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Who Pays My/Your Salary?

Posted by mynormas on July 3, 2019


I just hate it when staffs don’t seem to know what is going on at their company. There’s a banner outside advertising an invite to some sort of function or discount and when you ask the staff inside, you get a blank face staring back at you. You want to pay them money to attend/purchase and somehow they make you feel you are stupid.

Other example; there is a clubhouse or golf course renovation going on and the rest of the club has no idea what’s taking place. Or, the staffs at the golf counter have no idea what is happening at the sports complex and vice versa.

clubhouse renovation

You: “What’s going on?” Staff: “Don’t know” You: “How long to finish?” Staff: “Don’t know” You: “Why?” Staff “No idea”

Ask a staff about a function, a happening at the club, condition of the golf course and sometimes what you get is a rant about the owner, the GM or the company’s policies and what should have been. They have a theory about how to save the club but its someone else’s job.

Worst of all, is when no one takes responsibility for anything bad that goes on and yet everyone implies that they know what to do or should be done. All and any mistakes are blamed on someone else and yes; followed by a rant about the owner, GM or the company policies; unless of course, you speak to the owner or GM and they will rant about the managers, superintendent, supervisor and workers. Yes, sometimes upper management is part of the problem too.

Upper management makes the case that “I am lord and master, I pay your salary and you shall obey me”. Obey them the staff does to the detriment of the customer base.

It’s like, the work is done for the owner or the GM or the supervisor and not for the customer. When the GM, CEO, supervisor or owner is around, everything is fine and dandy; when they’re not, things fall apart and upper management refuses to believe so, what more to take action.

I offer the theory that this attitude are caused by four things:

  1. The boss acts unilaterally; no discussion with the staff. He or she has a strong personality and often overrides the opinion or decision of others. Worse, he/she ridicules others.
  2. Compartmentalization, otherwise called working in silos where everyone is focussed only on one aspect of the club only. Made worse when the staff has been in one job too long; he has the impression he knows everything there is to know about the job, big picture be damned. They don’t see they are a part of it.
  3. Lack of training specifically about ‘product knowledge’ and the staff barely knows the company beyond his or her office or
  4. The inability of the leadership (read: management) to teach the staff about the part where the employee is actually an important piece of the whole organisation; a cog in the machinery. A failure on one employee’s part means a failure in the whole organisation, a breakdown in the machinery.
Hollow tine work

You pay green fee and you find that the greens are being renovated. You complain and no one seems to know what’s going on. Sounds familiar?

When I visit golf clubs, sometimes I am asked to brief the staff about golf course maintenance and I am often faced with the reality that to the golf course staff, they exist only to cut grass.

Okay, let’s put it another way, many golf course maintenance staff I’ve met do not see that the reason they cut the grass or do any job on the golf course is for their customers; golfers. They see the management as their customers. I have seen the look of surprise on the faces of the workers; even up to the superintendent level, when I told them it’s the golfers who pay their salary and that the golfers have other clubs to go to and other options to choose from (bowling anyone?) if they don’t like this club.

If the complaints are from the members, it is waved of as “the members are always like that” and it is understood that they will come again the next day and complain again. The point that the complaint may be valid is lost.

The staffs are oblivious or uncaring that some (if not most) paying golfers come to a golf course because they like it. The staffs come in the morning, they are told to cut the greens and they dutifully cut them. The greens are slow? The knife is uneven and the greens are damaged? The fairways and roughs are soggy and the mowing creates tyre marks? The staffs have no idea or don’t care that all these and more may irritate the golfers who may not come again. It is when management say something only they stop and rectify.

spraying mistake

Oops. I overdosed/wrong mix. Not my problem; it’ll be okay in a few weeks. The boss should have bought better chemicals. Boss: stupid staff should have been more careful.

If I question why the cut on the greens are bad, the mechanics will be blamed, who in turn will blame it on the age of the machine and the superintendent. Ask the superintendent and he will say he has asked the club’s management for a new machine but it was turned down. Ask the management and they will in turn, blame the superintendent, mechanic and operator for not taking care of the machinery.

Mowing mistake

Oops, there is something wrong with the knife. Not my problem. Its someone else’s fault.

By then, I’ll get agitated myself and need to take a deep breath. I’ll calmly point out that golfers don’t care whose fault it is; it’s just not what they pay for! They paid to play 18 holes of golf and they expect to get a golf course in reasonable condition. The more they pay, the better the condition they are expecting.

Most golf course staff sees the management as the be-all and end-all of their work universe. To them, the management is either the problem or the solution. If a problem can’t be solved, so be it, I’ll cut with the blunt knives or not cut at all, or I won’t fertilise or I won’t water and let the grass die. I’ll come to work the next day, get my salary at the end of the month and my life-cycle continues. They fail to take into account two important things:

  1. The golfers who are playing that day, the person paying their salary, may go somewhere else.
  2. They themselves are potential problem solvers. Or are part of the problem.

As soon as an ugly situation on the golf course become worse and untenable, the blame game begins and it’s the golfers who are the victims, well them and the grass too unfortunately.

To me, as a former insider who is now an outsider, the management can train the staff and loosen the decision making by making the staff fully accountable for the quality of the golf course.

On top of that, the golf course staffs needs to be made aware of the correlation between golf course condition and golf club income. This goes beyond a praise when the golf course is good and a curse when it’s bad. Incentives when the income is good may help too.

It would help if the staffs are golfers, then they’d understand what golfers want and the comparison between golf courses. It doesn’t help at all if most of the golf course team consists of foreigners who can only (barely) cut grass. Oh sure, sometimes it works but wouldn’t it be great if they know what their customers want and find solutions to the problems themselves even if temporarily just to keep the customers happy?

Maintaining this Website. Sumbangan.

Saya menyumbang ilmu secara ikhlas melalui laman web ini. Tetapi pengendalian laman web ini perlukan wang. Setiap tahun USD99 (lebihkurang RM400). Sedikit sumbangan anda amat membantu. Anda mendapat manafaat dari laman web ini? Sumbangan bermula dari $10. Jangan lupa ‘Like’ artikel ini; ‘Follow’ laman web ini dan klik mana mana iklan di page ini. This website is maintained and managed with my own money. I’ve done my best to not allow advertisement on this site thus far so that I can be independent. I’m going to start to ask for donations and see if I can get enough to sustain it that way. Donations start from $10.

$10.00

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