Be a people mover

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Having a more proactive approach with employees can make a difference in their level of service.

In the golf business, we can win or lose because of people. These are the people we bring on board, develop, and work into the team. In my recent experience I see managers spending less time with staff, while spending more time with spreadsheets and data. When managers spend time with staff, it seems more due to fixing an immediate issue, or correcting a service execution error. As you look forward to 2020, think about how you might be more proactive with your people, and how that just might make a real difference in the clubs’ service experience. With fewer managers combined with more staff members with little or no experience, spending time with the team can provide a new level of skills, confidence, and a greater appreciation of the service experience. Without becoming a micromanager, there are ways in building a better team in 2020.

 In this highfives post I list five ways for the manager to build spirit, a tighter environment, and develop a mission towards becoming the best golf experience in your community. These are not new here, but they can provide results when put into place for the longer term. Here are 5 thoughts to bringing the team together:

  1. The Huddle: create a daily morning meeting. This meeting should be 15 minutes or less and involve everyone who is on the first shift. Talk about the day ahead, ask questions, be the cheerleader. Have it in a central location, convenient for most.
  2. The Q&A: once a month or quarter and after hours, set up soft drinks and snacks and invite the entire team to come together. Here they can ask you questions about the club, the business of the game, and anything that can be for general knowledge. This can become a healthy exercise, but it may take 2-3 events to loosen the confidence
  3. The Finisher: this is more about gaining immediate feedback from golfers on a day of golf. Rotate, and have one team member (on busy days) stationed near the 18th green. The idea is to ask one question: how was your day here at the golf club? One question only. The staff member then should take notes as they hand out a coupon for a soft drink or draft beer, redeemable that day. Asking thousands of golfers one question can be truly enlightening and great for building your service story
  4. MBWA: This means “managing by walking around.” Have the team of managers spend a part of their day walking through the club looking for good execution. A pat on the back from the boss or a manager can be worth a great deal to the staff member(s) and the club. MBWA comes from Management Guru, Mr. Tom Peters*
  5. Team Meal: I continue to preach about having meals together as a unit. The service game today is tough. People demand more and more for their dollar, and building a kinship as a unit, sharing stories and solutions can create loyalty, better attitudes, and execution. We all know new employees are afraid to ask questions. This setting puts people on the same plane, making everyone comfortable talking about service issues, and ways to make things better.

As you plan out 2020, think about ways you can contribute more to your team, so that they will want to give more of themselves every day. If I know my manager has my back, cares about me, and my ability to perform, there is no doubt I will want to pay it forward. There are many ways to improve a day of golf, making everyone feel vital, is a direct way to build your service experience.

Jack Dillon is an Orlando-based writer of the highfives series and is a speaker and an expert in hospitality, merchandise and people coaching. He has been in this industry for more than 45 years. Contact him at 407-973-6136.

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