Posts Tagged ‘manager training’

The Imperative of Manager Training

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Last week we talked a little about Employee Training and posed some questions about clubs’ training programs. This week we talk about an even more important topic – Manager Training.

In many clubs the assumption is that if you hire good people as golf professionals, food and beverage managers, controllers, activity directors, golf course superintendents, membership directors, etc., they don’t need to be trained because they know what they’re doing. While this may be true of the job skills for their particular position, there is far more a manager must know and ignoring this fact can be dangerous to your operation.

Managers and supervisors must understand and promote the club’s organizational values and culture. They must also understand their responsibilities in a variety of areas with legal and liability implications such as FLSA, EEO, ADA, USERRA, FMLA, OSHA, sexual harassment, workers and unemployment compensation, youth employment, and public health issues such as food sanitation and waterborne diseases.

They must also understand the club’s organizational systems, such as human resources and accounting, they need guidance on hiring, onboarding, and training; and while we expect all our subordinate managers to be honest, my long career experience proves that to be a naive assumption.  To be sure this doesn’t become an issue you should provide ongoing ethics training.

But more than anything I’ve found that managers, particularly junior or first-time supervisors, need leadership training. I would go even further and state that unless every manager and supervisor is trained in the requirements and habits of Service-Based Leadership, your club will never achieve service excellence and will continually be embroiled in time-consuming human resource issues.

As John Tschohl, Founder and President of the Service Quality Institute, says, “Without [employee] empowerment, an organization will never be a service leader.” And without a foundation of Service-Based Leadership, your employees will never be empowered.

Lastly, a club’s managers and supervisors act as agents of the club, granted the authority by the Board and General Manager to make decisions and act on behalf of the membership. As such, poorly-trained managers cannot be allowed to expose the club to liability as a result of ill-considered actions.

The Bottom Line: Training managers and supervisors to a common standard of leadership and understanding of their duties is an imperative for any club that aspires to excellence!

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.

Training Strategies: Tools and Implementation

Monday, February 1st, 2010

By following the strategies discussed last week, clubs will have developed the following training tools for onboarding new employees – both management and staff:employee-handbook-2

After onboarding, the club will use the following tools to train managers:

  • Leadership training – Leadership on the Line and The Workbook
  • Organizational Values and Service Ethic Training; Values Pocket Card
  • Legal and Liability Issues Training
  • Club Systems Training – Personnel Standards, Policies, and Procedures; Accounting Standards, Policies and Procedures
  • Departmental Standards, Policies, and Procedures for their individual club department
  • accounting-manual1-2Basic Accounting and Financial Management for Managers
  • HR on the Go Training
  • Values on the Go Training
  • Safety on the Go Training
  • Ongoing Daily Huddles
  • DVDs and videos as necessary.  These should be reviewed at the highest level (General Manager and HR Manager or other Subject Matter Expert) to ensure they meet training quality needs and then purchased for the club’s education library.

Ongoing training for line employees will consist of:

  • values1-2Organizational Values and Service Ethic Training; Values Pocket Card
  • Departmental organization and systems training
  • Duties and expectations
  • Service techniques training
  • Training manual for their position
  • On the Go Training
  • Ongoing Daily Huddles
  • Departmental safety training
  • Purchase departmental specific DVDs and videos as necessary

To ensure all the necessary training is given, the General Manager will require all department heads to:

  • Establish a departmental training plan and schedule,
  • Benchmark and report their training on a monthly basis,
  • Make training development and execution part of each department head’s performance review, and
  • Make continual process improvement of training part of their annual departmental plan.

The end result of a formal approach to training should be to make training in all areas of the club part of the daily operational habit, as routine as punching in and out for work, wearing the proper uniform, ordering supplies, conducting inventories, and cleaning the facilities.  When this level of habit is achieved, all manner of benefits are realized by the club – from improved organization and efficiency to greater member satisfaction, retention, and sales, and finally, to a vastly improved bottom line.

Note:  Recognizing the sheer size of the formal training undertaking, start small because any improvements you make are better than no training.  Over time continue to add more training initiatives until you finally have a full-blown, club-wide training program and discipline.  I guarantee your work life will be much easier when you do.

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!

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Training: The Achilles Heel of Club Operations, Part II

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I promised last week to offer strategies for training club employees, but I’d like to postpone that another week.  Instead I want to discuss the major issues of manager and supervisory training, since a poorly trained manager or supervisor can do far greater harm to your operation than a line employee by failing in any of the areas mentioned here.

