How to prep for success in 2022

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It was hard for me to type that year in the title. Amazing to see we are 22 years into the century and also headed to our third season of COVID. Do we now call it COVID-22? Certainly there are industries that would love to share in the headaches of our industry. Since June of 2020, the game has seen great fortune come through the parking lots of just about every golf course in the country. People found or rediscovered golf and got to experience the personality of the game, the smell of the grass, and the sheer fun of being out and about with people sharing the same joy, all out of doors.

Preparing for 2022 may mean you are wondering how many members to budget for, or how many rounds your golfers will play during the season. I am guessing it may also mean figuring out the staffing plans for the property: who will stay, who may go, and what can be done to improve the service standards. This post, introducing thoughts on the new year, is about the people that will make up your team. Although I continue to believe this concept of The Great Resignationwill soon end, it has lasted longer than any employer had hoped. Golfis the ultimate service industry. The product is the golf course, and that is where the greatest focus should land. The bottom line is all about hospitality, an experience. These ideas are about strategizing the plan to work with the people who will be your team in 2022. Here are three thoughts, my opinions, about serving the team in the upcoming year:

  1. Meet individually with every current staff member. Some may be thinking about leaving. Some may be ready to go at the end of the year. Now is the time, I believe, to sit down with each team member and have a thorough one on one. You share your goals for the new year, as you listen to the concerns of the team. Listening to people is one of the greatest services you can provide. Find out where they stand about their role, and their future. Can you create a better program for the team in 2022?
  2. Decide those staff members you want to move out. There is no reason to carry people who, in the end, do not have the best interests of your business at heart. Move them out at the end of the year and build a model based on a COVID-likestrategy, knowing you are moving into season three of a business very different than 2019. Build a roster model with your managers and strategize how you will find the right candidates
  3. Make 2022 the year leadership will communicate as never before. I firmly believe many issues can be solved by facing them head-on, and by talking them through as often as necessary. It is important to move away from the desktop, laptop, and iPads. Building and maintaining a team may mean a greater number of face-to-face meetings, a weekly work schedule that was inconceivable just 5 years ago, a pay and bonus plan that almost makes you wish you were on the other side. Leverage today is on the other side of the desk. With that in mind, it is important to create a team of leaders that focus on the golfer, on sales, revenue, fun, and a continued experience to help people forget about the crazy world beyond the 18th green.

In my mind, preparation for the coming year means establishing who will be on the team, and then build incentives and a spirit that will encourage them to stay. Examine each part of the business. Where can improvements take place: pay, hours, scheduling, bonuses, training, personal development? Changing the way you do business is never comfortable, but it might be necessary to build a better property for the long term. No, it is not an easy ask—but who ever said life in a pandemic was easy? 

Jack Dillon writes the In My Opinion post. Jack has been a part of the Golf Inc. team for more than 11 years. He is an expert on merchandising, purchasing, service, and operations. He is a speaker and author of the new book: Jump the Line:101 Lessons for Professional Success. Jack is available to talk about how he can make your club and your team better in 2022. Contact Jack at: 407-973-6136, or at jackd@careerdividends.com. Jack lives in Orlando. Contact Jack for special staff quantity pricing on his book.

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