How to turn employees of different ages into a cohesive team

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Staffing a golf property, whether up north or the south is a difficult task. It requires micro management of schedules, as well as a great deal of nimbleness and negotiation. At the same time, every golf course I have been involved with has a team of people with a variety of backgrounds and ages.  The workplace of 2018 has four generations of people working side by side. That is an amazing statistic when you step back and think about it.  Although this vast gap in ages might cause issues from time to time, it may also create a real opportunity to build better results. How can people with an age gap of up to 50 years or more be positive for your club? Here are some thoughts on building success with the most varied workforce yet:

1)    It is important to teach the youngest team members the basics of work and service. This might be their first job, so leave nothing to chance. Build structure.

2)    Set up regular classes at the club for all staff to include subjects like: how to speak to members, handling tough customers, the value of real listening, property presentation, dress and proper appearance, the importance of being on time, and how to work together to form a team.

3)    Set up a mentor program. Find mature staff people who want to help you and the club in extra ways. Ask your people with great work experience to support the youngest staff as well as others not keeping up. Build a one on one program with similar work schedules.  Help these teams by being involved, and keeping score.

4)    Set up a regular meal every quarter with as many staff members as can come. Meals are a great way to build to the social nurturing of the relationships. The service business requires amazing teamwork. I will do more for people I know and understand.

5)    Have monthly recognition “ceremonies” devoted to recognizing service acts from the smallest on up. The award size is not important. The pat of the back in front of their peers is the value. Make these events extra fun & memorable.  Never mail them in.

There is a great mix of people in the workplace today. Because you have so many unique services within the club, you will attract a great variety of ages and experiences. Please do not assume they will go and grow together. Develop programs with purpose so you can measure, manage, and reward. Allow the youngest to learn and grow. Allow the mature members to handle responsibilities that match their age group, while providing the utmost respect to them. The team can be a mixed bag of age and experience, but it should become a group in time, that works together to create an amazing service story that can continue to grow as they do.  Doing the above will help create fans from within the team.  Thank you.


Jack Dillon writes the High fives series and is a professional speaker with more than 45 years in the golf industry. He lives in Orlando and can be reached at 407-973-6136. 

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