Posts Tagged ‘standards’

Standards, Policies and Procedures

Monday, October 12th, 2015

The terms “Standards,” “Policies,” and “Procedures” are used in business to describe the what, why, and how’s of a hospitality operation’s organization and work processes.

Standard

  •  Something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis for comparison; an approved model.
  • Anything as a rule or principle that is used as a basis or model for judgment.
  • Morals, ethics, habits, etc., established by authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable.
  • Fulfilling specific requirements as established by an authority, law, rule, custom, etc.

In a manufacturing setting product standards usually include material specifications, manufacturing tolerances, quality measurements, and the functionality of the finished product.  In the hospitality field, however, the establishment of a standard is usually made by management based upon an understanding or expectation of what will satisfy or impress the customer/guest/member.  Often this satisfaction is based upon the manner in which some service or action is performed.  Therefore, the standard is a description of the desired outcome of that service or action and/or the manner in which it is performed, for instance the approved way of presenting and opening a bottle of wine, or the correct way to fill out a form used for documenting personnel actions, the manner in which month-end inventories will be conducted, or the level of professionalism of management and operations.

In the case of hospitality operations, standards are the model for the optimum way of doing things.  They are established by the general manager as the acceptable model of performance by which customers judge proficiency and professionalism.  They apply not only to the daily performance of individual duties, but also to the manner in which you conduct yourself and your business.

Policy (ies)

  • A definite course of action adopted for the sake of expediency, facility, etc.
  • Action or procedure conforming to or considered with reference to prudence or expediency.
  • Prudence, practical wisdom, or expediency.  (expedient:  tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable under the circumstances.  Synonyms include advisable, appropriate, desirable.)

Policies and standards are so closely interwoven it is often hard to tell them apart.  Policies most often apply to those areas of the operation where they can be little or no leeway in how you do something, for instance in the area of Human Resources where so much of what you do is dictated by law or by the need for correct action to avoid litigation, or in the area of Accounting where exactness and consistency are necessary to ensure the correctness, accuracy, and transparency of financial reporting and fiduciary responsibilities.

Policies can also apply to operations.  For example you establish policies to ensure the consistent and fair treatment of customers, for instance in how you take tee times or restaurant reservations.  The need for policy here is to ensure that every customer has equal treatment and the same opportunity to enjoy the establishment’s amenities, which as every manager knows is important to keeping customers happy and satisfied.  Nothing will upset a customer faster than believing he or she is not getting a fair shake from the operation.

Procedure (s)

  • An act or a manner of proceeding in any action or process; conduct.
  • A particular course of mode of action.

Procedures are the “how to’s” of the enterprise’s business.  Sometimes they flow from standards and sometimes from policies, but in the end they are the exact instructions of how to do or complete a particular process, act, or event.  Whereas policies are often the big picture of why we do something, procedures are the detail of how it is done.

Standards, Policies, Procedures.  It is essential to develop detailed, written standards, policies, and procedures for every area of operations.  Not only are these the basis for developing training material, but they serve as the foundation for developing a culture that is consistently taught to new hires and reinforced by both management and other employees.  When everyone understands “the way things are done,” there is less opportunity for freelance behavior.  Eliminating freelancing or employee discretion fosters consistency of product and service delivery.  As Harvard Professor Theodore Levitt says in his book, Marketing for Business Growth, “Discretion is the enemy of order, standardization, and quality.”

In fact, employees will be the first to say that they appreciate the time and effort taken to teach them the accepted way of doing things and that management insists upon uniformly high standards.  People naturally take pride in being associated with quality and this is no less true for service employees.

Summary.  Taken together standards, policies, and procedures form the bulk of the material that an employee must master to satisfactorily complete all their job functions, duties, and responsibilities.  Without taking the time to define, explain, and clarify standards, policies, and procedures, how can management realistically know what it is that employees need to learn?  Without well-defined (i.e., written and reviewed) standards, policies, and procedures, any attempt to train will be disorganized and inconsistent.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality 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 hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for Hospitality Operators!

