How to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Company Page

In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is essential for any business or organization, including golf and country clubs. 

LinkedIn, the professional networking platform, offers a unique opportunity for clubs to connect with potential employees, showcase their unique culture, and position themselves as employers of choice in the competitive industry. 

Your LinkedIn Company Page serves as the digital face of your country club on the platform. It’s the first impression potential employees and members will have of your club, so it’s crucial to make it engaging and appealing. 

Here’s how to create a powerful LinkedIn Company Page:

  1. High-Quality Visuals

Start by choosing high-resolution images and graphics that showcase the beauty and unique features of your club. These visuals could include:

  • Stunning landscapes highlighting your club’s picturesque surroundings, whether it’s a lush golf course, serene lake, or elegant architecture. Use professional photographs that capture the essence of your club’s natural beauty.
  • Showcase your club’s amenities such as the clubhouse, tennis courts, swimming pool, dining areas, and event spaces. These images should be well-lit and emphasize the quality and comfort of your facilities.
  • If your club hosts events or activities, share photos of these experiences to give potential employees and members a taste of what to expect.

A number of facilities including Baltimore Country Club, Rehoboth Beach Country Club, Philadelphia Cricket Club and The Union League of Philadelphia have really set a strong foundation for many others. I encourage readers to bookmark their pages for future reference.

  1. Comprehensive Company Description

Your company description is a critical component of your Company Page. 

In a concise and engaging manner, describe your club’s history, mission, values, and what sets it apart from others in the industry. Highlight any awards, accolades, or unique selling points that make your country club special.

Ensure that your contact information, including your club’s physical address, phone number, and website URL, is up-to-date. This makes it easy for interested individuals to reach out or visit your club.

  1. Consistent Engagement

Consistency is key on LinkedIn. Regularly update with fresh content. Share posts about upcoming events, special promotions, employee spotlights, or anything that reflects the vibrancy and activity at your club.

Showcase the accomplishments and experiences of your current employees. Share their testimonials, stories, and career progression within the club. Potential employees are often drawn to organizations where they can see the success of their peers.

Creating engaging content can help showcase your expertise, and attract your desired audience.  Other additional ideas include course spotlights, membership benefits, event promotion, community involvement, sustainability initiatives, player testimonials, golf tips and techniques, behind-the-scenes, golf industry trends, community engagement, member spotlights and exclusive offers.

Encourage interaction by responding to comments on your posts and engaging in conversations related to the hospitality industry. Be responsive to inquiries from potential candidates and maintain a professional and approachable online presence.

Partner with local influencers or well-known personalities in the hospitality industry to promote your club. Their endorsement can increase your club’s credibility and reach a wider audience.

Celebrate milestones such as anniversaries, achievements or significant accomplishments by expressing gratitude for their contributions. 

  1. Encourage Follows and Engagement

Promote your LinkedIn Company Page through your other digital channels, such as your club’s website, newsletters, and other social media platforms. Encourage current employees and members to follow and engage with your page, as their interactions can expand your reach.

Encourage your current employees to refer potential candidates from their LinkedIn networks. Offering incentives for successful referrals can be an effective way to attract quality talent. Employee involvement can help amplify your message and attract like-minded individuals who resonate with your club’s culture.

Keep in consideration, over 22,000 people with job titles as golf course superintendents and assistant golf course superintendents have active profiles on LinkedIn. 

Your LinkedIn Company Page can be a simple and strategic way to a wider audience, attracting top talent, and cementing its status as a standout player in the golf and turfgrass industry. 

By following these steps and maintaining a consistent and engaging online presence, your club can thrive in the digital landscape.

How to Integrate DEI into Your Recruitment Process

In the modern club, operational excellence extends far beyond pristine fairways and luxurious clubhouse amenities.  In recent years, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) best practices have emerged as critical drivers of success. No longer a buzzword, DEI is a driving force behind innovation, creativity, and resilience with teams. Recruiting and hiring a diverse team offers a kaleidoscope of perspectives that transcend the fairways. 

By welcoming varied viewpoints, clubs can enhance member experiences, foster innovative approaches, and align themselves with the broader demographic shifts in the golfing community. The golf industry’s expansion hinges on embracing diversity as a competitive advantage, allowing clubs to tap into wider audiences and usher in expansive growth. 

