For the original developer-built clubhouse at The Club at Mediterra, staff space was pretty much of an afterthought. As part of a major renovation and expansion project for the building, the Naples, Fla. property made sure to create inviting, supportive and uplifting staff areas with unmatched options for employees to feel refreshed and valued.
In 2017, The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla. launched a major renovation and expansion project to increase the size and enhance the aesthetics of its main clubhouse.
As is typical for developer-built clubs, Mediterra’s original clubhouse had been built with a focus solely on member space, and the space used by staff felt like an afterthought, with small quarters, feature-less facilities and a cramped employee breakroom.
So while pursuing the need to update and renovate its member space, Mediterra wanted to go a step further, and have its renovation and expansion project improve the staff experience as well. Specifically, the goal was to create new space that would show team members how much their dedication to the club was valued and appreciated.
“The biggest motivator for any teammate is that they know you believe in them,” says Carmen Mauceri, CCM, Mediterra’s General Manager/COO. “I always want Mediterra to be a trendsetter in southwest Florida— [so] when the club embarked upon a master plan for the clubhouse, I was adamant that we were going to expand and create an environment for this team where they knew they were important.”
Think, Learn and Relax
With the help of its architecture partner, Peacock + Lewis, Mediterra pursued that goal by ensuring that the renovation and expansion would include creation of an inviting, supportive and uplifting space for the staff where nothing before existed, with unmatched options for employees to be able to feel refreshed and valued.
This was achieved by starting with a new and enhanced staff employee breakroom offering lunch, dinner and snacks daily. Designed with TVs, booth seating, and a counter/bar area, the breakroom gives team members options to mingle with co-workers, watch a TV show, or relax with a view of the golf course while enjoying their breaks.
The renovation and expansion also brought new employee locker rooms that feature an array of campus artwork, showers, facilities and all of the in-suite amenities also found in members’ locker rooms, including single-use toothbrushes, combs, razors, and specific toiletries for the men’s and women’s rooms.
But Mediterra didn’t just stop at providing better creature comforts when enhancing its employee space. An emphasis was also placed on creating a new area that would help to solidify the employee culture as one focused on caring, passion and innovation. That led to the establishment of a “Learning Library” featuring over 800 books, ranging in genres from leadership and hospitality to hobbies and crafts. Staff members are encouraged to check out a book to bring home at any time and to enjoy at their pace.
Additionally, multiple iPads and “charging chairs” are provided for staff members to be able to check e-mails, catch up on the day’s latest news, or view webinars from the Club Management Association of America University while recharging themselves and their personal devices.
The “Medi Room” was created especially with the team in mind to provide a technology-rich, boardroom-like space that can help to foster creativity, education and professional growth. The room features a full list of amenities in food, technology, and the ability to virtually connect with peers, webinars and other clubs at a moment’s notice.
Mediterra now also features two creative work centers for the front- and back-of-house staff that are used as “think tank” offices. These spaces were designed to foster collaboration and partnership within the club’s various operating departments. They include custom high-top counters and cabinetry, and a variety of modular seating, including more “charging chairs” that allow the team members to work both in large groups and independently in smaller committees.
Off the Scale
Mediterra has now had its new employee space in full use for most of two seasons, including while the club was dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic. The space and its features have proved to be so valuable for employee morale, retention and recruitment, as well as member pride, a video on “Building a Culture” was prepared (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIixVKFWn5M) that features staff testimonials about what having the space has meant to them and how they’ve personally benefitted from it.
Here’s a sampling of just some of the comments made in the video:
Teammate Tina Santana: “Other places I’ve worked, staff meeting space was kind of makeshift. But at Mediterra we have the Medi Room and it has technology and a glass wall. It’s really cool. The Medi Room really facilitates creative thinking.”
Teammate Christine Meier: “When I first saw the employee area, this huge expansion with a library and iPad charging area, amazing locker rooms and a lunchroom with a view of the golf course, I was blown away.”
Teammate Paul Wilson: “I usually find a spot where I can sit and watch golfers finish their rounds during my break. It’s great.”
Teammate Terri Cruz: “I don’t really think about, ‘Oh, it’s Monday or Tuesday [and] I‘m looking forward to Friday,’ because I enjoy being here.”
Teammate Diana Clapon: “Mediterra has something special and when I mean special, I mean the way that teams have been built. I feel like you get the feeling they appreciate you. I am happy.”
Teammate Jerry Gershon: “I have been here from the beginning and on a scale of 1-10, it is a 12.”
Backing Up the Beliefs
“Our belief is simple: to genuinely support our team to achieve their highest goals, and to keep our promises, both small and large, to all teammates,” says Mauceri in summarizing the reasons behind Mediterra’s attention to providing proper space and resources for its employees. “When you can consistently achieve that, your culture and your ability to retain your team and attract top talent grow exponentially.
“We like to live by the Richard Branson quote: ‘Train your employees well enough so they can leave you. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to,’ ” he adds.