5 ways to prepare for when the "boss" is coming

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Jack Dillon share his advice on why this mentality should actually be the everyday standard at your club

Over two decades ago, working for a company out of New York, I had an office on site at a New Jersey location. One day I arrived after an outside meeting to find the staff cleaning the facility as never before. They were looking to destroy every piece of dirt and dust on property. Although there was a regular daily cleaning routine, this was way over the top. Before I went back to my office, I had to ask why the facility was going through this deep cleaning exercise? “The boss is coming” was the answer. It turned out our CEO, out of New York was taking a tour of several east coast properties, and we were on the list. Before I let that answer fade away, I replied: “why don’t we do this same thing for every guest, every day, because frankly they are the real boss!” Yes of course the team needed to prepare the operation for the visit from the CEO. At the same time, I thought it was a teaching moment, a chance to show people that although preparing for the CEO was vital, so was the overall presentation for each & every guest.

For many years it appears that front line as well as some management staff have certain priorities out of joint. Every time a regional or national leader is to show up, the red carpet is located and rolled out, figuratively speaking… while many times the guest is treated as an interruption, a person in the way of the real work, including taking inventory, creating a work schedule or observing staff. The point of this highfives post is to say, some have had it backwards, and that although corporate visits are important, and preparations should be made, the true boss is the customer. They are the ones that pay the daily freight. Try to operate without them! Here are my five thoughts on the boss:

  1. During team meetings and training sessions emphasize the value of every customer. Go deep to talk through the explicit value in your dollar and cents terms, for golfers over the course of one year, 10 years. The proof is in the numbers
  2. Create service recognition awards for staff. When a manager sees great service, recognize it, talk it up, letting all staff understand the value of taking care of the members & guests
  3. Write out a service strategy, indicating explicitly, your expectations for the staff. Then inspect and manage against your expectations
  4. Be the service example for the team by being in the action during high traffic periods. Nothing is more powerful than observing the manager serving to the letter of the teaching
  5. Invent a yearly “Great Service to the Boss” award. Create an award with a check, to showcase the need for service excellence, in every department, across the entire property.

Yes, corporate visits are important, and staff must understand their meaning and value. At the same time, every employee must be taught and reminded about the value of each member, and every transaction. Allowing service to slip, or cleanliness to become shoddy is unacceptable on any day. Every employee needs to understand the values of the organization, the management, and the team. In addition to communicating the value of service to all, it is important to make certain the team works hard to have each other’s backs. People will be loyal to those places that prioritize their care, their safety and the overall experience.

 

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. Jack is celebrating 10 years of highfives posts in September. He is a merchant, and expert in service, operations, purchasing, and communications. Connect with Jack to build a better team, a better shop, a better operation. You can reach Jack at 407-973-6136 or at Dillonjack53@gmail.com. Jack lives in Orlando.

 

 

 

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