An authentic commitment to diversity begins right from the hiring phase. Actively seeking diverse talent and recalibrating recruitment strategies can be further bolstered by forging educational partnerships to discover hidden talents. Everyone in club leadership–spanning from Board Members to General Managers and Superintendents–play a pivotal role in setting the overarching tone and ensuring that every corridor of the club resonates with acceptance and inclusivity. 

Transformation is an ongoing journey, and continuing education is its backbone. Regular workshops and training sessions can bring issues of diversity and unconscious biases to the forefront. By equipping HR Managers with the necessary tools and training, clubs can safeguard a harmonious and inclusive atmosphere. 

Every team member, regardless of their background, plays a vital role in the success of the club. Acknowledging these individual contributions is more than just a kind gesture–it’s an affirmation of the club’s ethos. Celebrating diverse achievements can promote unity and drive collective growth. 

Clubs that embody inclusivity offer a true reflection of the vibrant world outside their gates, standing as models of adaptability and resilience. Our mission is to guide you in aligning excellence with diversity in order to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive future in the golf industry. 

Here is how you can take DEI into consideration during the recruitment process:

  1. Broaden your horizons: Cast a wide net. Ditch traditional recruitment avenues and explore diverse job boards, minority-focused career fairs, and partnerships with institutions serving diverse populations.
  2. Write inclusive job descriptions: Emphasize your club’s commitment to inclusivity and ensure that job descriptions are gender-neutral and free from jargon that may deter diverse applicants.
  3. Conduct bias-free interviews: Invest in training for interviewers to recognize and counteract unconscious biases and stereotypes. Implement diverse interview panels to ensure a variety of perspectives are represented.
  4. Offer flexibility: Recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cater to everyone’s needs. Whether it’s flexible working hours, time off for religious holidays, or offering parental leave, be sure that your policies accommodate diverse lifestyles.
  5. Create a welcoming environment: Beyond recruitment, your workplace culture should welcome and support diversity. Regularly check in with staff, solicit feedback, and be willing to make the necessary adjustments. 
  6. Promote personal growth: Highlight avenues for growth within your club or organization. Show diverse employees a future where their contributions are valued, and advancement is a tangible reality. 

In Wisconsin, golf course maintenance departments provide full-time and seasonal work for a diverse workforce across the state. Talent acquisition is conducted through collaborating with local municipalities, school systems, workforce development boards, and community programs. We helped the Wisconsin GCSAA create a Labor and Staffing BMP to establish practices to encourage DEI initiatives. To learn more, please visit here.

While the path to true inclusivity may be challenging, a commitment to DEI isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s smart business. Such a commitment sets clubs distinctly apart, ensuring that they remain relevant, progressive, and at the forefront of industry excellence. 

I encourage you to dive in, reflect and take actionable steps towards DEI. Let’s lead beyond the grounds and create club cultures where every individual can thrive. 

Driving Performance: Coaching Existing Talent vs. Recruiting New Talent in the Club Industry

Golf is not a game of perfect shots; it’s a game of strategy, foresight and continuous improvement. Similarly, in the golf course and club industry, the true mark of leadership is not just in recognizing and recruiting top talent, but in nurturing and growing the talent already present within the organization. For golf club leaders, understanding the essence of performance management, especially within the framework of training and development is paramount. Performance management extends far beyond employee satisfaction –it reaches into the heart of club operations, benefitting both your organization and your members.

Why Performance Management is a Game-Changer

At its core, a club’s purpose is to serve its members and generate revenue; revenue that is generated through the dedicated efforts of employees. In fact, so much hinges on your club’s workforce, that if you aren’t asking how you can make your employees feel valued and fulfilled, you are missing a vital piece of the puzzle. 

This is partly achieved by providing clear paths for employee growth and development; and for growth to occur, employees need both opportunities to improve their performance and access to necessary training. This is where performance management comes into play. 

Without a well-structured performance management program, employees have a difficult time understanding what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured. Over time, without clear feedback, employees can easily become frustrated and lose their passion for your organization. An effective performance management program can prevent this from happening by clearly laying out expectations, KPIs, and milestones. Providing this level of clarity not only aids in day-to-day operations, it also gives employees the guidance they need to stay on track for performance appraisals, bonuses, or promotions. 

There are many reasons why implementing a performance management program before problems arise can be a game-changer for your club, but getting started can seem like a daunting task. 