 

Two Critical Areas for Standards, Policies and Procedures

Monday, March 24th, 2014

We have spoken repeatedly about the need for written standards, policies, and procedures in hospitality operations.  Beyond the basic need to define standards and efficiently organize operations, they provide the basis for creating consistent training materials for employees.  Common sense asks how can you begin to properly train your staff without defining the manner in which you conduct your business in all its details?  Following this rationale, every department of the organization should codify how all aspects of the operation are conducted by creating written policies and procedures.

But even more important than better organization and training is the need for written standards, policies, and procedures for all personnel and accounting matters as pointed out in The Quest for Remarkable Service.

“While a hospitality operations should avoid becoming overly bureaucratic, there are clearly areas where the repercussions of not following set policies and procedures present a significant risk.  Two of these are Human Resources and Accounting.  In the former, there are federal and state laws that dictate how employment and personnel matters must be handled and, if not scrupulously followed, they can create significant legal and liability exposure for the organization.  In the latter area where exactness is critical to financial reporting and performance, it is crucial that managers understand and meet their responsibilities in an exact and timely manner.”

In regards to accounting policies and procedures, one of the most frequent findings by auditors when performing annual audits is that a organization does not have written accounting policies and procedures – and often this finding appears year after year.  To help address this shortcoming, Hospitality Resources International has written a series of 175 Accounting Standards, Policies, and Procedures (SPPs), along with 47 related forms, which it sells for $495 on a CD.  Each individual file is provided in MS-Word or Excel, allowing for customization by each operation.

HRI also offers a CD with 157 Personnel Standards Policies and Procedures and 45 related forms for $495.  As with the Accounting SPPs, these can be customized by each organization.

For those operations that have neither the time nor expertise to customize the SPPs, HRI offers writing and editing services for $30 per hour.  Most operations using this service find that after purchasing either accounting or personnel CD, they will spend an additional $1,250 to $2,000 for the customization depending upon the extent of the revisions – with the total cost in the range of $1,750 to $2,500 – certainly a small price to pay for professionally written SPPs formalizing your operation’s specific HR or Accounting functions.

Organizations interested in purchasing either CD can view samples of each by following these links:

Sample Accounting Standards, Policies, and Procedures

Sample Personnel Standards, Policies, and Procedures

Contact us at info@hospitalityresourcesinternational.com to find out more about HRI’s writing/editing services.

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!

Establishing Standards

Monday, February 11th, 2013

The owners of any hospitality enterprise are the ones who establish the standards for quality and service.  In the case of member-owned clubs, it is the governing Board that has this responsibility.  The problem for board members, though, and sometimes owners, is that seldom do these individuals have the in-depth knowledge or experience of hospitality operations to do this effectively.

So in reality it is the General Manager who, in consultation with the owners or Board members, determines the desired quality and sets the standards.  This is challenging in three ways.  First, owners or board members may have difficulty articulating their quality and service desires since the perception of quality is the culmination of a great number of operating details.  Second, each owner or board member has his or her own expectations for quality, thereby making for an imprecise common standard.  Third, in the case of clubs, Boards change over time and the changing agenda of new Boards may require changes in priorities and allocation of resources, which may ultimately impact standards.

Given these realities it is essential for the General Manager to “manage” the process by establishing standards of quality and service for the operation based on his or her best professional judgment and querying owners and the board members periodically to ensure expectations are being met.

The common wisdom in our industry is that the higher the standards of quality and service desired, the greater the cost of operations—most noticeably in payroll cost from higher staffing levels, extended hours of operation, more personal services, and more intensive training.  While these are all contributing factors, there are the operating inefficiencies as a result of weak leadership, poor organization, staff turnover, and inconsistent training that are also significant drivers of higher costs.

A further challenge arises from the need for management to consistently communicate operating standards to employees.  Regardless of age, background, education, experience, training, personality, and habit, all employees must have a common understanding of what they must do in all service situations.  This can come about only through clear standards, policies, and procedures consistently communicated to employees during onboarding and ongoing training.

