The “Big Time-Long Time” Golf Club Staff Happy Toolbox

By: Gregg Patterson, Founder & President “Tribal Magic!!!” May 15, 2018

The “Golf Club Staff Happy” Imperative

Every golf club manager’s toolbox needs to be filled with “Big Time-Long Time” Golf Club Staff Happy Tools—tactics they can use to keep the employee team Big Time Happy for a Long, Long Time.

Why so?

“Staff Happy” is the key to success in the hospitality business.  Staff who are “Big Time-Long Time Happy”—whose lives have been enlarged and enriched by the work experience—join, stay, perform and trumpet the virtues of the workplace experience.

Staff who are Big Time-Long Time Happy enlarge and enrich the member experience and members whose lives are enlarged and enriched join, stay, use, “Linger Longer”, spend more and trumpet the virtues of the club experience.

And the end result of all this Big Time-Long Time Staff Happy is an enlarged and enriched bank account for the Club, the Staff, and the managerial team.

So finding and using “Staff Happy” Tools are critical Must Dos for every manager who wants to experience Big Time success during the management journey.

Golf Club Staff Happy Toolbox

Drivers of “Staff Happy”

Big Time-Long-Time Staff Happy is driven by The Big Four—alignment, education, bonding, and stimulation.

Alignment—Happy staff want their personalities, needs, wants and expectations to be “in alignment” with the club culture, the hospitality mission, the staff community, the member community and the job assignment.  Staff Happy tools test, affirm and strengthen that alignment.

Education— Happy staff want to be educated in the processes needed to do what they’re doing right and they want to keep “getting educated” so they can improve and grow on the job.

Bonding—Happy staff want to be part of The Tribe, bonded to other staffers and to the membership.  Staff wants to feel connected to those they work with and to feel “at one” with the club they work at.

Stimulation—Happy staff want to feel The Buzz each and every day, to get their adrenaline pumping, to have their curiosity peaked.  They want to avoid—BORING.

The ideal “Staff Happy” tool has all four of The Big Four.   Not all do—but every “tactic” is an expression of at least one of The Big Four.

Tactics for the “Staff Happy” Toolbox

Tactics translate principles into practices.  Staff wants to be happy and stay happy.  Here are a few of the tools managers can use to generate “Big Time-Long-Time” Staff Happy.

  1. Happy Leader: A Big Happy Leader is needed to lead staff to a happy place.
  2. Happy Lieutenants: Lieutenants are “in the trenches”, visible ten hours a day.  They lead by example.  And the example they need to show is Big Happy.
  3. Happy Hires: Hire people who are just naturally happy.  Their happiness is infectious.
  4. Fire the Unhappy: Get rid of the bitchers, moaners and groaners. Their unhappiness is infectious.
  5. Trumpet “The Why”—Happy Staff believe in the club’s “why” and feel good knowing they’re making a contribution to something meaningful. Trumpet your club’s WHY, often.
  6. Be Visible—-The G.M. needs to Show the Flag and Press the Flesh—lots.
  7. The Newbie Club Orientation———A Big Picture “club culture” orientation needs to be given to every new staffer and a “refresher” orientation needs to be given periodically to older employees.
  8. The Newbie Department Orientation—-A comprehensive departmental orientation needs to be given to new employees and a “refresher” orientation periodically given to older employees.
  9. Names—Require staff to know every staffer by name.
  10. Initial Training —Provide a structured training program to the new employee that’s comprehensive, progressive and caring.
  11. Continuous Training—-Deliver “continuous refresher training” on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
  12. Daily Upbrief——-Start every shift with a review of that day’s events and issues.
  13. Daily Debrief——–End every shift with a review of “what happened” during the shift. Ask for questions and “stories of the day”.
  14. Creation and Use of The Storybook——Document the “stories of the day” in The Story Book with “what did we learn” comments for each story. Review and discuss those stories often.
  15. Weekly Senior Staff Meeting———Bring the senior staff together for a G.M. led weekly meeting.
  16. Monthly All Staff Meetings——–Bring the entire team together (except for a skeleton crew) once a month for a Manager directed all staff meeting.
  17. Appreciation and RewardRecognize and reward achievement on the floor when it happens. Recognize and reward note-worthy acts during the monthly all-staff meeting.
  18. Management Greeting—-Whenever management passes a staffer have them look ‘em in the eye, say hello and call them by name.
  19. Staff Greeting—-Whenever staff pass staff require them to look ‘em in the eye, say hello and call them by name.
  20. Tell ‘em what’s happeningGive staff lots of info early and often via staff meetings and written updates.
  21. Do The “Never Alone” TourOnce a day have the G.M. do “the all club tour” with a staffer whose name was drawn during that day’s raffle.
  22. The Team Touch—Have a physical touch that signals inclusion in The Team such as a high five or fist bump.
  23. The Written Touch—Send staff notes commenting on performance, life moments and personal developments.
  24. Inquire—Ask questions and listen.
  25. Laugh Lots—–Managers need to joke lots and laugh lots with the team.
  26. End Results Assignments—Tell staff what needs to get done then let the team figure out how to do it.
  27. “Emotional Salutes”—-Life moments are a biggie— births, weddings, graduations, deaths. Acknowledge those moments with a note, a gift (for celebrations) and a verbal comment.
  28. Group Doings——–Conduct group events that are fun and interactive such as Bingo and Bowling.
  29. Idea Generation———Engage the team in facilitated brain-storming opportunities.
  30. Continuous Evaluation—Establish clear standards and goals for individuals and for the department, monitor progress and review often.
  31. Growth and Progress Opportunities———Deliver training / educational programs that lead to promotional opportunities.
  32. Alone Time with Pappa—Require scheduled one-on-one meetings between supervisors and staff to talk about work / life issues.
  33. Secret Shop——Have staff “Secret Shop” the club as if they were members.
  34. Benefits with “Pluses”———Know the “ground zero” benchmarks for comp and benefits, equal those expectations—then add “extras” to enhance The Package.
  35. Team Celebrations—When something noteworthy has happened— the end of the season, the successful completion of The Big Tourney—CELEBRATE with the team.
  36. Team Tours——-Have employees of one department visit other departments. Have employees visit “their department” at other clubs in the area.
  37. Internal University—Create an optional, open to anyone internal university dealing with topics not directly related to the job they’re doing. Leadership. Strategic Thinking.  Personal Finances. The Great Books.
  38. Visuals———–Have employees create for training and promotional purposes.
  39. Engagement and Satisfaction Surveys—Survey the team then discuss the issues identified during scheduled brain-storming sessions.
  40. The “Big Cheese” Buzz——do all of the above With Passion!!!

happy golf club staff

Deliver “Big Happy”

Happiness is a magnet for attracting and a glue for retaining GREAT staff and GREAT members.

Managers have a responsibility to create Big Time-Long Time Staff Happy.  It’s a management imperative.  A business imperative.  A cultural imperative.

Happy Tactics are “out there”.

Find the tools.

Use the tools.

And enjoy the journey…………………