Anticipating the Future: Proactive Performance Management

Performance management shouldn’t be an afterthought or a reactionary step once problems arise. It’s a visionary tool, allowing clubs to chart a course towards excellence, anticipate challenges, and continuously refine their approach. By being proactive rather than reactive, club leaders ensure their teams operate at peak performance, cultivating a positive environment focused on growth, excellence, and forward momentum. To truly appreciate the value of adopting a proactive stance, consider the following benefits: 

  1. Stay ahead of the curve. Being proactive about performance management allows managers to address potential areas of concern before they become full-blown issues. This foresight ensures the club is always ahead of the curve, ready to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
  2. Identify strengths. Performance management isn’t just about finding faults. It’s about identifying areas of potential, fostering excellence, and amplifying strengths. Through this lens, performance management becomes a constructive tool, honing the skills and talents of team members.
  3. Guide employees. Think of performance management as a roadmap—a guide that steers the journey of both managers and team members. This roadmap provides direction, marking short-term milestones and long-term goals, ensuring everyone is aligned in their pursuits.
  4. Build a continuous learning culture. With proactive performance management, clubs can instill a culture of continuous learning. This approach emphasizes the elevation of every team member’s potential, fostering an environment where learning and growth are central.
  5. Smooth the operational flow. By identifying and addressing challenges early on, proactive performance management promotes a smoother operational flow. This anticipatory approach ensures the club operates efficiently, avoiding potential pitfalls and ensuring a seamless member experience.

Creating a Long Term Vision

While the allure of recruiting new talent is undeniable, there’s more to building a successful team than merely scouting for fresh faces. The traditional mindset, when faced with a performance gap or a new challenge, is often to look outside the organization for a new player with a fresh perspective to fill the void.However, this approach can sometimes overshadow the immense potential lying dormant within the existing staff.

In numerous mid-management searches our team has conducted, we encourage the executive leadership to identify current team members to engage into the process. Often, we identify skill gaps, but also identify critical soft skills such as organizational knowledge, relationships, motivation, leadership, influence and cultural fit.  

By making a strategic shift from external recruiting to nurturing the untapped potential within, clubs pave the way for a resilient, knowledgeable, and cohesive workforce. These individuals are already acquainted with the seasonality of the business, have a nuanced understanding of your members and are well-versed in the intricacies of club dynamics. Investing in tailored training, mentoring, and coaching not only brings out the best in your employees, but also creates a cohesive and unified team. This approach also fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty, crucial elements for long-term growth. 

There are a number of industry specific training available through associations and university training.  Apprenticeships are also a growing best management practice, and our team offers structure and support in this area to help develop existing team members.

The Benefits of Investing in Existing Talent

Performance management, when executed right, offers a strategic approach that ensures clubs are tapping into their existing talent pool. Harnessing this potential not only bolsters your team’s capabilities, but also delivers a multitude of benefits:

  1. In-depth Industry Knowledge: Existing employees have a grounded understanding of the golf industry’s intricacies, from the technicalities of course maintenance to the dynamics of member relationships.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Training and development can often be more cost-effective than the recruitment process, which involves advertising roles, interviewing, onboarding, and the inevitable period of adjustment for the new hire.
  3. Team Morale and Loyalty: Showing faith in your current team by investing in their growth can foster a sense of belonging and loyalty, leading to lower turnover rates.
  4. Faster Results: Coaching can often bring about swift improvements as the employee is already familiar with the environment, tools, and expectations.

A Strategic Blueprint for Club Leadership

The golf industry, much like the sport, thrives on precision, dedication, and a constant pursuit of excellence. For executive club leadership, recognizing top talent and honing it to perfection is a task that demands strategy and vision. It’s not just about recognizing this potential—it’s about actively cultivating it, creating opportunities for growth, and ensuring that each swing, metaphorically speaking, hits its mark. For club leaders aiming to achieve this harmonious balance between individual employee growth and organizational success, here are some actionable steps to take:

  1. Identify Potential: Recognize those team members who showcase a zest for learning, who exhibit leadership qualities, or who have unique skills that can be honed for broader roles.
  2. Create Tailored Training Modules: Understand the unique strengths and areas of improvement for each employee and design training programs accordingly.
  3. Set Clear Objectives: Establish clear, measurable goals. Performance management isn’t about broad statements; it’s about specific milestones that can be tracked and achieved.
  4. Provide Regular Feedback: Unlike annual reviews, coaching is a continuous process. Regular feedback sessions allow for real-time adjustments and provide opportunities for both praise and constructive critique.
  5. Provide Resources: Whether it’s courses, workshops, technology, or access to industry events, ensure your team has the necessary resources to grow and excel.
  6. Celebrate Employee Successes: Just as you would celebrate a birdie or an eagle on the course, celebrate the achievements and milestones of your team members. It boosts morale and reinforces positive behavior.

