Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Employee Performance or the job related activities expected of a worker and how well those activities were executed

Michael D. Vogt
Maintaining healthy turf may be the easy part of being a superintendent, managing healthy employee relations in an ever increasing sized organization is a pre-requisite for golf course staff success.
Strong employee relations are required for high productivity and more importantly, human satisfaction. Employee relations generally deal with avoiding and/or resolving issues concerning individuals which might arise out of or influence the work scenario. Strong employee relations depend upon healthy and safe work environment, percent involvement and commitment of all employees, incentives for employee motivation, and an effective communication system in the organization. Healthy employee relations lead to more efficient, motivated and productive employees which further lead to increase in overall productivity.
Good employee relation signifies that employees should feel positive about their identity, their job as well as about being a part of such a great organization. Despite the importance of strong and healthy employee relations, there are circumstances in the life of every organization when employee and management relations are hampered. Instances of such circumstances may be as follows:
When the employees do not behave as per accepted norms of behavior, it is known as employee indiscipline. Absenteeism, change in employee’s behavior, slow performance and grievances are all forms of employee indiscipline. Thus, when the employees fail to meet management expectations in terms of standard performance and behavior, it is referred to as indiscipline. In such cases, it must be ensured by the management that steps should be taken so that employee’s behavior is in conformity with the managerial expectations.
Similarly, the employees also expect from the management to provide them a safe working environment, fair treatment, proper incentives, participation in decisions, and needs satisfaction. The failure on part of management to meet these expectations is termed as employee grievance.
When the employees fail to meet their own expectations whether in terms of personal goals, career goals, performance, self-respect, etc. it is referred to as employee stress. Excessive workload, insufficient workload, peer pressure, excessive/unreasonable use of authority by the management, lack of promotional opportunities, nature of job, etc. all again lead to employee stress.
All the above mentioned organizational factors influencing employee relations must be carefully undertaken. An optimistic approach to strengthen disciplinary culture rooted on shared norms of employees should be adopted. An effective grievance corrective system should be there. Stress management strategies should be followed in the organization.

Improving Employee Relations

Employee relations must be strengthened in an organization. To do so, following points must be taken care of:
  • Employee has expectation of fair and just treatment by the management. Thus, management must treat all employees as individuals and must treat them in a fair manner. Employee favoritism should be avoided.
  • Do not make the employees’ job monotonous. Keep it interesting. Make it more challenging. This can be done by assigning employees greater responsibilities or indulging them in training programs.
  • Maintain a continuous interaction with the employees. Keep them updated about company’s policies, procedures and decisions. Keep the employees well-informed. Informed employees will make sound decisions and will remain motivated and productive. Also, they will feel as a member of organizational family in this manner.
  • Employees must be rewarded and appreciated for a well-done job or for achieving/over-meeting their targets. This will boost them and they will work together as a team.
  • Encourage employee feedback. This feedback will make the employers aware of the concerns of employees, and their views about “you” as an employer.
  • Give the employees competitive salary. They should be fairly paid for their talents, skills and competencies.
  • Be friendly but not over-friendly with the employees. Build a good rapport with the employee. The employee should feel comfortable with the manager/supervisor rather than feeling scared.

Performance Management—The Key to Fostering Over-Preforming Employees

What’s the secret to achieving greater organizational success? Strong Performance Management—the processes you put in place to measure and reward the abilities of your workforce to meet and exceed goals.
Improving morale, creating loyalty and increasing overall productivity in your employees through performance management is the key to your company outperforming the competition. An effective performance management system is at its best when it establishes a true pay-for-performance culture which, in turn, develops employee engagement. The process for linking a company’s compensation plan to individual or team performance includes setting, measuring and rewarding achievable performance expectations.
There are many ways to approach the task of creating a performance management process, but most are organized something like this:
  • Individual goals and corporate strategy are defined and communicated company-wide.
  • Progress on goals is monitored, and management provides coaching on performance.
  • Individual performance is appraised with feedback and formal documentation.
Compensation is given based upon performance. If performance meets or exceeds the desired standard, a reward is given. If performance does not meet the desired standards, a performance development plan is created to address the gap, and a new performance date is scheduled.

Defining Goals

The first step in performance management is setting the stage correctly—defining individual goals and aligning them with the corporate strategy. The process of setting goals should be a collaborative process between a manager and his or her employees. Once the company-wide strategy is established, individual goals should be created that support the “big picture”. Major job functions and responsibilities, both shared and individual, should be addressed within a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goal framework.
Specific: Well-defined to inform employees exactly what is expected, when, and how much.
Measurable: Provide milestones to track progress and motivate employees toward achievement.
Achievable: Success needs to be attainable with effort by an average employee, with a bit of a stretch.
Relevant: The goals should focus on the greatest impact to the overall corporate strategy.
Timely: A goal should be grounded within a time frame to create a sense of urgency for completion.

