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Hiring, Managing and Retaining Great Staff

Posted On: December 7, 2018 by ClubProcure in: Agronomy Clubhouse Food and Beverage Pro Shop

Hiring, Managing and Retaining Great Staff

Written by Andrew Huff:

“What does your facility do differently to be unique and stand out as a destination to work?”

Keep this question in your mind as you scroll through this piece. At the bottom you will find a word cloud built out of your answers. To participate in this live brainstorming session with the VGM Club community, click here.

Lost in our piece “What is the Modern Country Club? An Investigation.” is the second component of a successful operation: Staff. We talk with members all the time, and we hear you. This topic is probably the most challenging part of your job. Jotted down below are thoughts our community has shared with us.


Where are you finding your employees? Do you have a connection with local educators to identify potential candidates?

Josh Paris, Old Town Club: When we’re recruiting, we look for individuals who share the personality of our group, but more importantly, we sell the lifestyle and balance. We are very mindful of that here at Old Town. Training is part of it, but we don’t overcomplicate it. What we are providing is not brain science. We are trying to impart a little bit of personality and create a memorable experience for our members with personalized service.


How is your management style authentic and unique to you and the individuals employed at your club?

Josh Paris, Old Town Club: I think a lot has to do with the environment and the culture that we provide. At Old Town, you are part of the group and you are part of the family. This means you are treated with respect, listened to, and rewarded for a job well done. 


What activites, events, or benefits are authentic and unique to your club that helps your facility retain quality staff?

Mark Bado, Myers Park Country Club: We also felt that it was important to provide more than just a workplace. We want to be a place where employees work, but also have social events to promote friendships and teamwork within our staff. These events include paintball outings, a day at the pool, or playing golf.

For the older employees, we go to a local brewery, and the only charge we have to pay is a gratuity to the staff of the brewery. Because we do so much business with the brewery, they comp our event with some of their product in exchange for our continued business. All of these events scheduled outside of the work day are done so in an effort to provide an environment where we are the employer of choice as opposed to just another place where you put your time in.

VGM Club: We try to find a unique activity to do as a team each quarter. Over the summer we had a phenomenal experience kayaking in the morning and going to a semi-professional baseball game in the afternoon. Earlier this month, we tested our balance, teamwork and strength at a local gym called Ninja/U. These events take us out of our daily routine and offer an out of the box way to bond as our own little “community”.

Those are just a few ideas. The internet is full of them. In fact, if you have the time, head to a leading business or management journal to find a dearth of guides on (insert management buzzword here). Better yet, head to LinkedIn and you might find a few photos with popular CEOs and a nice, succinct quote:

“Learn how (popular, successful CEO) used (wacky activity) to teach his managers to empower their employees.”

“This (successful startup CEO) started using this zany brainstorming activity to stoke creativity. Now their company is worth millions.”

Scarcity is not a problem when it comes to ideas on how to best hire, manage and retain employees. Some of these ideas are way outside the box, others could work well at your facility and many seem like common sense.

No matter what route your team takes, it needs to be authentic to you, your staff and your club. Just like we implored your team to think creatively on how to make your club a “modern” country club – one that provides a community with the flexibility to adapt to each coming membership need – so does your management and staff.

Check out what the community came up with below! To participate in this live brainstorming session with the VGM Club community, click here.