Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some Basics on Managing a Small Golf Course Crew

With golf courses being squeezed for every labor dollar these are some helpful tips in managing the golf course maintenance with a reduced staff. Special skill is needed to manage an effective golf course maintenance team. Although there are times when it is easier to manage a small maintenance crew than a large crew, managing your small team has challenges of its own. Small teams do not have the same resources or variety that large teams have. You must be especially careful to manage small teams properly in order to successfully finish special events or detailed projects.

  • Hire team members with multiple skills
If your team size is limited, try to hire team members that have a combination of skills or can be easily trained for multi-skilled positions and avoid hiring those that have experience or a preference in just one skill. This way, each team member can have different functions within the group.

  • Plan out carefully and exactly
With a small crew, it is especially important that you are organized and know exactly what needs to be done each day, week and month. You must plan out tasks carefully and not just give out tasks haphazardly. Fit the task to the crew member.

  • Give out tasks in order of priority
With a small team; you concentrate on tasks that are highest priority. You do not have team members to spare or to do extra work, so you must keep your group focused on the most important tasks at hand. When every labor dollar counts this is critical planning.

  • Consider yourself part of the team
If you manage a small team, you must understand that you are also a team member. Unlike a manager of a large team where project management may be your only job, a manager for a small team will often have to be part of the team as well as the manager. This means you will use your skill set and complete some of the project(s) yourself.

  • Allow the team to grow close but still accomplish
Small teams often become personally involved. Each member works closely with one another which can start friendships. This is a good thing when it helps the team accomplish, but can have negative effects if the team setting becomes a social meeting instead of work time. Make sure to balance team friendships with productivity.

  • Always reward in public and discipline in private
No matter the size of the team these are good characteristics of leadership, however, the practice of “reward in public and discipline in private” is all the more important to smaller sized teams. The overall well being of a small team can be severely crippled by disparaging a team member in front of their peers. Group recognition also can be a large scale motivator when sincere and earned by the team.

  • Expect exceptional results
Never lower your expectations for high quality work. Once the small team members have knowledge that expectations are sub-standard a new mindset will be set on lower performance. Expect the best from your small team and train them appropriately, good enough is not an option.

The above is a good beginning to successfully manage a winning, small, high performance team of golf maintenance workers, apply these simple but effective attributes and experience how much more efficiently your team can accomplish the task of fine golf course maintenance with substantially less labor.

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