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Another year is coming to a close.  The year in golf has been a noisy one and a tough one for many.  When anyone loses a job, I think of how it might have been avoided.  Most forest fires begin very small, and we miss the signs of what is ahead.  That also holds true for organizations that get into trouble.  The issues generally begin small, and away from the everyday grind.  One day, the numbers fall a bit short and all begin to panic and move to the other extreme.  Finally, decisions are made by management that may cost many jobs, and therefore put families into crisis.  I believe jobs should be saved and savored.  All of us in golf are lucky, whether we know it or not......whether we believe that or not.  To work in a field we love, now that is the dream of many.  To work in an industry that is a game, is all the more gratifying.  I have been lucky for more than 40 years.  How about you?  What might you be doing today if you were away from golf?

  It is important I believe, to be thankful and show gratitude to all.  As I have written before in this blog, you can never show too much gratitude.  Customers truly appreciate it.  Younger golfers rarely hear it, and older golfers seem to never hear it enough.  Teach all on your team to be gracious to fellow team members, as well as vendors, and of course, all golfers.  Being nice today seems to be a skill.  If so, teach it.  In all meetings show your gratitude and teach the team why it is important.  Being nice costs nothing and so your staff can create a critical differentiator at no cost to you......nice!  Here are 5 thoughts on gratitude:

  1. Start from your chair and begin to show gratitude in even the smallest ways.  A pat on the back, thank you cards, and small gift cards may be tiny in your mind, but huge to staff members, vendors, and of course members and guests
  2. In every staff meeting show and teach gratitude.  Do not assume but plan to show staff ways to show gratitude.  Show it, teach it, recognize it with staff
  3. Seek out the top 20% of your clients and create ways to show extra gratitude: from a special golf day at another club, to a private trunk show, to the surprise of a gift card from you and staff to them.  There are many ways to spend a little and reap a great deal
  4. You may have 4 or 5 staff members who are your best, your "keepers", it is OK to treat them extra special.  Gratitude does not need to be spent equally or fairly.  Recognize your best as your best!
  5. Make gratitude a purposeful part of your business.  Teach the team how to show thanks, when to show it, and continue to build it as a real differentiator.  Gratitude matters and when you have a system in place and the entire club community feels better when they are on property, well that will work better for all.  Jobs will be enhanced, not sacrificed.

So, I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to read these thoughts and ideas.  I hope you get an opportunity to try one or two.  If they work (or not), I would love to hear the feedback.  Golf is a great game, and a wonderful industry.  I am very grateful it found me as a teenager, and I still recognize it as an older man.  Show all at the club your gratitude, and watch how it comes back to you.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives blog.  He is an expert in the golf shop, sales, service, and operations.  He is a speaker on all of these subjects and more.  He is very thankful for this space.  Thank you.  You can reach Jack at 407-973-6136.


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