It is also essential that the training, particularly for values and service standards, be consistent across all operating departments.  It does not speak well for the operation to have the Rooms Manager and Food and Beverage Director teaching and reinforcing different values and standards to their respective staffs.  Ultimately, the only solution is to create a common service standard that is integrated and consistent across all elements of the operation.

Lastly, while Service-Based Leadership focuses largely on providing training, resources, and support for the staff, the concern for staff motivation and morale should not for a moment be mistaken to imply that standards are not demanding, and devotion to those standards are paramount.  Leaders must be fanatical in their focus on the established standards and attention to detail in all areas of the operation.

Also worth reading – Creating Standards, Policies, and Procedures.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality 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 hospitality hardworking  managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for the Hospitality Industry!

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Who’s Responsible for the Cleanliness of Your Club?

Monday, May 7th, 2012

If you said the General Manager, you’re right!  But John the GM delegated the task to Joanne, the clubhouse manager, who in turn hired Sonya and Maria to do the job.

After several months John noticed that the cleanliness of the club didn’t meet his expectations.  In speaking with Joanne about it, he discovered that Joanne had assumed that Sonya and Maria knew what they were doing and how to properly clean the club – after all they came with excellent references!

As John began to list the things he felt were being neglected, a light went on in Joanne’s head.  Joanne realized that if Sonya and Maria were going to meet John’s expectations, she would have to make sure she understood those expectations and then communicate them to Sonya and Maria.  So Joanne asked John to walk around the clubhouse with her to point out all the things he expected in terms of cleanliness.  This illuminating tour helped Joanne better understand what John wanted.  In response to Joanne’s questions, John clarified what he meant by cleanliness by discussing both type of cleaning – vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, polishing, emptying trash cans, mopping, high dusting, window washing, bathroom cleaning, upholstery and drapery cleaning, carpet shampooing, etc. – and the frequency of each.

The conversation then swung to cleaning tools, equipment, and supplies.  They both agreed that bleach should not be used due to the danger of spills on expensive carpeting and overstuffed furniture, but that sanitizing wipes should be used to wipe door handles, railings, bannisters, and various areas in bathrooms and locker rooms.

During the discussion it was also realized that some of the heavier, periodic tasks should probably be handled by the maintenance staff, such as cleaning the bugs out of the portico light fixtures and power washing the exterior windows, and as the discussion progressed John and Joanne admitted that it probably made more sense to contract out some of the work such as shampooing carpets.

Based on these conversations Joanne drafted up what she called the club’s cleaning standards.  She then asked John to review and approve the requirements.  After several revisions, John approved the standards and asked Joanne to analyze the requirements to determine the most efficient and cost effective way to meet them.  A week later Joanne returned with her analysis and recommendations.

The end result was that the club hired an outside contractor to shampoo carpets and steam clean draperies and another to power wash the building exterior and wash windows on a schedule drawn up by Joanne.  She then turned her attention to working with Sonya and Maria to determine the best work schedule to meet the standards, keeping in mind the daily and weekly member traffic in various areas of the club.  Joanne then asked the two cleaning ladies for a list of necessary cleaning products, tools, and equipment to enable them to meet the standards.

Joanne also discussed with Sonya and Maria the cleaning requirements before, during, and after major events and large catered parties.  Both Sonya and Maria appreciated the fact that Joanne consulted with them about both the expected standards and cleaning strategies.

Over the next few weeks, Sonya and Maria enthusiastically set about meeting the standards and made numerous suggestions to overcome minor obstacles and to clarify and refine some of the requirements.  Maria even suggested a cheaper sanitizing wipe that she found and was using at home.

The renewed emphasis on club cleanliness made Joanne far more aware and observant as she went about her daily routine.  Once all the bugs and kinks were worked out, she finalized the cleaning standards, policies, procedures, and list of cleaning materials, supplies, tools, and equipment in writing so that when there was the inevitable turnover in the cleaning staff, all expectations and requirements would be consistently passed on to new hires.

For both Joanne and John came the satisfaction of knowing that the club was cleaned properly on an ongoing basis, but the real clincher came when the club president remarked that his wife had been unhappy with the cleanliness of the club for some time, but had failed to mention it to anyone.  Lately, though, she noticed and was impressed by a distinct improvement in all areas of club cleanliness.  He asked that John pass on his wife’s compliments to the two new cleaning ladies who were obviously doing a great job.

