The Battle Between Healthy and Toxic Workplaces

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership) Permanent link

 05.24.16 Hazmat

An interesting juxtaposition has developed -- the simultaneous focus in the world of work on toxic workplaces and creating positive work environments.

Our book on toxic workplaces and the subsequent training we created on how to avoid becoming a toxic workplace (or survive one you are currently in) are growing in popularity and interest. And I am asked more and more to speak to professional associations and write on the topic.

At the same time, there is a growing body of literature on how to create a positive workplace environment (sometimes labeled as workplace culture or climate).

One might mistakenly conclude that the two types of work settings are just opposites of one another:

  • If you create a positive atmosphere, the workplace won't be toxic, OR
  • If a work environment isn't toxic, then it must be a positive environment.

Neither conclusion is necessarily true. Why?  Because a truly toxic workplace is comprised of more than negativity alone (poor communication, dysfunctional patterns, lack of accountability). Similarly, there can still be lot of unhealthy communication, decision-making and leadership even when people relate in a cheerful manner. Read more...

“Achieving Favorite Place Status”: How À La Carte Dining is at the Core of a Club’s Success

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05.17.16 Dining

In our ever shrinking and competitive world of member owned private clubs today we, 'The Club' have to be smarter, better, more in tune and aligned with our members than ever before. Clubs can no longer be singularly focused; the best golf course, a great tennis community, a family-centric summer swim and camp program. We have to be all of these things plus, we have to focus on what really is the catalyst that connects all members to their clubs, we must be their Third Place or, said differently, one of their Favorite Places where they seek and yearn to hang out.

The definition of Third Place has been around since Ray Oldenburg introduced it in his books The Great Good Place in 1989 and 1991. He introduces and argues that third places are important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement and establishing feelings of a sense of place. "Peoples' first and second places are their homes and their workplace – where people may actually spend most of their time. Third places, then are 'anchors' of community life and facilitate and foster broader, more creative social interaction. Societies in the past have informal meeting places, what is new in modern times is the intentionality of seeking them out as vital to an individual's societal needs."

Club managers and club boards must evaluate today if their club is amenity-driven or favorite place-driven. Are your members only at your club when they are engaged in their favorite sport activity or are they there hanging in common spaces interacting with their families and fellow members enjoying the frivolity of social engagement? There are many places club members can enjoy a great game of golf, fitness workout, tennis matches or a fun family outing with their children. But finding true Third or Favorite Places takes on a different paradigm. This is where private clubs have such an outstanding opportunity. Read more...

Personal Foundation: Raising Your Standards

(Leadership) Permanent link

05.10.16 ExcellenceIf you are reading one of my articles for the first time you should know that this article is the fifth in a ten part series that is intended to support CMAA members in building a personal foundation that will support them in their efforts to build brilliant careers that truly support the professionalism of the industry. So far in the series we have discussed the importance of clearing unresolved matters, the importance of integrity, getting your needs met, extending your boundaries and now this month the discussion moves to raising your standards.

You have standards. We all do. Some people hold themselves to very high standards some haven’t chosen to and some people that we encounter in our lives may have very low standards. Standards are the set of behaviors or beliefs that we have decided to live by. I think that as important as it is for us to define what our standards are is the investigation of how they became our standards. In our clubs we have standards that we ask our staff and our members to live by. They can be a way of doing things but I would ask that you think of your standards in the context of a personal foundation as a way of being. Are you being the way you decided to be or are you being what others have told you to be? The reason I ask this is that we need to realize that we have the ability to decide the way we are and it is not just a result of the way we have always been.

If you know me very well you will know that I am a proponent of learning from the stars in our lives and the stars in our industry. Over the past twelve years of involvement with CMAA I have sought out and built relationships with many of the leaders of the organization. I have been so interested in observing the personal standards of these leaders. My friend Joe Charbonneau advised me long before I became a coach to find the masters of the business and really get to know them. In addition to seeing what they do, learn how they think, how they talk, how they interact with people, how they feel about their families or in other words how they "be." Read more...

Students’ Perspectives: What Managers Should Know About Internship Placement and Experiences, Part 2

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04.26.16 StudentsCollege students enrolled in Hospitality and Tourism Programs often seek internship opportunities in order to gain valuable work and educational experiences at private clubs during their summers or school breaks. These internships vary from very basic staff line roles to more advanced leadership or even manager-in-training (MIT) positions.

Private clubs across the country have different ways of running their internships and MIT programs to suit their own particular establishments’ needs. Whether it is food and beverage-focused, rotational, entry-level or management, these programs have one common goal: to enhance classroom experiential learning outcomes with real world hospitality business experience. However, one of the biggest fears among students is whether these internships are actually opportunities for growth in experience and knowledge or are more of just a “summer job.”