The Ultimate Trifecta: High-Performing Teams, Stronger Club Reputation, and Member Satisfaction

When clubs integrate a robust performance management program, it’s not just employees who thrive—it’s a win-win-win. From operational efficiencies and an enhanced reputation to high levels of member satisfaction, the club, as an entity, thrives. 

For one, it establishes a culture of transparency between management and team members. This two-way communication bridges gaps, fosters understanding, and keeps everyone on the same page. Setting clear, achievable goals gives team members a direction and a purpose. It amplifies productivity and offers a clear vision of career progression. 

Engaged, motivated teams contribute to greater operational efficiency. Furthermore, a club that is known to invest in its employees enhances its brand image. Clubs known to prioritize employee growth naturally become a magnet for top-tier talent and discerning members. 

Engaged employees, proud and content in their roles, also provide superior services. They interact more authentically, providing more of a personal touch and forging deeper, lasting relationships with club members. In turn, members can’t help but recognize and appreciate an elevated experience, leading to greater pride in affiliation and club loyalty. 

Finally, enhanced efficiency and member satisfaction, coupled with reduced turnover, invariably bolster the bottom line, leading to an increase in revenue.

Defining Tomorrow’s Legacy Today

By embracing performance management, clubs can craft a legacy characterized by dedication, unparalleled excellence and memorable experiences for both team members and club members. As clubs navigate this ever-changing landscape, their choices today will define their stories tomorrow. And with a committed, nurtured team at the helm, their story is bound to be one of unprecedented success.

About The Author

Tyler Bloom is the founder of Tyler Bloom Consulting. A former golf course superintendent and turf professional, Tyler’s love of all things golf began at the age of six when he stepped onto the course for the first time. 

Tyler has an Executive Certificate in Talent Acquisition from Cornell University and a degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State University. With 20 years of experience in the golf and turfgrass industry, Tyler has worked directly with reputable club leaders at some of the most prestigious clubs to place over 100 professionals in executive and management level positions throughout the United States.

Are you ready to build a top-performing team that drives results? Our proven framework, methodologies, and implementation is based on our personal track record of developing world-class teams. In addition to talent acquisition, we provide leadership development and ongoing consultative services for the golf course and club industry. Our team has personally coached and mentored dozens of future golf course superintendents across the United States. 

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How to Supercharge Your Golf Course Maintenance Team

As the wise Dalai Lama once said, “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”

We’re nearing the end of a challenging summer, and the atmosphere on golf courses is filled with excitement as pre-season football begins. Conversations with course superintendents and club officials have brought to light the secrets behind employee retention, ranging from cultural fit to compensation packages.

But there’s a hidden gem, a priceless treasure that often goes unnoticed in benefit plans and salary structures—the power of appreciation.

Appreciation is the key that unlocks the full potential of your golf course maintenance team. The average golfer might not fully grasp the intricacies and unwavering dedication required to maintain a top-notch golf course. Lack of appreciation can lead to mediocrity, discontent, and even the unfortunate trend of employees seeking greener pastures.

Now, let’s delve into what drives these golf course superintendents and their teams. They dream of creating a truly memorable golfer/member experience, where players can fully appreciate the meticulous maintenance, excellent playing conditions, and overall beauty of the course.

But that’s not all. They constantly seek recognition for their expertise in turfgrass management, agronomy, and environmental sustainability. These professionals stay up-to-date with cutting-edge research, trends, and technology, all to achieve optimal playing conditions, course aesthetics, and overall health.

It’s not just technical expertise that drives them; they aspire to be highly skilled and respected professionals in their field. Effective leadership, teamwork, collaboration with stakeholders, and strong relationships with club management are all part of their vision.

Let’s not forget their dedication to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Implementing eco-friendly practices is a core value of superintendents, and they hope to inspire others in the industry to minimize water usage, reduce chemical inputs, and promote biodiversity.

