Some clubs keep employees striving to perform at their best through creative means—incorporating pop culture and encouraging friendly competition.
Keeping employee morale high is imperative in the hospitality industry, where social connections are at the heart of customer satisfaction. Some clubs keep employees striving to perform at their best through creative means—incorporating pop culture and encouraging friendly competition.
Inviting Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell’s repellent character from “Anchorman,” onto the premises is something that most private clubs might want to avoid at all costs. But Town & Country Club in Saint Paul, Minn., embraced Burgundy—or at least one of his signature phrases—with a new employee incentive program, “I’m Kind of a Big Deal,” that was designed to honor seasonal employees during the club’s peak season.
After the program was launched, supervisors nominated employees each week for going above and beyond, and winners received a “Big Deal” t-shirt, cash bonus, the honor of posing for a photo with a Burgundy cutout (which was then displayed on the employee bulletin board, see photo, top right), and claiming a bust of Burgundy for a week.
“From the beginning of the summer and throughout, we saw an increased amount of effort and professionalism around the club as staff competed for the award,” the club reports. “Management was pleased, as well as the members. The employees were beyond enthusiastic to be recognized for their efforts, receive the award, and see the winners displayed each week.”
The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Va., has put a premium on promoting employee morale and creating a unified club culture through a variety of efforts, ranging from pie-eating contests to an internal “idea fair,” dubbed e2e (for “Evolution to Excellence”).
For the idea program, a new employee, “Watts,” was introduced with the title of Creativity Coordinator. Watts’ striking resemblance to a light bulb succeeded in helping to “turn on” the staff, the club reports, and sparked valuable suggestions ranging from how to address a problem area in the parking lot, to new concepts for more “green” practices, to theme ideas for a member event.