Being aware of students’ points of views and their ideal internships and MIT experiences, managers can strengthen their programs not only to benefit the students but, most importantly, to also enhance the overall individual experience of the students, but to also enhance the experiences of the clubs’ members and guests. Therefore, to help club managers understand the perspective of students looking for internship experiences, University of Massachusetts Hospitality and Tourism Management Professor and Faculty Advisor, Rod Warnick, Ph. D. and students from the UMass CMAA Student Chapter asked 118 students from 22 universities attending the 2015 CMAA National Student Educational Conference in Boston for their opinions and recommendations to club managers about internship experiences. The primary purpose of this program was to obtain recommendations to enhance the internship and training programs for both the students and the club management staff and club members. These recommendations come from multiple university student perspectives and are meant to enhance the programming and planning of an internship or MIT experience.

Here are the other five recommendations from the top ten list mentioned in the previous article. Read more...

  

Students’ Perspectives: What Managers Should Know About Internship Placement and Experiences

 Permanent link

College students enrolled in Hospitality and Tourism Programs often seek internship opportunities in order to gain valuable work and educational experiences at private clubs during their summers or school breaks. These internships vary from very basic staff line roles to more advanced leadership or even manager-in-training (MIT) positions.

Private clubs across the country have different ways of running their internships and MIT programs to suit their own particular establishments' needs. Whether it is food and beverage-focused, rotational, entry-level or management, these programs have one common goal: to enhance classroom experiential learning outcomes with real world hospitality business experience. However, one of the biggest fears among students is whether these internships are actually opportunities for growth in experience and knowledge or are more of just a "summer job."

Being aware of students' points of view and their ideal internships and MIT experiences, managers can strengthen their programs not only to benefit the students but, most importantly, to also enhance the overall individual experience of the students, but to also enhance the experiences of the clubs' members and guests. Therefore, to help club managers understand the perspective of students looking for internship experiences, University of Massachusetts Hospitality and Tourism Management Professor and Faculty Advisor, Rod Warnick, Ph. D. and students from the UMass CMAA Student Chapter asked 118 students from 22 universities attending the 2015 CMAA National Student Educational Conference (NSEC) in Boston for their opinions and recommendations to club managers about internship experiences. The primary purpose of this program was to obtain recommendations to enhance the internship and training programs for both the students and the club management staff and club members. These recommendations come from multiple university student perspectives and are meant to enhance the programming and planning of an internship or MIT experience. Read more...

The Sale

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04.12.16 Sale

I still remember my senior year of college as the most challenging for two reasons: my workload tripled compared to the previous three years and that was the year I took a job selling vacuum cleaners.

Those who know me might think I’m a natural salesman. While selling the vacuums, I learned the ABC’s of selling: A = Always, B = Be, C = Closing! Regardless of how valuable your product, how likeable and competent the salesperson or how much in need the potential buyer might be, the one thing every successful salesperson should know is the art of closing the sale!

Following are some guidelines for closing the sale. Read more...

 

Personal Foundation: Extending Boundaries

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Communication) Permanent link

04.05.16 BoundryThis article is the fourth part of a 10-part series that is designed to guide you in building a foundation that will support you in your professional and personal goals. If you have been following the series you will know that we have already covered three issues. If we can stop losing energy to unresolved issues, if we can truly operate authentically when we have restored integrity and we have the confidence, personal power and attractiveness that comes with getting our needs met we have really begun to set the foundation for a strong career and life.

The next step is to establish or extend boundaries.

Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect us from the unhealthy or damaging behavior of others. I touched on this concept briefly in the discussion about needs. In any sizable population of people there will be a number of individuals whose behavior can be unhealthy or damaging. In my time as a Club Manager and my years as a Coach working with Clubs, I found that Clubs are not an exception to this rule. If you manage a Club where there are no members or staff members who have displayed these kinds of behaviors, please contact me. I would love to talk to you. The reality is that you will have to deal with them and some protection is needed or it is easy to become resentful, defensive and less effective. Read more...

 

Want Employees to Feel Valued? Don’t Give Them More Impersonal Stuff

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03.22.16 - Gift CardAfter attending a conference recently, I was somewhat surprised to learn that there is an attitude that is still hanging around, which is that companies still believe and employ the method of giving their employees “stuff” to show their appreciation. Giving away things is not necessarily a bad thing, but if it is not reinforced with other forms of appreciation, it will not have its intended effect.

In fact, our research with more than 55,000 respondents shows that less than 10 percent of employees choose receiving a gift as the primary way they want to be shown appreciation. So while employers spend millions and millions of dollars on “rewards” for their employees, most companies are largely wasting their money (if their goal is for their employees to feel valued.)

Why? Because when a person receives a generic gift (that is, everyone receives the same certificate of recognition and the same $50 gift card), it feels impersonal. Sure they’ll take the gift but it doesn’t communicate (at all) “I know you and what you like.” (Do you want to add another component to make the gift feel totally impersonal? Give them “points” to choose whatever they want from a catalog provided by the company. Remember: this comes from the company and doesn’t cost the supervisor or manager anything.) Read more...

This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.