John smiled and with great satisfaction said that he would certainly pass on the compliments to all involved.

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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Creating Standards, Policies, and Procedures

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The terms “Standards,” “Policies,” and “Procedures” are used in business to describe the what, why, and how’s of a club’s organization and work processes.

Definitions.  The following definitions can be found in The Random House College Dictionary.  For convenience sake, we have only included those definitions that apply to our purposes.

Standard

  1. Something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis for comparison; an approved model.
  2. Anything as a rule or principle that is used as a basis or model for judgment.
  3. Morals, ethics, habits, etc., established by authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable.
  4. Fulfilling specific requirements as established by an authority, law, rule, custom, etc.

In a manufacturing setting product standards usually include material specifications, manufacturing tolerances, quality measurements, and the functionality of the finished product.  In the hospitality field, however, the establishment of a standard is usually made by management based upon an understanding or expectation of what will satisfy or impress the customer.  Often this satisfaction is based upon the manner in which some service or action is performed.  Therefore, the standard is a description of the desired outcome of that service or action and/or the manner in which it is performed, for instance the approved way of presenting and opening a bottle of wine, or the correct way to fill a form used for documenting personnel actions, the manner in which month-end inventories will be conducted, or the level of professionalism of our management and operations.

In the case of club standards, standards are the model for the optimum way of doing things.  They are established by the general manager as the acceptable model of performance by which members judge proficiency and professionalism.  They apply not only to the daily performance of individual duties, but also to the manner in which you conduct yourself and your business.

Policy (ies)

  1. A definite course of action adopted for the sake of expediency, facility, etc.
  2. Action or procedure conforming to or considered with reference to prudence or expediency.
  3. Prudence, practical wisdom, or expediency.  (expedient:  tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable under the circumstances.  Synonyms include advisable, appropriate, desirable.)

Policies and standards are so closely interwoven it is often hard to tell them apart.  Policies most often apply to those areas of the operation where they can be little or no leeway in how you do something, for instance in the area of Human Resources where so much of what you do is dictated by law or by the need for correct action to avoid litigation, or in the area of Accounting where exactness and consistency are necessary to ensure the correctness, accuracy, and transparency of financial reporting and fiduciary responsibilities.

Policies can also apply to operations.  For example you establish policies to ensure the consistent and fair treatment of members, for instance in how you take tee times or dining room reservations.  The need for policy here is to ensure that every member has equal treatment and the same opportunity to enjoy the club’s amenities, which as every manager knows is important to keeping members happy and satisfied.  Nothing will upset a member faster than believing he or she is not getting a fair shake from the club.

Procedure (s)

  1. An act or a manner of proceeding in any action or process; conduct.
  2. A particular course of mode of action.

Procedures are the “how to’s” of the club’s business.  Sometimes they flow from standards and sometimes from policies, but in the end they are the exact instructions of how to do or complete a particular process, act, or event.  Whereas policies are often the big picture of why we do something, procedures are the detail of how it is done.

Standards, Policies, Procedures. It is essential to develop detailed, written standards, policies, and procedures for every area of club operations.  Not only are these the basis for developing training material, but they serve as the foundation for developing a club culture that is consistently taught to new hires and reinforced by both management and other employees.  When everyone understands “the way things are done,” there is less opportunity for freelance behavior.  Eliminating freelancing or employee discretion fosters consistency of product and service delivery.  As Harvard Professor Theodore Levitt says in his book, Marketing for Business Growth, “Discretion is the enemy of order, standardization, and quality.”

In fact, employees will be the first to say that they appreciate the time and effort taken to teach them the accepted way of doing things and that management insists upon uniformly high standards.  People naturally take pride in being associated with quality and this is no less true for club employees.

Summary. Taken together standards, policies, and procedures form the bulk of the material that an employee must master to satisfactorily complete all their job functions, duties, and responsibilities.  Without taking the time to define, explain, and clarify standards, policies, and procedures, how can management realistically know what it is that employees need to learn?  Without well-defined (i.e., written and reviewed) standards, policies, and procedures, any attempt to train will be disorganized and inconsistent.

