Archive for April, 2014

Supervisory Responsibilities

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The work of all enterprise employees is assigned, directed, supervised, and reviewed by a department head or supervisor.  Each employee will ordinarily have only one supervisor.

Effective supervision depends upon the ability of supervisors to get employees to do what is necessary with professionalism and enthusiasm.  Supervisory responsibilities include:

  • Directing employees’ work.
  • Hiring, counseling, and disciplining employees as necessary.  Recommending discharges to general manager.
  • In conjunction with Annual Enterprise Goals, establishing goals for their department or section.
  • Establishing and maintaining high standards of service, quality, and job performance for employees.  Providing a strong emphasis on service to customers/guests/members by use of the organization’s Standards of Service.
  • Resolving service issues in a prompt, courteous way.  Seeking constant feedback from customers concerning quality of operation.  Ensuring that all employees have a complete dedication to the needs and desires of customers.
  • Establishing systems, standards, policies, and procedures for the efficient operation of their department or section.  Paying close attention to the details of the operation that distinguish an outstanding operation from a merely good one.
  • Supervising employees, ensuring that all systems, standards, policies, and procedures are followed.  Supervising the work of employees with emphasis on high levels of quality and service, making on-the-spot corrections as necessary.  Constantly reinforcing ideals of quality and service to employees.
  • Developing formal training programs and providing ongoing individual skills and service technique training for employees.
  • Scheduling employees in the most cost-effective way to accomplish necessary work.  Verifying hours worked.
  • Monitoring and controlling departmental costs, especially payroll.  Ensuring that all employees have work to do throughout the workday and workweek.  Sending employees home when necessary to avoid overtime and control costs.  Advising management on changes in staffing structure to accomplish the work in the most cost-effective way.  Preventing abuse of sick/emergency days.
  • Establishing and meeting annual and monthly budgets for department.  Using Tools to Beat Budget to help monitor and control expenses.
  • Ordering supplies as necessary.  Conducting accurate inventories as necessary in a timely and thorough manner.  Ensuring the security of inventories.
  • Ensuring the safe operation of all equipment.  Reporting equipment defects and malfunctions to maintenance for repair.
  • Maintaining equipment and machinery in good working condition.  Monitoring cleanliness of areas of responsibility.  Cleaning as necessary and coordinating with housekeeping for special cleaning or areas needing attention.
  • Ensuring that organization policies, including appearance and grooming standards for department, are followed by all employees.
  • Instilling an awareness of energy conservation in staff.
  • Benchmarking departmental performance with operating statistics tracked over time and analyzed continuously.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective communication with departmental staff, other departments, and senior management.
  • Establishing and maintaining a high degree of motivation and morale within department.
  • Ensuring a safe workplace.  Training employees concerning safety issues.
  • Ensuring a secure workplace.  Developing and maintaining a security consciousness among staff.
  • Working together with other department heads and supervisors to develop a team-like approach to the operation where the emphasis is placed on problem discovery and solution.

Excerpted from What I Expect from My Club Management Team

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!

 

Principles of Service

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The following principles govern the quality of the service we wish to offer:

  1. SERVICE is our only product. We aim to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers/guests/members.
  2. Attitude and a sense of enthusiasm are important ingredients in providing high quality SERVICE.
  3. The first step in providing SERVICE is to anticipate the needs and desires of our customers. To do this we must examine every area of our operation in detail to determine how we can give more and better service and value.
  4. To provide high quality SERVICE, we must know what our customers want and expect. Therefore, we should constantly seek their comments, criticisms, and opinions about our operation.
  5. If a customer perceives a problem, there is a problem. It makes absolutely no difference whether we think there is a problem or not. Furthermore, the problem is ours, not the customer’s. The burden rests entirely with us to change the customer’s perception.
  6. We should never be defensive when a customer comes to us with a problem. He or she is doing us an immense favor by bringing the problem to our attention. We must listen carefully to make sure we understand the nature of the problem and take action to correct it.
  7. Every problem has a solution. Placing blame for problems is not our concern. Solving problems and analyzing them to ensure they don’t happen again is our only concern.
  8. The SERVICE profession is a demanding one, but one that offers many rewards. There is nothing more demanding or more satisfying than accepting the challenge of turning someone’s anger and unhappiness into a smile.
  9. A true SERVICE attitude involves sincerely caring for our fellow man. The good feeling we get from helping others is proof positive that when we give to others, we give to ourselves.
  10. A sincere smile is the smallest yet most important element of SERVICE. Though smiles are formed with the mouth, when sincerely given, they come from within. Smiles are more than just lip service.

The Principles of Service and what they mean should be second nature to every hospitality employee.

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!

 

Guest Blog: It’s Not Just Dodgeball – The Claremont Club Case*

Monday, April 14th, 2014

This decision illustrates both the general risk of club liability when liability waivers are unclear and when a club does not follow its written management policies and the unique risk of club liability when a club offers child care. In this case, a member’s child was injured playing dodgeball in the club’s childcare program.  The trial court ruled that (i) a release signed by his father barred the claims, (ii) there was no evidence showing the club’s conduct amounted to gross negligence, and (iii) the injuries were an inherent risk in dodgeball.  A finding of gross negligence was relevant because in California, a liability release for gross negligence is generally unenforceable.  In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed and held that there were triable issues of material fact regarding each of the trial court’s findings.