Their unwavering dedication often comes at a personal cost, sacrificing their own health, family time, and wellness. Yet, they yearn for acknowledgment from golfers, club members, and industry peers alike.

It’s not an easy job. From weather fluctuations and budget limitations to disease control, they face countless hurdles and occasionally require temporary closures or maintenance practices like aerification.

So, how can golfers and club officials supercharge their golf course maintenance team with appreciation? I’ve got some straightforward tips for you:

👉 A simple “thank you” or expressing appreciation directly to the golf course superintendent when you encounter them on the course can work wonders.

📜 Sending a handwritten note or an email to the golf course superintendent is a thoughtful gesture. Let them know how much you appreciate the excellent course conditions and the effort they put into maintaining it.

📱 Take to social media! Post a positive review or shout-out on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to raise awareness about the hard work of the golf course superintendent.

🏌️ Respect the golf course rules and policies to maintain the course’s integrity and lighten the workload for the superintendent and groundskeeping staff.

⛏️ When you’re on the course, be considerate by repairing divots, fixing ball marks on greens, and properly raking bunkers. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot to the hardworking team.

Remember, a happy and motivated staff is more likely to maintain a high level of course conditions. Let’s celebrate the passion, dedication, and commitment of the golf course maintenance teams who provide us with unforgettable golfing experiences.

Buzzer Beaters and Job Search: A Quest for Your One Shining Moment

As the last seconds of the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship ticked off, I marveled at the execution of the UCONN team.  The level of intensity, ups, and downs of the season, how they leveraged their strengths, and found a way to win when it mattered most.

68 teams enter the dance, and one wins the ultimate prize. 

It got me thinking how similar this is to the job search world – where everyone is competing for that one end goal through a rollercoaster of emotions. The exhilaration of victory, the Cinderella stories who move on against traditional powerhouses, the puzzling defeat for those shoe-in picks, and ultimately the “one shining moment” for the individual who has survived a grueling process.

The job search can be competitive, challenging, and unpredictable. It is not uncommon to experience periods of extreme highs when you get invited for an interview, followed by the disappointment and frustration that comes with rejections. This can be particularly true when it comes to the competitive nature of many open positions in today’s market. Let’s explore how March Madness and job search are similar and what we can learn from them.

  1. It’s a Tournament

Just like March Madness, a job search process is a tournament. You start with a large pool of candidates (teams) competing for a limited number of positions (slots in the tournament). You go through rounds of elimination (resume screening, interviews) to make it to the next stage (final interviews, job offers). The process can be intense and requires careful strategy, preparation, and perseverance.

  1. Both require careful strategy and preparation

If you’re looking for a job or trying to win March Madness, it takes more than luck. Success requires careful strategizing and expert preparation. Like the NCAA men’s basketball teams of March Madness, job seekers must step onto the court ready to defend their talents, abilities and survive against fierce competition in order to advance. 

Despite the overarching belief that there’s a lack of talent, you are competing against other qualified candidates who are vying for the same job openings. Just like teams in March Madness need to bring their A-game to outperform their opponents, you need to showcase your skills, value, leverage your differences, qualifications, and achievements to stand out from the competition.

  1. The importance of creating an impressive resume – “shooting your shot” in the tournament

Applying for a job is like preparing to compete in a tournament: you need to look the part and be ready for whatever is thrown at you. You couldn’t show up wearing the other team’s colors, nor could you go on the field unprepared. The same concept applies when creating an impressive resume – it’s your way of “shooting your shot”. 

Crafting a professional and impactful resume will ease an employer’s eye as they pursue through your experience and qualifications. Your resume should give off the right impression of who you are and what you bring to the table. In order to stand out from the crowd, making sure your resume looks polished, professional, and relevant is the key to success – do so, and you’ll enter that tournament with confidence knowing that you put in the work!

  1. It’s Full of Ups and Downs

Despite arriving with the expectation of a predetermined path to success, some tournaments throw in so many curveballs that it can feel like you’re on a never-ending rollercoaster ride.

March Madness is known for its unpredictability, with underdog teams often defeating higher-ranked opponents. Similarly, the job search process can be full of ups and downs. You may face rejection, setbacks, and disappointments along the way. However, just like basketball teams need to bounce back from a loss and keep pushing forward, job seekers need to persevere, learn from their setbacks, and keep their motivation high.