While department heads and junior managers are typically responsible for developing the operating standards, policies, and procedures for their departments, the general manager is still responsible for ensuring the overall quality of the operation and must therefore review all operating standards, policies, and procedures.  But how can this be done if they are not in writing and available for the GM’s review?

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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Holding Your Team to the Highest Standards – A Manager’s Code of Ethics

Monday, February 27th, 2012

In an ideal world we could trust everyone to do the right things, but such a world does not exist.  The unfortunate fact is that if we don’t train our management team to a common standard of professional behavior, some will transgress.  And this is of primary importance because if we as managers and leaders don’t set an unimpeachable example, we can expect our employees to cut ethical corners as well.

Here is a list of professional expectations for managers and supervisors at all levels of club operations:

  1. As a representative of the club for whom I work, I understand that my actions and behavior, both at and away from work, reflect on the organization that provides my employment.  I will, therefore, do everything in my power to represent them faithfully and professionally in all my dealings with members, guests, employees, vendors, and the community at large.
  2. I will organize the work areas for which I am responsible and thoroughly train the employees I supervise to ensure the most efficient operation with the highest levels of service possible.
  3. I will not use or remove club property for personal use and will protect the assets and resources of the club as if they were my own.  My vigilance and example will ensure the employees I supervise do likewise.
  4. I understand that my leadership and example set the standard for my employees.  I understand that a manager who shirks responsibilities, cuts corners, fails to give an honest time commitment, pilfers food and supplies, fails to secure inventories, or is not personally productive in time or commitment, can expect his or her employees to do the same.
  5. I will not exchange club goods or services for personal favors or services from members, non-members, or vendors.  Further, I will not accept personal favors, gifts, or rebates from vendors in any form.  Such items benefit me at my employer’s expense and are appropriately considered kickbacks.  My only interest is to get the best price for my place of business and I will make every effort to do so by seeking competitive pricing from several vendors.
  6. While I may direct employees’ work, their productive effort and well-being serve the interests of the client or club who employs them.  Therefore, I must work hard to ensure their maximum contribution to the mission and goals of the club.  I can only do this if I value each employee as an individual whose contribution to the collective effort is directly dependent upon my leadership, as well as the tools, training, resources, and support I provide them.
  7. I will never use my position or authority to request or require personal services or favors, sexual or otherwise, from employees.
  8. I will never enter into personal or intimate relations with any employee who works under my direction or is directly or indirectly supervised by me.  Such an inappropriate relationship damages the organization by implications of favoritism and clouded judgment.  Ultimately, it irretrievably harms both my ability to lead and my personal and professional reputation.
  9. While maintaining a positive interest in and influence over the efforts of my employees, I recognize the importance of maintaining a professional distance from them.  I will not socialize or party with those I supervise, except while attending club-sponsored social events or in the furtherance of club business.
  10. Finally, I recognize that my integrity is at the core of my personal and professional standing.  It is the most important ingredient of my leadership and is the foundation for any success I will achieve in my career and life.  I will never be tempted to squander this most precious possession for the sake of expediency or inappropriate gain.

These basic standards should be used to indoctrinate all new members of your management staff.  I personally like to have each manager sign and date a copy that is placed in their personnel file.  I also like to review the Code of Ethics at least annually with all managers.

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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The Hospitality Challenge

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I’ve learned a lot about the hospitality business since my first position as General Manager of an historic hotel in the late 70s.  In a variety of positions in hotels, resorts, and private clubs – in startups, turnarounds, and repositionings, I’ve learned a number of key lessons from my efforts to deliver high levels of service.  Here they are:

The customer is King.  The only perception of quality, service, and value is the customer’s.  Hospitality managers must learn as much as possible about their customers in order to meet their needs and wants – where they come from, why they come to your establishment, what are their expectations, what do they like or dislike about your property, what are their complaints, what would they like improved?

