How to connect staff for better service

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As you prepare for a new season there can be so many things on the to-do list, a list that never seems to end. One thing which may not appear on the list of most club managers is: how will I build excellence into the new staff. Specifically, how can I build connections amongst the team members that will bring about a new, high level of service at the club? Although your list may be yards long, I urge you to think about how, after new staff is hired, you and your managers can create an environment that connects your people to the right strategy, to the management team, and most importantly: to each other.

Service to be different, to deliver on all the promises, should work like a successful team sport. It is not to be played out like golf or tennis, although in my experience this is exactly what happens much of the time. The staff members that get itgo out of their way to create a great day for the members and guests. To do this, they do a great job, in their own department, in their own space. When they need help, they may go to their manager. Today’s highfives post is about connecting the entire staff to move to the same rhythms, the same strategy, and doing it together. Here are my 5 thoughts on connections:

1)    Although there is always new staff to hire each winter, there will also be staff members that return. As soon as the team has been finalized, set a first meeting. Create a friendly get to know each other meeting (with food) for everyperson on the payroll. It is the first big step in the connecting process

2)    As time moves forward, getting closer to opening day, work extra hard to keep the connections between clubhouse staff, outside staff, and the maintenance team. Setting the tone for relationship building is critical to a great structure of service, and you want all staff continuing a connection, otherwise care and concern evaporate

3)    In addition to having a quarterly meeting of the entire team, set up bi-weekly meetings for the departments. Insist that every team member come prepared to speak, to ask questions, to offer ideas. For service to excel, meetings cannot be all about smiles and cupcakes. For your club to be different, problems must come to the surface, be discussed with solutions suggested by one and all. Provide every member a forum for ideas

4)    New staff as well as struggling staff should be assigned a mentor. This is a staff member that will guide the new or struggling person through a tough situation. Remember that many problems are not work related, but personal issues that get brought into the workplace. Be empathetic to all. You have spent a great deal of time and resources in the hiring and training of your team. They are your people

5)     Create as many meetings with food and recognition on the menu as you can. I understand the hours of a club and the logistics of a team, but you are working to create an atmosphere where the team members trust each other, while having each other’s backs. Recognition: from a hand-written thank you note, to money, gift cards, paid time off and even just applause can mean much to people you expect to provide a bit of service magic this year. Treat them as you wanted to be treated as that staff member long ago. Most of all: care and make it FUN! Thank you.

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