  • Managers and supervisors direct your front line employees. If they don’t have a complete understanding of their duties and your expectations, your service message and vision for the operation will not be passed consistently to employees.
  • A management team with different leadership styles ranging from service-based, to military, to athletic, to collegial, to Neanderthal, will not interact with employees consistently or fairly — and consistency and fairness are touchstone issues in meeting the requirements of equal opportunity, discrimination, morale, and motivation. Ideally, an organization would have one management and leadership style, promulgated by the Board or General Manager and practiced uniformly by all managers and supervisors; anything less invites trouble.
  • A club’s organizational values and culture require constant reinforcement to all employees and must be consistently emphasized in word and deed to employees. Without appropriate manager training and development, the example and message will be inconsistent and confusing.
  • Managers and supervisors are your people with the answers. In addition to their job specific knowledge and skills, they must have a thorough understanding of all the club’s rules, regulations, work policies, member policies, administrative and accounting systems and procedures. Without training they cannot have a firm grasp of these complex and interrelated matters. Stop for a second and consider the problems that can be caused by two different managers giving conflicting direction or answers to employees or members.
  • Managers and supervisors act as agents of the club. If they do not have an in-depth understanding of all the laws and governmental regulations affecting your club, the club is open to liability issues and litigation. Examples include: the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Alcohol Law Enforcement regulations, Equal Opportunity issues, Sexual Harassment, Food Sanitation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and others. While you may have experts in each of these matters on staff, their knowledge must be shared with other managers to avoid what could become significant problems for the club.  Throughout my career many of the most significant problems I faced were as a result of subordinate managers without a proper understanding of these important issues.
  • Ethics training for all managers. Some think this isn’t necessary, but experience shows this to be a naïve assumption.

To expect that different managers with different backgrounds and experiences from a variety of operational disciplines — golf, golf course maintenance, accounting, personnel, facility maintenance, food and beverage, membership, activities, tennis, and aquatics — will have a common understanding of and approach to leadership and management is foolish.

Bottom Line:  Without strong, stable, and consistent leadership and management at all levels of your club, your staff is a bunch of tribes, often at odds or in conflict — and this is no way to run a railroad, much less a club.

We’ll talk about strategies to train next week.

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!

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Leadership on the Line – The Workbook

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Clarity Publications is pleased to announce the publication of Leadership on the Line – The Workbook, the perfect program to train junior managers in the basics of Service-Based Leadership.

“Hard to believe, but The Workbook is even better than the book!  Taken together they form an incredibly useful tool to help train my managers and supervisors to a consistent conception and application of leadership at our club.”

Chris Conner, General Manager, The River Club

Why Leadership on the Line?

Most leadership books are written for mid-level managers aspiring to senior positions.  Few are written to address the challenges of first-time or front-line managers and supervisors; those that do usually focus on technical skills, not leadership.  Yet it is the junior manager who so often directs a club’s member-facing employees.  Without strong, consistent leadership at this level to direct, motivate, and inspire employees, a club’s member service efforts are at risk.

Leadership on the Line:  A Guide for Front Line Supervisors, Business Owners, and Emerging Leaders, a book specifically written for first time and front line managers, was first published in 2002.  Due to demand the expanded second edition came out in 2006.

theworkbook_cover-4Now we have brought out Leadership on the Line – The Workbook, a companion piece to the book that reinforces and expands upon the requirements of Service-Based Leadership in simple, easy-to-understand terms.   Its focus is on building strong relationships with followers and serving the needs of all constituencies – boss, members, peers, and employees.  With Service-Based Leadership members are treated well because employees are valued, trained, supported, and empowered by their leaders.

The Workbook  provides a framework of Service-Based Leadership for those just starting on the path to successful leadership.  As such it is the perfect training tool for young managers and those who must direct them.  The most frequent comment heard from senior leaders about Leadership on the Line is, “I wish I had read something like this years ago.”

“This workbook is a great complement to the original Leadership on the Line.  It reinforces comprehension of the book’s guiding principles while assisting the student in practical application of leadership skills.  I will use The Workbook, as I have used the book, to build strong service-based leadership in our management ranks and to strengthen our culture of service to members and each other.”

Rob Duckett, General Manager, Mountaintop Lake and Golf Club

Leadership on the Line and The Workbook, both authored by Ed Rehkopf who writes this weekly Ideas and Information blog, are available at www.probizcom.com.

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!

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