Clubs will typically create well-defined employment categories for employees to make benefit determinations based on the number of hours worked.Â As an example one club created the following definitions:
- Full time – employees who work not less than 35 hours per week on a continuous basis and employment is anticipated to last 11 months or more.
- Part time – employees who work less than 35 hours per week on a continuous basis and employment is anticipated to last 11 months or more.
- Seasonal – employees whose employment is expected to last less than 11 months regardless of the number of hours worked per week.
In this instance, full time positions were eligible for full benefits, the part time staff received more limited benefits, and the seasonal positions received no benefits.
Given the seasonality of most club operations, clubs have a need to expand and shrink their labor force to meet the needs of each seasonal business levels.Â The ability to do this in a timely manner will save the club significant amounts of unnecessary cost.Â Further, most club managers recognize the benefits to member service and organizational continuity of having a stable work force.Â Lastly, clubs should avoid full time staff layoffs as much as possible for both the cost and morale impact they create.Â The challenge then is to balance the need for a stable staff with the cost-saving ability to shed excess positions when business levels warrant.
The solution to these competing needs is to establish staffing guides for each department made up “core” and seasonal positions.Â The core positions represent those staffing needs for year-round minimum function and service needs and can be either full or part time depending upon the needs of both the club and employees.Â Seasonal positions are just that – those that are added and reduced as business demand warrants.
Each department head, by creating a staffing guide of core and seasonal positions, determines optimal year-round staffing.Â These core positions, then, are “protected” from seasonal adjustments in all but extreme situations.Â Once the staffing guides are determined for each department, no new hires should be made for core positions without an existing vacancy or the express approval of the general manager.
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This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers â€” 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.
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