NFL Replacement Refs Are A Widespread HR Problem That No One Notices

Cowboys Giants replacement referees

Photo: Getty Images/Al Bello

The NFL replacement referees have become the posterboys for people in way over their heads.They’re simply not equipped to do their jobs. They don’t have the experience and they don’t have the training.

But this happens all the time in the business world. Perhaps it’s because a company doesn’t have the funds to pay for someone appropriate, or if they’re not trained correctly, or the person’s background doesn’t fit the role.

In a post on her blog, Patti Johnson, CEO of HR consulting firm PeopleResults, points out that these skill gaps frequently don’t prompt any action by companies.

Why is that?

In the NFL, there are millions of people watching, so the problem becomes obvious.

In business, the skill gap between the person’s talent level and what’s required often isn’t large enough to  create some big controversy and spark change.

Johnson explains with an anecdote:

I also recently learned of a Sales Manager with lots of experience in leading teams that sell products. Yet, he struggled to transition to the company’s new strategy of offering services. New opportunities were missed, the sales experience was too transactional vs. consultative and his team lacked the knowledge to make this shift. The CEO realised later than he had hoped that the gap was too big and their business suffered for it.

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