Recently I commented to a friend that I know it is getting close to summer because I see more bare feet in my neighbourhood. Another sure sign of Summer for me is the sudden onset of fresh faced, bright eyed young students who pop up in all my favourite stores, restaurants, and hangouts. Yes, I am referring to seasonal staff and they are everywhere heralding the advent of our busy tourism season and the increase of all those things we love like sun, sand, surf, and of course traffic. Well maybe we don’t love traffic, but the rest of those items are what the summer season is all about in the Okanagan.
Soon we will be once again hosting relatives and friends every weekend and wondering why we don’t charge B&B rates. We will be showing them around our fair cities and introducing them to our local gems and hot spots that we are all so proud of.
With that in mind and an upcoming birthday for my husband who is a golfer, I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and speak to the local golf courses about what they offer. So I called a few of the local courses and asked the people in the pro shops questions about whether they had gift certificates, what amenities they had, what the costs were, etc. At the last course I called, I wasn’t getting much detail to help me make my decision, so I finished by asking the young man on the other end to tell me what made his course special.
Imagine my surprise when after a long pause he responded, “Our grass is really green and good”.
Although I was pretty sure that was one of the weakest answers to the question “what makes your course special” that I could ever imagine, I have to admit that I don’t really get golf, so I couldn’t dismiss the answer out of hand. I mean what if they had incredible grass which channelled the ball directly to the hole? Or perhaps their grass is faster? I don’t know… can you have faster grass? In any case, because I know nothing about golf, I thought I should check to see if “really green” grass meant something in the golf world that I as a non-golfer wouldn’t know about.
So I drove to that golf course and stopped the first person I saw who happened to be golfing at the putting green (not an employee but a customer of that golf course) and I asked him: “what makes this golf course special?”
And without a pause he answered that it was a full sized challenging course, which makes it more interesting than some of the others. Now this answer I could understand, because I know that interesting and challenging work is an effective way to retain and motivate employees not to mention attract them in the first place. I guess that principle holds true in the golf world as well. Then I asked him whether “really green” grass means anything to him, because I had to know if I was missing something. After a long pause, and a knowing smile which caused me to suspect he thought someone pulling my chain, he gently explained that green grass meant the course was cared for. Aha, why didn’t that young guy say so? And furthermore, why didn’t he brag about the other great qualities of this golf course when I asked him?
I suspect the answer to both those questions stems from how he was brought into organization. I am pretty confident that his golf course never took the time to explain his role in the context of the entire organization. And I can guarantee that golf course never explained what makes them great or why golfers choose to go there.
What a missed opportunity. For more ideas on what seasonal employees need to know to effectively represent your organization check out our June newsletter which is coming soon.
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