. Employees must be properly prepared to make the right call, whether they are officiating a Monday Night Football game or routing a news release to their supervisors.
At MP&F, entry-level employees (staff associates) go through training for several weeks and, after that time, are gradually brought up to speed on client work. This helps staff associates learn how to make the right call and make smooth transitions from college to the pros.
This leads me to ask a question: What should be expected from a group of officials lacking the experience to officiate an NFL game? In my opinion, the referees were unprepared for the task; but what should be expected from officials who, prior to four months ago, had never officiated a game outside the college ranks?
I’ll let you be the judge. Did the NFL and replacement referees do the best they could in a bad situation, or did the NFL commit a major error, trusting the integrity of its brand to employees not ready for the task?