I learned a lot from the Chicago Cubs and Randy Hundley about employee and volunteer engagement and commitment. Do your employees/volunteers act like owners in your enterprise? Do they feel a sense of shared accountability and responsibility?  I saw such engagement in action recently.

As a birthday present, I recently participated in the Randy Hundley-Chicago Cubs Fantasy Baseball Camp. We received a lot of information and many suggestions from Randy before we left for Mesa, Arizona. However once we rookies arrived, we quickly found that there still was a lot about the week that we did not fully understand and a few things we had not anticipated.

Now that is not necessarily all bad. If the alternative was for them to publish a thick guide booklet and issue a long list of rules, then include me out. Their informal approach to new player orientation gave the camp a comfortable, friendly, and liberating feel. (Who wants to spend a week reading and following a bunch of rules, anyway?) Still, we did have some questions…

Enter the returning camp veterans. These people had been through the routine before-some, many times before.  They generously offered a lot of helpful information and volunteered  valuable shortcuts and tips. And, once our teams for the week were announced, we rookies were welcomed onto our teams and made to feel an important part of them.

The returnees were not obligated to help us; no one told them they had to.  They just did. They loved the camp experience, remembered their first time there, and wanted us to have a good first camp experience, too.

I believe it was their pride in the enterprise (fantasy baseball camp) that prompted everyone to help us. They felt a sense of ownership in a terrific experience that they wanted to preserve and hand down to others. Maybe that is why this particular fantasy camp is nearly 30 years old and is still going strong.

Do your employees/volunteers have this sense of engagement, commitment, and responsibility? There are many ways to develop it. Call me and let’s talk.