Monitoring Progress on Goals

Managers need to be aware of their employees’ progress on goals in order to step in with coaching assistance or resources when it appears that goal targets may be missed or, even better, to acknowledge successes with appropriate monetary or non-monetary rewards. In addition to the need for managers to review the employees’ productivity, it’s also important for the employees to track their own progress on goals. Having this information handy is helpful during the all-important appraisal process to inform management of the steps involved in reaching a goal or to highlight successes from earlier in the year. The secret to high performance: review individual and team goals at least once a week or month to clarify your focus and use this information as a basis for performance discussions. You can use the opportunity to review the progress and adjust timelines, request additional resources if necessary, or even broaden the goal once more information is gathered from other sources.

Appraisal Process

In order to get the most out of their employees, the appraisal process should include listening, observing, giving constructive feedback, and providing recognition. Most performance management solutions include writing assistants and coaching tools to help managers find just the “right words” to give constructive analysis of the employee’s performance. The most important part of the appraisal is to provide feedback about what the employee has successfully learned and still needs to learn and create a plan to provide the opportunity for the employee to develop those necessary skills. This can be an important factor not only in the employee's growth, but also in the health of the entire organization since employees have a greater sense of loyalty to companies that develop talent from within and thus become more engaged in their work. These development plans also allow the company to create a pool of talent for strategic succession planning.

Pay-for-Performance Compensation

A successful pay-for-performance compensation strategy can be the key to retaining your top talent and driving organizational performance that exceeds all expectations. At its core, pay-for-performance serves to align your people with the goals and objectives of the company and motivate and reward your top performers, while continuing to develop the under performers to become greater assets to your organization.
It is important for an employee to know that if his or her work performance meets or exceeds expectations that he or she will be rewarded for the hard work appropriately through pay raises, bonuses or other rewards (flexible schedule or time-off, gifts, recognition through awards, etc.) Pay for performance compensation structures not only account for the individual, but also for the working environment and performance of the team as well, encouraging the employees to band together to reach the common goal.


With golf maintenance staffs getting larger in number and especially multi-cultural, a first-rate performance management plan is the key to creating an engaged and aligned workforce—the hallmark of all successful businesses. Without one, your course or club could lose more than just time and money – you could lose knowledge, employees and, in the end, your competitive edge in your local marketplace.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The McMahon Report:

It's a bi-monthly newsletter with information about the private club industry. See it at Current McMahon Report#

Or for more information on McMahon Group please visit www.mcmahongroup.com

Miller/Dodson and Associates, Reserve Specialist, are the Gold Standard for Country Clubs, Golf Clubs and Gated Communities
A reserve study is an in-depth evaluation of a property's physical features and components and an analysis of its needed reserve funds to replace and renew current features and components. Based on a thorough on-site inspection, a custom, detailed reserve study specifies and anticipates replacements or repairs to the clubs’ buildings, sites and feature components and recommends annual reserve funding to cover capital expenditures for a specified time.
Miller/Dodson and Associates creates a custom reserve study that enables club managers, board members and golf facility owners the assurance that future, major property expenses are identified early and that a unique funding plan is in place to cover those expenses.
Simply put - a well-prepared reserve study can help avert special assessments and supports a well-managed club environment. Frank Vain, President of McMahon Group, emphasized in his 2013 presentation to the Club Managers Association of America that an asset reserve study should be a cornerstone of a well-managed club.
The most accurate reserve studies are conducted by an engineer and/or architect who knows building construction. In addition to a degree, top-tier reserve-study professionals typically hold an industry accreditation based on experience and advanced education. Miller/Dodson’s bench is deep with such accreditations as Reserve Specialist (RS), earned through the Community Associations Institute, or Professional Reserve Analyst (PRA), awarded by the Association of Professional Reserve Analysts.
When you work with Miller/Dodson and Associates, you can be confident an engineer or architect will conduct your on-site inspection and develop your detailed custom reserve study. All Miller/Dodson advisors have also earned their RS or PRA designation or are working toward it.
Additionally, Miller/Dodson and Associates offers an accredited professional from the golf course industry to evaluated the important features and components associated with your club’s golf course. No other reserve analysis company offers this level of service as a specialty to the golf and club industry.
Michael D. Vogt, CGCS, CGIA* has cooperated in many Miller/Dodson reserve studies, being an extra measure of expertise in the evaluation of golf course features and components, including:
Irrigation Systems
Sand Bunkers
Cart Paths
Water Features
Drainage Systems
Practice Facilities
Bridges, Retaining Walls and Fences

Contact Miller/Dodson for all your vital club asset reserve studies 800-850-2835 or http://mdareserves.com/ 
*Michael is also affiliated with Golf Convergence and McMahon Group -  these fine companies also specialize in the golf and private club industry. Michael may be reached at 800-365-2498or mvogt@mcmahongroup.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Website

Please Visit - miketurf.com

Sometimes the craziest things happen at the worst times for the best reasons. Sorry for the lapse in posting, it's been some time!


I have been busy cultivating my business and low and behold I have made a go-of-it.

So I will now offer up my new website for your perusal. Take a look and send me a note when you get an opportunity.

Who knows the golf course's name in the photo above?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Are You a Golf Superintendent and a Businessperson or a Businessperson that’s a Golf Superintendent?


