Lists of Tens – Uncovering Your Issues and Opportunities

David Letterman is famous for the Late Show Top Ten, a humorous compilation of 10 items usually relating to some prominent topic of the day.

Club managers can also use lists of ten to uncover issues and opportunities as part of a process of continual improvement in club operations.  It’s a simple matter of asking employees to list their top ten “whatevers.”  Recognizing that employees are often the people most familiar with a club’s challenges due to their intensive laboring in the details of the operation, I have found that asking for anonymous submissions will yield the most truthful and helpful information about what needs fixing or improved.

Managers must make it clear that it’s not required to list 10 items.  The purpose is not quantity, it’s to get answers regarding what’s troubling staff or members.  Here are some list of ten examples:

  • Ask dining room servers for a list of their top ten complaints from members.
  • Ask housekeeping and maintenance staff for their top ten obstacles to completing their tasks efficiently.
  • Ask the bag, range, and cart attendants for their top ten ideas to provide better or higher levels of service to golfing members and guests.
  • Ask all employees for their top ten frustrations about working at the club.
  • Ask employees for their top ten ideas to wow members.
  • Ask turn house and beverage cart attendants for the top ten snack items requested by golfers that aren’t carried in inventory.
  • Ask the accounting and HR staffs for their top ten frustrations with employee work and departmental submissions.

As can be seen, the list of ten questions can be far-ranging and cover any aspect of employees’ jobs and the challenges of service and service delivery.  The real benefit in posing such periodic questions to employees is that they often reveal unspoken issues and obstacles that make their jobs more frustrating.  It’s a simple matter to take the submitted lists, collate the results, and review for any consensus of opinions.  Often some of the issues raised are easily solved by a change in policy and procedures or some minor purchase.

Managers must always thank employees for their input and get back to them about any proposed action to address issues raised or ideas given.  It’s also important to let employees know if any of the issues will not or cannot be resolved and give the reasons why.

The ultimate purpose of the list of tens is to discover issues and opportunities in the operation.  Using periodic lists of ten and acting on the responses sends a powerful message to employees that their ideas and concerns will be listened to and, if possible, addressed.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

Club Resources International – Management Resources for Clubs!

Add                to Technorati Favorites

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply