I doubt if I’ll ever work full-time for anybody again, but if I do, I hope it’s for the guy in this Fox News story who offers his employees $7,500 to go on vacation.
That’s on top of their normal vacation pay and there’s no catch.
Let me backtrack on that last statement. The only catch is that they have to actually take a trip and when they do, they have to go off the technology grid, meaning no text messages, e-mails, etc.
While some readers and people I know have given me a hard time over the years about places I’ve visited, those trips are work-related, with phones, e-mails, text messages all a part of the deal, not to mention the laptop that helps me keep GNN updated.
On the other hand, the Denver company wants its employees to come back recharged and refreshed and, one would assume, more productive. I don’t know if such an incentive pays it back in productivity, but I’d keep that quiet if I worked for this company.
The reality is that such an investment in employees is out of reach for most golf businesses. Besides, golf is such a seasonal industry that people do have the chance to travel and recharge the batteries during down time in the winter.
While this incentive may be at the top end of the spectrum, even more common perks such as pensions and benefits are disappearing from the workplace, especially with the trend towards contract positions, not only in golf, but many industries.
Whether they’re full-time employees or contract workers, how seriously do golf businesses take them? Are they there to simply look after the cash register in the shop, greet people coming into a golf course, or take orders and serve members/golfers in your food and beverage operation?
It’s easy to dismiss people as merely moving parts in a bigger piece of machinery that can be replaced which quite often happens in the annual turnover of staff at any golf operation.
On the flip side, those same employees could be potential resources for attracting new people to the facility at which they work. It depends on which way you choose to look at them.
A retired starter could be involved with a senior group that may be looking at golf as a recreation to help them stay active. There’s a good chance that the kid in the backshop might know others who have a keen interest in golf.
If they can’t help directly, picking their minds as to how to draw people from the particular demographic that they fit into might shed new light on potential golfers from groups that the game has traditionally struggled to attract in the past.
That just means taking whatever opinion they might have under consideration. You can accept their advice, decline or alter it, but simply asking the question makes employees feel more important than they would if all they got was a morning hello from decision-makers.
Team-building, the popular buzz word, doesn’t require incentive as extensive as sending people away on an expenses-paid vacation. Truly listening to your employees is a good first step.
Of course, offering a reward for a great idea — discounts in the pro shop, a paid day off and other common practices used in the golf industry — never hurt either.
Encouraging people to be more than employees by going beyond above and beyond doesn’t need to be expensive and it may offer new perspective. Certainly, it might turn around the results of a GNN Poll we ran about a year ago.
In that poll, we asked how rampant apathy is in the golf industry. The majority, or 39 per cent, said apathy is taking over, while 37 per cent said that the people who care are still the majority. Another 24 per cent said the people who do care/don’t care is about even.
If we simply expect people to do their jobs and go home, then it’s unlikely they will will offer anything, even if they have something important to say, based on their own unique perspectives. Apathy can trickle down from the top of the chain of command.
Others, however, look at employees as an asset, as opposed to a debit on their bank accounts on pay day.
Those are the ones who may well see their investment in their employees pay bigger dividends.