You have expended a lot of time and money to earn your degree and labored extensively as an assistant superintendent. Now you are representing a well-respected club that has not only weathered the economic firestorm of the past several years but has managed to add membership and increase club usage. Your golf course is impeccably cared for and of course, you are putting in long hours and hopefully earning a good salary in return.

However, to be successful in golf business today, you must have more than a great education and a pedigreed employment history. If you desire to move up the ladder of success in the golf management field, that means being thoughtful and engaging with those around you. In fact, the attention you pay to detail is the main ingredient that differentiates you from evolving from a golf businessperson to a golf business professional.

Where are you in your evolution from business person to business professional? Picture yourself in the following 16 situations to find out:
  1. You’ve been invited to a prearranged luncheon to give a presentation on golf course conditions by the Tuesday morning ladies golf group, only to find that you are allergic to the main course being served.

    A Golf Business Person asks the server if the meal can be replaced.

A Golf Business Professional plans ahead by making mention of foods that he can eat due to his allergic reaction when accepting the invitation.
  1. You sent an e-mail message to a club board member only to realize that you have transposed two letters in a word.

    A Golf Business Person hopes the board member realizes that keyboarding is not their best strength.

A Golf Business Professional sends a revised message correcting the error.
  1. You are invited to the annual club Christmas Party with your spouse who feels uncomfortable since she will not know anyone there.

    A Golf Business Person approaches the members making sure that his spouse is next to him/her.

A Golf Business Professional briefs his spouse about members that may have interests similar to her and then makes a point of introducing.
  1. You are meeting with a long range planning committee member with whom you spoke by phone one week ago.

    A Golf Business Person goes to the meeting at the appointed time.

A Golf Business Professional confirms the meeting details 24 hours in advance.
  1. You have a 3:00 p.m. conference call scheduled with a golf course architect and a golf course builder for an important sand bunker project.

    A Golf Business Person dials into the conference call at 3:00 p.m.

A Golf Business Professional dials into the call a few minutes prior to the designated time.
  1. Saturday morning on the first tee, while performing your usual PR, you meet a new member whose name is difficult to pronounce.

    A Golf Business Person avoids using the name in conversation.

A Golf Business Professional asks for assistance to correctly pronounce the name.
  1. You receive a telephone call from the general manager who asks you to join him and the Board of Directors for lunch to discuss important changes that may impact the golf course. You are wearing khakis and a golf shirt. You know the rest of the meeting participants will be wearing coats and perhaps even neck ties.

    A Golf Business Person declines the invitation due to lack of required attire and asks the GM to just send the info discussed.

A Golf Business Professional keeps a back-up set of appropriate clothes for just this occasion.
  1. You are attending a meal event welcoming new members from India and have been seated at the new members table. You would like to order beef as your entrée.

    A Golf Business Person orders the beef dish.

A Golf Business Professional honors the culture of his new member by also choosing a vegetarian meal.
  1. You are invited to your manager’s home for a casual gathering.

    A Golf Business Person verbally thanks his manager for being included in the get-together at the end of the evening.

A Golf Business Professional recognizes that a verbal thank you does not take the place of a written note.
  1. You believe it’s important that you to send holiday cards to your board members, committee members, employees and other business contacts that help you during the busy season.

    A Golf Business Person signs his name on each card.

A Golf Business Professional adds a short personal note with each card.
  1. Your assistant is on vacation and you are going to be on the course all day.

    A Golf Business Person checks voice-mail at the end of the day to prioritize which calls need to be returned.

          A Golf Business Professional updates his voice-mail message to reflect his schedule.
  1. You are invited to an early Monday morning meeting at the club.

    A Golf Business Person picks up a Starbucks’ cup of coffee and takes it into the meeting.

A Golf Business Professional drinks the coffee before leaving Starbucks rather than walking into meeting with the cup in hand.
  1. You are at a member reception and are handed a bottle of beer from the bartender.

    A Golf Business Person thanks the bartender and moves on.

A Golf Business Professional requests a glass for the beer.
  1. You drop by club’s accountants’ office that makes time to talk with you.

    A Golf Business Person gets the colleagues’ feedback and then continues to make idle conversation.

A Golf Business Professional gets the answer to the questions and then leaves unless he/she is encouraged to engage in further conversation.
  1. You have been asked to participate in a 10:00 a.m. Webinar.

    A Golf Business Person downloads the webinar as he/she dials into the call.

A Golf Business Professional does a test download the day before to avoid any unexpected delays at the time of the meeting.
  1. You have promised a return telephone call to a Green Committee Member by noon and are waiting for a document from a company that supplies bunker sand who cannot be reached.

    A Golf Business Person returns the call to the committee member as soon as he has all of the information and explains the delay.

A Golf Business Professional keeps his word by getting back to the committee member a few minutes before noon and updates the member with the information he does have.

Mostly, the above Golf Business Professional behaviors have to do with going the extra mile and showing your business colleagues and patrons that you’re the consummate professional.

Society has discarded many of the traditions and business etiquette of years past, aforementioned forward thinking behaviors separated the truly class leaders in business from the “ME FIRST” business leaders.

Dale Carnegie said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”