None of us do things 100 per cent right 100 per cent of the time, so you don’t want staff members fearing that any decision they make will be catastrophic and have repercussions on their futures.
Whether you’re an assistant golf professional or working in the backshop in the golf business, you have a goal.
You get a lot of people who are from a golf management program or a hospitality program who start in a junior position. They’re not getting paid a lot, but they want to learn and they need feedback.
How you deliver that feedback is important.
You don’t need to scold them. If they didn’t do something quite the way you would have liked, you can simply say. `Next time, I think this is how we should handle it.’
I’ve always believed you’re never going to make a wrong decision. You may not make a decision that I would have made or that the manager would have made, but you can’t make a wrong decision.
You got to empower employees by sitting them down and saying, `Thank you for being proactive, but here’s a little tip.’
The golf business is early mornings and late nights. It’s long hours and the paycheque is one thing. That motivates them, but you’ve got to find something else that motivates them beyond the money.
We’ve had a lot of people who started in the backshop, did a great job and were promoted. That’s just what they’re looking for besides the paycheque. They’re looking forward to the next step in their career progress and that’s where we need to be helping them by mentoring and motivating.
They can’t be afraid to make a call when the situation calls for it. There’s nothing worse for members or public golfers than hearing a staff member say, `Oh, I can’t answer that. I’ve got to get a manager.’
`Well, where’s the manager?’
`The manager isn’t here.’
That just leads to frustration for both sides of the equation, when empowering the staff member to make a call likely would have resolved most situations.
There are a lot of co-workers around to help them make the call, but a lot of times, you need to make a split decision and we all learn from those situations.
Empowering them to be a problem-solver is not only good for customer relations, but it’s also showing confidence in them and even if they don’t quite handle it the way you would have, it can be remedied through positive reinforcement instead of criticism.