Joe DiBenedetto on Cherishing Opening DayIt’s that time of the year every baseball fan covets…opening day. The grass on the infield and outfield will never look greener, the sun will never shine brighter and for at least one day, every single team will have a chance – or at least think they have a chance – to win the World Series.

Why shouldn’t they? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to start with a clean slate once every year? Imagine the improvement you’d see in employee satisfaction and productivity! It’s why there’s always excitement the first day of school, no matter the grade level.

I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several opening day games at ballparks around the country, and there’s really nothing like it. Even when you know a team stinks, much like I did with my beloved New York Yankees in the early 1990s, going to an opening day game brings a level of excitement unmatched elsewhere. You can see it on the field and in the stands. Sitting in the bleachers of old Yankees Stadium in 1992, the camaraderie among the fans was unforgettable. It reached a fevered pitch when the Yankees scored three runs to take the lead against Roger Clemens and our hated rival, the Boston Red Sox. The Stadium was rocking when the Yankees closed out the game for a 3-2 win and everyone – apart from a few Red Sox fans in attendance – went home happy.

So why can’t businesses figure out a way to hold their own opening day celebration? Understanding that starting from scratch might not be realistic as it is in sports, there still should be ways in which organizations can help re-energize their teams. Maybe it’s something as simple as holding a Day of Fun each year, whereby the office closes and everyone gets together for a variety of activities, good food and tons of laughs. Perhaps its rotating work spaces – trading offices or cubicles with colleagues each year, and making a celebration of it – so you don’t get that Groundhog Day feeling of living the same day every day. Or possibly, as in the case of a PR agency where teams of individuals work on the same account each year, you shake up those teams by swapping in one new member annually. Not only will this swap bring a fresh set of eyes to the account, it’ll also bring new energy to the whole team and, ultimately, that’ll benefit the client (and the firm).

Culture is critical to the success of any organization, be it a baseball team or a PR firm, and your team’s job satisfaction plays a huge role in the company’s culture. Thus, let’s start thinking about how we can catch that opening day energy in a bottle and serve it across the organization. While we’re doing that, let’s also root for the Yankees to return to their championship glory. I mean, it’s been seven years since they won the World Series.

Joe DiBenedetto is a senior director leading the education practice at Lambert