Survey the Situation: Employee Feedback is the Key to Success

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Get down to the details your staff needs to do their job.

Hiring has always been a difficult program for organizations. In the old days, prior to the pandemic, businesses usually had to hire just one person at a time, and many struggled with that plan, searching for the best fit. Today, with fear still hovering, and government green offering the chance to enjoy more time away, the idea of hiring several strong people at once is at best looking like a dream sequence. Actually, to most managers, it has turned into a nightmare, as they work to create a service level to encourage friendly reviews, repeat rounds: beyond satisfied golfers. As a person who spent decades interviewing and hiring folks one at a time, this new deal sounds like a superhuman deal to me.

At the same time, you are working hard to keep the golf course in great shape, the food tasty, and the clubhouse cleaner than Grandma’s kitchen. More superhuman feats that begin every morning at 6:00 A.M. Although the noise called Covid-19 is beginning to be drowned out by the hysteria of everyone leaving their home office, looking to do everything, the aftermath is causing post-Covid backaches and even heartaches for operators. Working to hire people, train them, and service golfers, all while working to crack a smile, is not on any job description I’ve ever read.

This post is about a simple idea, an idea I thought about long before golf became the Mall of America of sport. The idea, now because of the lack of a full complement of staff: set up simple question & answer sessions several times each week with staff. After a few formal training meetings, make the rest of the season devoted to these Q&A’s. The benefit is that instead of going over items many times, you get to the details your staff is missing, the details they want to know in order to do the job. At the same time, you can expand this idea to your golfers. Building a great service story is about giving people what they want, and in a timely way. Here you have the golfers touch on the specific issues and concerns they want addressed. It is about cutting to the chase for all who matter. Here are my 5 thoughts on the Q&A. Here are my highfives:

1)    Have on-going sessions - For the staff, set up sessions both in the morning and late in the day throughout the week. They should not be mandatory, but staff can attend as many as they want. The admission price: have a question to ask.

2)    Have several meeting leaders - Have different managers lead out the Q&A’s. As the property leader, you may get more out of these meetings by being in the back of the room listening and observing.

3)    Allowing staff to drive meeting direction will create good results - The team members get to ask the questions they need to have answered. If you want to pre-qualify some subjects to bring up only in private, make that known, but try to keep that list a short one.

4)    Create the same program for your golfers - This could bring out the things they really do not like, together with the real services and products they want. Guessing and trying unpopular items can only cause lost money and poor morale. Allow them to ask and tell!

5)    The direct way to know - Whether you are trying to teach or learn, the Q&A can be a direct way to take in a great deal more, along with the notion you are creating valuable shortcuts to your education. Try it. As they used to say, “It can’t hurt!”

The Q&A is fun, direct, and certainly engaging. For you, in these extraordinary times, it may be an interesting game-changer for building a better team as well as attempting to create raving fans. Coming up with the right questions for team members, job applicants, and golfers will give you a better insight into each person as well as more information for which to do battle during these days where tee times are the most coveted times of the week. Try it and let me know what you think.


Jack Dillon writes the highfive series. Jack is a speaker, writer, merchant, and golf operations expert. Now part of Career Dividends, Jack can help you, your shop and team drive better results. When there is need for improvement and change, contact Jack at: 407-973-6136 or In the game since 1973.

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