Perspectives

Reevaluating the Entire Staff is Important for Esports Organizations During Uncertainty

It’s no secret American companies have faced unique challenges in 2020. Even with the industry’s impressive growth, esports organizations have been affected by the economic wasteland of 2020. Almost ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic, companies face economic uncertainty as they reevaluate traditional business practices. 

The Importance of Support Functions

Support functions have traditionally been one of the first places companies look to cut expenses in times of desperation. Today is no different. Rather than cutting back, companies should reevaluate their support functions. 

What are the support functions of an esports organization?

Esport team support functions include human resources departments, finance departments, and legal departments. While these functions are mainstays of traditional companies, they are just as critical in esports organizations.

Excellent business support functions promote efficiency, provide value within the company, and leverage employees’ and customers’ experience to improve the overall customer and employee experience. Support functions can accomplish these goals by following simple steps.

Establishing a direction for each department outlines an overall vision and strategy for the company. Defining an effective organization setup, including the roles of each function, leads to greater efficiency. Determining which skills the workforce needs to thrive provides a greater understanding of whatto prioritize in hiring and retaining talent.

Support functions can promote efficiency by leveraging new technology to automate processes. For example, a human resource department that manually inputs data into spreadsheets may be wasting valuable time. Instead, the department can use AI-based software that automatically inputs data, saving time and money.

Another way to promote efficiency is to review organizational structure to remove waste, cutting unneeded services. Improving efficiency can lead to a reduction of full-time staffers, saving money in the process. When reevaluating support functions, considering the experiences of employees is paramount. By identifying employee experience and insights, managers can better relate to their workforce’s needs, leading to greater productivity. 

By understanding these functions, companies can eliminate costs.

Reevaluating Human Resources

Within an esports organization, a Human Resource department sets the tone for organizational culture by working alongside team leadership. They establish clear lines of acceptable employee behavior and develop the hiring practices within the company. 

Additionally, the department supports the recruiting of players and coaches. As the first representative, a potential employee meets before joining the organization. Human resources must be friendly, courteous, and able to convey the organization’s goals. A positive first impression can be the difference between signing the top recruit or watching them join a rival organization.

Human resources also manage health and benefits for players, coaches, and other employees. They should consistently update employees on any changes to their health plans. They should be in tune with employee performance, as well as the personal well-being of players and coaches.

Esports organizations can reevaluate their human resources department by creating a self-service human resource format. This way, the system can automatically walk employees through setting up their health and benefits, inform employees when they have missing documents and allow the employee to stay on top of many of the functions human resources usually covers. A system like this wouldn’t eliminate the human resources department, rather allowing an organization to decrease the size of its staff, cutting expenses in the process.

Reevaluating Legal Department

Legal departments stay busy in esports organizations. Many of their functions revolve around personnel contracts, sponsorship opportunities, and navigating the waters of intellectual property.

Intellectual property plays a massive role in esports organizations. Video game development can cost anywhere between tens-to-hundreds of million of dollars. With this in mind, protecting intellectual property like logos and trademarks are of critical importance.

Few game publishers sponsor and run their esports leagues and tournaments. Licensing games to tournament operators is a much more common strategy. Each time an esport team joins a tournament, the legal department has their hands all over it. They must agree to the tournament format, rules, character and player advertisement, broadcast rights, and royalty payments.

Legal departments also handle endorsements and sponsorships for teams and their players.

While re-evaluating the legal department’s functions is important, this review should focus on cutting waste and improving productivity without reducing the amount of full-time staff. In the esports industry, the legal department is so critical to everyday functions that reducing the size would be counter-intuitive, leading to a loss in productivity. 


written by Chris Connors

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