By Andrew Johnson, Golf Operations Manager for Monaghan Golf Group at Fraserview Golf Course
With so many moving parts and so many people (staff and customers) moving them, it's incredibly easy for the elements of your golf operation to fall victim to a lack of attention to detail. As the manager, as hard as you might want to try, it's literally impossible for you to oversee and control every element of the operation at all times. But, what you can do is build a foundation for your staff to mold around.
Start with communication. Look at the operation through the eyes of your staff. A new program has just been announced in a newsletter sent to all of your golfers. It's not going to take long for the first person to call the golf shop to ask for more details. Is your staff ready to handle that phone call or are they going to know as little as the fly on the wall? How unprofessional is that staff member (and your entire operation) going to look when they don't know anything about something you're "selling" that you just sent out to the world? Think about everything that your staff could be asked about. Are they prepared with answers? Is the person working next to them going to be able to help them if they don't know the answer?
Communication to your staff can happen in a variety of ways...
- Email is a great tool for reaching everyone at once, but you don't want to go crazy here. It's very easy to want to just blast away with everything you want everyone to know all the time, but this will just drive everyone crazy and you run the risk of eventually being tuned out. Keep the emails to "essential knowledge" and keep them as brief and to the point as much as possible.
- Leave a note. If something is being picked up or there's something the morning staff should know about the next day, let them know about it. Don't skimp on details. Let them know exactly what they need to know.
- "<This is something you should know>, pass it on". If it's not quite worth an email or a note, tell whomever is in front of you at the time or whoever needs to know at that moment, and encourage them to let the others know. Word of mouth can be a beautiful thing.
If you look at the operation through the eyes of your staff, whether in general or with regards to a specific situation, it should be easy to anticipate the knowledge they need communicated to them to allow the operation to run smoothly. They will appreciate your effort to communicate with them. One of the worst feelings in the world for someone in a customer service position is not knowing the answer to something they clearly should have the answer to. Don't put them in that position. Don't forget that you're not the operation on your own, you all are! Give them the knowledge they need to allow things to operate flawlessly, regardless of who is answering that phone call.