Adapting to changing brackets on the fly is by no means an easy task, but those who have faced such obstacles head-on will tell you that it’s the unexpected twists and turns in life that make it interesting. For any athletes looking to compete, there may come a time where courage and resilience are put to the test. Ultimately, not all paths are plotted neatly in advance, however those capable of admirably overcoming such unanticipated challenges will surely be rewarded.

I was recently leading a job search where the winning candidate was initially passed on for other candidates. When an unexpected life twist required someone to pull out of the dance, the passed over candidate was asked to come back into the mix and accelerated to the top. Don’t think this person overcame a lot of obstacles?  Talk about a Cinderella Story!

  1. It Requires Adaptability 

Winning teams adapt to different opponents, game plans, and situations. Similarly, in a job search, you may need to adapt your approach based on the specific job, company culture, and interviewer’s style. Reading the room is a requirement in every search, and being able to present your skills and abilities to changing dynamics is something you should expect. Flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to adjust your strategy can increase your chances of success.  

  1. It’s About Networking

Teams often rely on teamwork and collaboration, networking plays a crucial role in the job search. Building a strong professional network, connecting with industry contacts, and leveraging referrals can open up opportunities that may not be advertised publicly. How many times do you think coaches talk to other coaches, sharing game strategy and information about players and the tendencies of their next opponent? Networking can help you gain insights, make connections, and increase your credibility in a job search..

  1. It Requires a Winning Attitude 

Finally, both March Madness and job search require a winning attitude. Just like basketball teams need to believe in their abilities and have confidence in their skills, job seekers need to exude confidence, positivity, and enthusiasm throughout the job search process. A winning attitude can impress potential employers and help you make a memorable impression.

  1. The rewards of success and hard work-celebrating as championship teams are crowned!

The yearly March Madness tournament and job search are adventurous, albeit sometimes unpredictable and arduous, journeys. The parallels between the two should remind us to both plan ahead and also just enjoy the ride. 

As we go through each phase of the search or tournament, there will be obstacles that must be overcome and unexpected curve balls thrown your way. However, if you remain resilient in the face of adversity, success will be yours! 

Some may see these processes as stressful or overwhelming; however, embrace them with an open mind and do not forget to have fun! But always remember – the best team doesn’t always win. It’s the team that prepares and plays the best that ultimately lands the championship trophy or in a job seeker’s case – the dream job.

5 Emerging Trends in Workforce Development

In today’s business world, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to workforce development. With new technologies and changes in the economy, the way we develop our employees needs to evolve as well. Here are some emerging trends in workforce development that you should be aware of.

The rise of the gig economy and how it’s changing the way we work

The gig economy is reshaping the choices available to workers and providing opportunities unlike ever before. Whether you’re a part-time or full-time worker, new doors are opening up that allow individuals to build flexible careers without being confined to typical nine-to-five roles or simply job hopping from one employer to another. With the emergence of the gig economy, workers now have the freedom to pursue multiple income streams and design their own business model. But perhaps most significantly, freelancing allows people to draw on their own skill sets and assets that may not be adequately harnessed in traditional work environments. The rise of the gig economy is creating a more diverse and autonomous labor force, allowing us all to explore our potential and take charge of our futures.

Don’t think this applies to the golf industry?  I have seen more “independent contractors” show up in various regions of the country to fill in for golf course superintendents, executive or sous chefs, and clubhouse managers.  The individuals are filling a real need with specialized skills and knowledge to fill in short-term gaps.

The importance of upskilling and reskilling for today’s workforce

Today, the workforce is faced with a unique challenge. With technological advances and changes in consumer preferences happening at a rapid rate, it is important to stay proactive when it comes to training and development. In order to remain competitive in today’s labor market, employees must continually take initiative to keep their skills up-to-date. This can be achieved through “upskilling” and “reskilling” – two concepts that are becoming increasingly popular solutions for staving off obsolescence. Upskilling involves honing existing skills while reskilling requires learning completely new sets of knowledge or aptitudes. By investing these valuable resources into their workers, organizations can ensure they maintain a staff well equipped with the necessary tools to navigate a quickly changing society.