Releases

The appeals court believed that there were triable issues of fact related to the release, because it was unclear whether the father released claims related only to the father’s facilities use or also the family’s facilities use and whether a release of liability for personal injury from “Club activities” included dodgeball, which was not among the list of activities in the membership information form.   The appeals court also believed that there were triable issues of fact as to whether a release with respect to child care was void against public policy.

Gross Negligence

The appeals court believed that there were triable issues of fact as to whether the club was guilty of gross negligence when (i) club employees knew racquetball courts were being used for dodgeball against club policy, (ii) the club did not implement safety rules for the game, (iii) the children were supervised by an 18 year old front desk clerk with no childcare training, and (iv) the 18 year old participated in the dodgeball game and played in an aggressive way.

Inherent Risk of Game

The appeals court believed that there were triable issues of fact as to whether the child assumed the risk in participating in an inherently risky activity because the club increased the risk normally associated with dodgeball by allowing the game to be played in an enclosed area not intended for dodgeball, allowed it to be played with a hard rubber ball and allowed an adult untrained in childcare to participate in the game and play aggressively.

The lessons of this case for club managers are to enforce club policies designed to protect members, especially children, and to review release provisions with legal counsel.

Lotz vs. Claremont Club, Court of Appeals, Division 2, California (August 15, 2013); reference:  www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/B242399.DOC‎

Author:  Glenn A. Gerena, a shareholder with the national law firm of Greenberg Traurig, P.A., concentrates his practice on structuring, documentation for, and restructuring club membership programs.  You can read more about the author at http://www.gtlaw.com/People/GlennAGerena, and read more club related articles by the author at http://www.hospitalitylawcheckin.com.

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!

What I Expect from My Department Heads

Monday, April 7th, 2014

There are a number of things I expect from all of department heads regardless of their specific areas of expertise and function.

Leadership – I expect a consistent service-based style of leadership for all departments.  Service-based leadership naturally promotes employee empowerment which is absolutely essential to delivering remarkable service levels.

Organizational Values – Strict adherence to and promotion of the enterprise’s culture of service is necessary to ensure that all employees understand the values that underpin our business.  The consistent example of managers at all levels is a must.

Annual Departmental Goals – Each department head must develop departmental goals based upon the club’s annual goals.  These goals have an impact on department budgets.

Standards, Policies and Procedures – These are necessary for all areas of the operation to promote standardization and efficiency.  They are also the basis for developing pertinent training material for each department.

Tools to Beat Budget – The discipline of tracking revenues and expenses in real time makes department heads more knowledgeable about their enterprise and enables them to take timely action to correct deficiencies.  It’s also an incredibly effective tool for improving the ease of developing departmental budgets, as well as their accuracy.

Benchmarking – Every department head must benchmark their payroll expenses in detail.  As the single largest expense in most departments, it is essential that they track and monitor this expense.  In addition, they need to benchmark their respective operations to ensure they have a better understanding of their business.

Accounting Submissions – There are accounting requirements for all department heads and they are expected to meet these in a timely and accurate manner.

Human Resource Requirements – I expect each department head to have a thorough knowledge of all HR requirements and strictly adhere to these.  There are too many legal and liability issues to do otherwise.

Monthly Budget and Work Plan Review Meeting – Every month after the financial statements are distributed each department head will meet with General Manager and Controller to review financial performance and progress on work plan accomplishment.  Department heads must be prepared for this meeting by ensuring their Tools to Beat Budget binders and benchmarks are up to date, can explain any variances, and can offer plans to remedy revenue shortfalls and expense overages.

Departmental Training – Department heads are responsible for determining their individual department’s training needs and developing necessary training programs to meet those needs.

Disciplined Hiring – It is a requirement that department heads develop the skills and disciplines to hire well.  The quality of operation’s staff is too important to leave to chance.

Organization, Cleanliness, and Maintenance – All departments must be well-organized, clean, and well-maintained.  Department heads are responsible for their areas of the operation and must coordinate with the Facility Manager or Executive Housekeeper to ensure cleaning standards are established and met, as well as ensuring all facilities, furniture, fixtures, and equipment are properly maintained.

Safety and Security – Each department head must determine work hazards and security issues for their areas and develop the policies and procedures to address these.

Team Players – Each department head must realize that they are part of a team dedicated to the common purpose of providing a superior hospitality experience for customers/guests/members.  In order to meet the challenges of such an operation, they must be mutually supportive and work together as a team.

While there may be other things that I want to stress to my subordinate managers from time to time, these are my basic expectations.  Other general managers may have a different set of expectations, but in any case it’s good to provide your subordinates with a list of those requirements.  It becomes the basis for their efforts and focus to develop themselves as managers and leaders.

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!