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How Country Clubs Can Keep Employees Engaged and Satisfied

One of the toughest terms for business leaders to grasp the definition of is employee engagement. Employee engagement is a slippery phrase that eludes many in management because its definition is different for every business and in every industry.


To keep an employee engaged at a factory might require frequent breaks or per piece incentives. For the stay-at-home employee, like we’ve experienced with the recent pandemic, it might require more interaction with headquarters and feedback from managers. In other words, to achieve employee engagement, business leaders must be creative, experimenting with outside-the-box tools and strategies.


Keeping Country Club Employees Engaged

According to the latest statistic from IBIS World, the number of people employed in the Golf Courses and Country Clubs industry in the US declined -0.2% on average over the five years between 2016 and 2021. The report also stated that, “Over the next five years to 2026, the Golf Courses and Country Clubs industry is expected to generate stable revenue due to rising per capita disposable income and consumer confidence.

In other words, more people will be joining country clubs and visiting golf resorts, but will there be enough workers to support the influx of consumers? A recent Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) article states that engagement and productivity can be affected by social cohesion, feeling supported by one’s supervisor, information sharing, common goals and vision, communication, and trust. Employees want to feel valued and respected; they want to know that their work is meaningful, and their ideas are heard.

Here are eleven suggestions for country clubs to keep their employees engaged and therefore lower turnover and increase productivity:

  1. Allow employees to pick their meal of choice from the club. Instead of simply giving a stipend for a burger or hotdog, let employees eat what the members eat. Let them feel special and appreciated.
  2. Offer laundry and dry-cleaning services for employees. Most of your employees are working paycheck to paycheck trying to hold everything together. Pay their laundry bill and watch how their loyalty increases.
  3. Reward star employees with recognition for a job well done in front of their peers. Being the star for the day and the feeling they are appreciated increases engagement.
  4. Offer massages for employees. Utilize a local cosmetology school to provide massages for your employees. Cosmetology students must provide the service for free as part of their curriculum.
  5. Create a staff-inspired menu. Allow employees to submit a menu or drink item not normally on the menu and place the employee’s name next to that item, (e.g. Nelson Chicken Fried inspired by James Nelson).
  6. Provide bus vouchers for employees who use public transportation—a relatively small cost that goes a long way.
  7. Car detailing. Hire a mobile car wash service and use it to provide a free wash and car detailing for the employee who wins employee of the month. Do this when employees are reporting to work so everyone can see it.
  8. End-of-year employee picnic. Provide a picnic at a local park for all employees not working that day. Do it as many times as it takes to ensure all employees are included or on the day the country club is closed.
  9. Hospitality reciprocity – Partner with local restaurants, hotels, and resorts within your area. Set up a reciprocity system to where you can offer amenities offered at your club and allow your employees to enjoy discounts to those establishments who participate within your network. Not only will your employees appreciate the perk but the collaboration between neighboring businesses.
  10. Dinner with the General Manager – Networking and mentorship can be a little awkward at first, so break the ice with delicious food and great conversation.
  11. Quality of life / Work life balance – Equates to PTO and vacation time which is the most impactful piece to the puzzle.  In an industry where we give so much of ourselves attempting to create memorable experiences for others – down time makes it all whole.


These simple and inexpensive ideas when implemented will increase employee engagement leading to improved morale, increased productivity, and less turnover.


Gecko Hospitality


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