Motivation matters

It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit, writes Eddie Bullock.

There is no hard and fast rules when it comes to motivating colleagues, but I believe it is all about striking the right balance between keeping people inspired and reaching your business goals and ambitions. It is important to remember that business is about people and having a happy team leads to happier membership, guest and visitor interaction and, ultimately, success for the club.

Being the General Manager/COO of any Golf Club should be rewarding, especially when you can see your team motivated and driven. During my career, I’ve had the privilege of heading up teams and each role has required an entirely different strategy to sustain employee satisfaction.

The changes within the modern workplace has placed more demands than ever before on human qualities; the day-to day manager-employees interactions that build–up skills, expand knowledge and impart desirable workplace values. These require quality time to be spent by leaders. As part of my advisory, mentoring and insight programmes, let me share six important principles that can be applied to the development behaviour standards of your club’s business culture.

1. Make Talent Your Top Priority

Nurturing and retaining talent should be a top priority for any business. People are your most valuable asset and good talent is often more difficult to replace than material or financial resources. Different generations simply have different motivational hot buttons and at times you have to adjust your offerings to be able to drive the performance you require; a one-size fits all approach  to motivational tactics does not work.

Clubs that work hard to connect with their people across their entire business are more likely to feel satisfied and confident within their work environment. It’s important that the team feel proud to work for your club and are motivated to embrace the day-to-day service values.

2. Create a Distinctive Club Culture

As simple as it sounds, establishing a distinctive club culture helps to keep people motivated. Establishing a friendly, relaxed and informal environment makes modern Golf Club teams feel comfortable in their surroundings and subsequently happy in their roles. Simple initiatives, such as celebrating achievements with the team, help to ensure they feel like they’re an important part of the club’s future. Rewarding people with small gestures and treats such as handwritten thank you notes and congratulations cards reminds them how important they are and goes a long way to placing a smile on their faces.

3. Have a Vision That Your Team Can Buy Into

What is your club’s brand promise? For example is it, “We will deliver you the best golf experience.” Whatever it is, does it ring true for the team as well as for your memberships? Working as one team creates a strong internal connectivity that is embedded within a shared consciousness, which resonates throughout the membership, confirming a trust that enables small teams to function.

It is important to continually remind your team of your club’s values and express them through everything you do. Have an approachable attitude whereby encouraging all team members to engage with questions and ideas, no matter how big or small.

4. Communication is Critical

Club businesses of any size should conduct open forums of communication improvements. These are critical in establishing mutual trust and respect among all employees. Being open and honest means people feel involved and, consequently, are more dedicated to the club business. Sharing information constantly throughout with the teams is important at all times; keeping everyone in the loop keeps a team fused with a common purpose.

5. Invest in Skill Sets

Training and development often slips to the bottom of the list or is an after-thought. However, investing in training not only supports personal development, it generates more knowledge among the team and strengthens the business as a whole. It’s a great tool to make people feel appreciated. Allowing people to take time out of work to support development and improve ability is always time gained. There is no better way to drive a business forward than by enhancing the knowledge and skill sets of the team.

Lack of progression is sometimes a reason for someone feeling demotivated. People like to be reassured of their own development and want to feel like they have the opportunity of progression.

6. Don’t be Afraid to Question Yourself

If you’re having trouble retaining people or keeping them motivated, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the wider issues within your club. It may be that there is a lack of culture or integral values, or perhaps a hostile working environment has developed.

Progressive Clubs will rely on the leadership, passion and attitude of the determined Club Managers who leverage their eagle-eyes to support an obsession for detail and perfection. They foster enhanced market recognition and valuable cultural identity that elicits an active sense of belonging. Clubs that have a compelling vision are inspiring and evoke that sense of purpose and belonging.