The hospitality business is detail and people-intensive.  It takes a lot of people doing all the right things everyday to deliver consistent, quality service.  Therefore:

  • Written standards, policies, and procedures ensure every employee knows what to do and how to do it; help develop specific training materials; and ensure consistency and continuity in the operation.
  • Formal training is a necessity.  Operational processes cannot be left to oral history or chance.
  • Continuous process improvement is a must.  We can never rest on yesterday’s accomplishments.
  • Thorough benchmarking of all areas of the operation ensures that we know what is going on and what our customers are telling us by their spending habits.

“The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff.”

  • Consistent, property-wide leadership is a must.  Disparate and competing leadership styles confound the staff and sow divisions in the team.
  • Values and behaviors must be spelled out in detail and reinforced continually.
  • Excessive employee turnover is damaging to an organization in continuity, lost time, and cost.  Except in extreme cases our first impulse (especially in difficult labor markets) is not to fire, but to examine causes; improve processes, organization, disciplines, and training; and instruct, counsel, and coach employees.
  • Employees must be empowered to think and act in alignment with organization values, the property’s mission and vision, and carefully defined management guidelines.  “Without empowerment an organization will never be a service leader.”  Why?  Because there is far more to do and monitor on a daily basis than any management team can possible handle.  Authority for service and service delivery must be pushed down to the lowest levels of the organization – where it takes place.

Work planning and ongoing performance review are essential to holding managers accountable for their performance and the performance of their departments or work teams.  Without accountability only the General Manager is accountable and he or she will fail or burnout trying to succeed.

Leadership is key at all levels of the organization:

  • To set an unimpeachable example for employees.
  • To uncover, analyze, and solve problems.
  • To thoroughly communicate standards, policies, procedures, information, and training.
  • To engage customers and staff continuously.

All of the foregoing requirements must be institutionalized so that the operation continues undisturbed in the face of any turnover and 80% of the operation functions routinely – allowing management to focus on strategic issues, planning, execution, problem-solving, and customer interface.

These lessons learned have led me to formulate a plan to create and deliver high levels of service.  This plan can be found in a white paper I’ve written entitled The Quest for Remarkable Service.

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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Operating Standards

Monday, October 12th, 2009

As anyone who has ever read my writings knows, I am a firm believer in written standards, policies, and procedures as the basis for a well-organized hospitality operation.  Here are some of the reasons why:

Written standards (or the expected outcome of our “moments of truth”) for our products and services must be detailed in written policies and procedures.

We cannot begin in any meaningful way to train our employees until we have defined for them the standards which we wish to achieve.  These must be in writing to allow the General Manager and owners to evaluate and concur with the standards we contemplate.  When written they allow us to consistently pass on the standards to succeeding generations of employees.

Policies and procedures are the “what and how” of the way we do things.  Employees should not be allowed to freelance.  “Discretion [on the part of employees] is the enemy of quality.”  Again, policies and procedures must be written for consistency sake.  Taken together they form the basis for most training material.

Standards, policies, and procedures must be continually reviewed and updated as necessary.  Continual process improvement is the discipline that will not permit us to rest on our laurels, but instead be constantly working to make all aspects of the operation better.

What are some of the reasons that managers do not prepare written standards, policies, and procedures?

  • It takes too much time (so they don’t mind wasting immense amounts of time dealing with untrained staff and a disorganized operation)
  • No one told them to do it (in other words, they don’t have any initiative; they’re not, as Jim Collins described in Good to Great,  “disciplined people taking disciplined action”)
  • Their writing skills are not up to it (so they’ve given up instead of looking for creative ways to make it happen)
  • They don’t know what standards, policies, or procedures to prepare (then why are they a manager? – somewhere in their heads must be an idea of how they want to organize and run their operation)
  • They don’t know what format to use (could copying Club Resources International’s already designed format be any easier?)
  • They have no excuse.  Which is exactly right!

Having faced these issues in job after job in both hotels and clubs, I have over the years prepared an immense amount of written standards, policies, and procedures which are available on the Club Resources International website.  You can join the site for free and begin downloading these resources and customizing them for use at your club.  So honestly, there is no longer any excuse!

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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