Review yourself: updating rules and standards

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With season three of the pandemic now upon us, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the rules and standards of the property—you know, those that have been in the manuals for a while. With the world headed into another year of challenge, filled with mandates, masks, and ever-changing directions, updating your rules and standards, going into this year can be a timely decision. Although this is probably a good exercise to conduct every 3-5 years, I believe with the current state of the state, there is no better time than right now. From the number of key holders to the onboarding process, to the rules around social media, an overall review can play an important role in building a better club for the now, and for the future. Just as with insurance, you really want better than adequate rules and standards, current with your business programs, current with the world as it is.

It makes good sense, I believe, to pull the management team together to first meet about the current rules, standards, and policies as they exist. Plan this first meeting as a discussion only, talking about the current lists, while talking through the new day-to-day experiences in 2021. Go around the room and have each manager talk about the possible needs of the property today. Once you have made a list of ideas, have the managers meet individually with their teams, asking what they feel is needed in the critical areas of protecting people, assets, property. Once the managers have talked with their people, pull the leadership together to reset the program going forward:

Look to discard: get rid ofthe rules and standards that no longer apply in the way you operate the business today. Look at the key areas of hiring, security, onboarding, training, pay, benefits, promotions, discipline, social media issues and termination.

What rules should be added: the world has changed; your managers and guests think differently than even a few years ago. What upgrades should be made in the written standards of the property, in the rules? Look at every area of the property, assess the way business was executed over the past 20 months, and begin to think about what is necessary to present in writing. At a point where you and your other leaders form consensus, develop and finalize your new list.

What rules/policies should be sharpened: you may have several rules already on the books that may require only an upgrade, or at least a small bit of retooling. Work with your team to review each rule one by one. Create enough discussion that you have built a common path forward. It is also important for all to know that these rules are in place to protect everyone and everything of value. The rules to be enforced as a standard business practice. *Before you publish the new list(s), you may want the property legal experts to review the documents.

In this new world it is about protecting people, property, assets, and reputations. You manage in a very different world than the previous generations. Although golf has always been led by a theme of tradition and civility, it is critical to set the foul poles where you can both manage the experience, as well as have a program in place that shows you and your team have only the people’s best interest in mind at all times. 

Jack Dillon writes the In My Opinion posts. Jack is an expert in communications, service, purchasing, operations, and public speaking. He is the author of the new book: Jump the Line: 101 Lessons for Professional Success. Jack is available to help you build a better shop, a better operation and a better team. Contact Jack at 407-973-6136, or at Jack lives in Orlando and on Zoom.

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