Growing success through recognition

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In this time of The Great Resignation, one of the immediate casualties in the day-to-day operation is service, most especially in hospitality and retail. On one hand, due to lack of staff, businesses just do not have enough people to provide the service expected by their customers. In addition, because of the sheer lack of people, training programs for many have been dropped or severely curtailed. Because of these very peculiar times I am offering a few thoughts to provide a bit of the personal touch during a time where it seems every business is fighting not only for every customer, but to retain every staff member too.

Here are three things, fairly easy to put into practice, that the management team can help promote throughout every department within the property. They’re fairly easy and doable, without a great deal of push and stress. Let’s walk through each of the ideas meant to provide a warm feeling as every staff member learns more about your business and the people who play the golf course, and frequent the property:

  1. Recognizing faces and names: develop a program where you train, recognize and reward staff for learning the faces and using the names of your members and frequent guests. There are no words sweeter than a person’s name. It’s a great way to build loyalty.
  2. Recognize every member’s birthday: with a birthday once a year, this can be a strong continuous connector to your members. No doubt within your records you have the birthdays for every member (and employee). Build a monthly calendar of birthdays for members and staff. Create simple but meaningful recognitions (favorite food, cake, or small gift, for example) to show these most valuable people how important they truly are.
  3. Know and recognize the children: as a parent I can tell you when a supplier partner would recognize my son, provide sports tickets, or some other recognition of him, that partner had a larger space in my mind and heart. When you know the children of your members, offer them programs and experiences unique and fun. The surprise will be a joy for child and parent, providing you a special way to build loyalty. It works!

As you fight the daily battles of recruitment and retention, maintaining your standards is an ever-changing battle that seems to move with the turn of the calendar. Treating members and guests special is important. Respecting your golfers and staff has value for today and all days in the future. When you meet with your managers, working through the difficult people issues, leave time to talk about service and the easy things every person might add to their menu in the hopes of making your golfers and your people feel good about your property, and even that dogleg on the back nine. In this difficult business climate, every problem may feel huge, while its solution might just be sitting at arms’ length. Trial and testing will help you create better service results. 

Jack Dillon writes the “In My Opinion” post. Jack has been a part of the golf industry since 1973. His new book is: Jump the Line: 101 Lessons for Professional Success. Jack can help you build a better team, a better operation, and especially a better golf shop. He is an expert communicator, coach, buyer, and manager. As you prepare to improve your business in 2022, plan to give Jack call. You can reach Jack at: 407-973-6136 or jackd@careerdividends.com. Jack lives in Orlando.

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