Cash is King – but investing knowledge with your Front-Line team is Critical!
Front-line talent spotting is one of my past-times. In visiting numerous clubs throughout Europe, I am looking for that sparkle that immediately engages me. When I find examples of it, I have a tendency to examine each and every one of this new breed of talent, just to find out how much product knowledge they have about their organization. How old is the club? How many members are there? How long have they been with the club? Do they take control; do they naturally transmit the warm – welcome factor and make me want to be with them? Do they take ownership and feel responsible for my stay at their club; do they engage me and make me feel that, even as a guest, I belong?
Successful clubs ensure that an atmosphere of welcome is integrated into all activities of their business, so that focusing on their members and guests becomes part of the clubs way of life.
Alas this experience is all too infrequent. Instead, at some clubs, one can receive a moping and lacklustre welcome from the front of house, but is it their fault? Are they really to blame?
Moreover, has anyone invested time to make them excited and energized about their workplace? If not, then it's no surprise that apathy is what members and guests receive. It surprises me, to discover, how many clubs do not deliver a thorough induction into their businesses. Clubs that do so recognize how critical such a process is. And that does not mean a quick tour around the facilities, here's your uniform, thank you go to work attitude.
Can you imagine Manchester United, Real Madrid, Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks football clubs signing a player, welcoming them, then directing them to the locker room and suggesting that they interact with other members of the team on the way to see how they do things, without sharing the vision and values of the organization!
This message creates the internal drive to deliver the expectations to the customer, no matter what business you are in involved with.
Knowledge is not only key, but it is critical for each and every one of the club's employees. Yes, EVERYONE needs to know about the business they need to understand what the business presents. They need to be business partners and elevate their presence.If the goal is efficiency, consistent message and common practice, it is vital to share. For example: your team wants to know how you market the club, how you generate income, what the expenses are, who the board members are; what their responsibilities are, etc? If there is no sharing of information about the business then it easily interpreted as “they know you do not want to share it with them, so why or how can they care.”
Becoming a great organization requires you to share information enabling staff to become your business partners. Progressive global clubs share their passion, their knowledge and embrace a learning culture within their operations; making certain that relevant business knowledge is shared so everyone will know where the club is going. European Club businesses that are exemplary in motivating their employees to focus on membership results include London Golf Club, Les Bordes, Roehampton Club, Golf Club Milano, Goodwood, Valderrama and many others.
Many European Golf Club businesses need to remove their barriers to service and hospitality, and focus their objectives on delivering – customer results. This would enhance the whole experience by developing the right people for the club service environment. The preliminary of progressive employee's with any business is honesty from their employers, and the opportunity to learn new skills that will set them up for their future. The new generation is thirsty to edge ahead and develop their Curriculum Vitae by adding new competencies that they did not have previously. When a new employee is hired within the organization, whatever its size they should enter as if it's a university of learning. Beyond orientation, their initiation must include, coaching them to have a service mind – set and guiding them to exceed expectations where possible – how can they constantly look for opportunities to provide more than people anticipate – just going above in terms of service. That initial approach should also include the five important tenets that are non negotiable, particularly for all front-of-house talent:
2) Make Eye Contact
3) Use Names
4) Spend TIME to connect
5) Always say Thank You
Talent management process is not likely to be successful unless the organization recognizes the value of talent identification and development, and makes it part and parcel of every manager's responsibility. The COO / GM is the keeper of the vision; the cheerleader, who is supporting and encouraging everyone consistent with the vision, values and image of the club. Organization leaders at all levels have to be constantly communicating the message, similar to Miss Carruthers my old school teacher who had to consistently and forcefully repeat and repeat her message !!
And you surprised why …
“Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultured, it can not be harvested”