Our case study is the usage of Registered Apprenticeship programs, which has continued to catch interest from facilities across the United States. Here is an example – 

How to make your workplace more attractive to top talent

Attracting top talent to your workplace should be a priority, and there are many creative ways you can do this. Using vivid language in job descriptions to capture the interest of potential candidates is essential, as well as creating an environment which encourages collaboration and fun. Flexible work hours and added vacation time can also draw in prospective employees who may have competing lifestyle demands. In addition, offering competitive salaries, innovative methods of rewards and recognition, a practice of setting job promotions and career paths all send the message that your organization is serious about investing in its valuable team members. Ultimately, making your workplace attractive to top talent often comes down to innovation and agility: focus on new ideas that show potential employees they will be valued and constantly challenged as part of the team.

The benefits of workplace diversity and inclusion

The modern workplace is enriched with diversity and inclusion when everyone’s unique point of view, abilities and life experiences can be expressed freely. Through celebrating and leveraging the diversity of its staff, an organization can create a much stronger, dynamic team – one in which every team member feels respected and part of the success story. Workplace inclusion encourages everyone to contribute their ideas, breaking down any barriers that may exist between colleagues or departments. This promotes creative solutions to challenges, which helps the organization thrive rather than merely survive in a competitive landscape. Simultaneously, through increased visibility of people from different backgrounds, organizations can better reflect society in their corporate identity and attract new customers from diverse communities. Ultimately this results in higher bottom-line performance for the organization as talent can develop more efficiently; maximizing productivity and company growth.

The future of work and what it means for businesses

Businesses all over the world are beginning to ponder the future of work, a concept that has been discussed often in recent years. With new developments in technology coming every day, physical locations for employees may change or become obsolete altogether, as more people take up remote and flexible working practices from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, automation will likely play a larger part in the golf industry, changing the way businesses interact with customers and streamlining certain processes. The importance of commitment to ethical behavior and clear management processes will be paramount as we move into this new era. It is an exciting time for change and an opportunity for businesses to progress with the times.

As the gig economy keeps growing and changing the way we work, employers need to stay ahead of the curve in order to attract and retain top talent. Through upskilling and reskilling initiatives, creating an attractive workplace environment, and nurturing diversity, employers can create a great workplace that appeals to job seekers and boosts their bottom line. While it’s impossible to know for certain what the future of work holds, possessing these skills and qualities will help businesses survive in what may be a rapidly shifting landscape. As challenging as it might sound now, given enough nurturing of worker’s skills and capabilities, as well as cultivating a positive environment in the worksite, together we can all forge our way forward into the future of work.

4 Tips to Attract Turfgrass Students

Written by Mitch Rupert, Talent Strategist at Tyler Bloom Consulting

I didn’t know what to expect as I prepared for the first industry job fair I’ve attended. But I was certainly curious.

What would the Penn State University students in attendance want to talk about? What kind of advice would they be looking for as they navigate the seemingly endless tables of golf and industry leaders looking to hire them?

What surprised me as the fall day in State College, Pennsylvania, unfolded is that many of the students I spoke with didn’t necessarily have a plan. I watched as they walked into Alumni Hall and headed toward their desired course.

You couldn’t shine a flashlight in the cavernous room without hitting representatives from a course which has hosted a major championship. They garnered much of the attention of the students in attendance, and for good reason. The reputation of those clubs and the opportunities they afford those who work there are well documented.

The big takeaway is what I heard from those who came by our table.  Unsure and indecisive about their career pathway, the students didn’t always know exactly what they were looking for as they searched out internships or their first full-time employment. 

With the state of labor the way it is — especially in the golf industry — more power than ever is in the hands of the employees. So as these recent or soon-to-be turfgrass graduates enter the professional field, it’s important to have a plan of how you can attract and develop them.  Ultimately, why do you want to attract them?

Turfgrass graduates are the proverbial unicorns that nearly every job advertisement on industry job boards targets and desires. With enrollment numbers in a state of flux over the last five to ten years, filling entry-management positions has continued to be a challenge for golf facilities across the country. 

Employers who desire candidates with a turfgrass education need to remember this key message: candidates don’t know what they don’t know. Employers have the ability to adapt their offerings not purely based on compensation and benefits, but laying out a career pathway for success that is catered to individual needs, drives and motives.

Here are some considerations:

Plan for the organization you want to build

A sound career pathing blueprint starts with the right questions. Those include, but aren’t limited to:

  • What does successful career pathing look like at your facility and the industry?
  • What does our personal development program entail?
  • How does career pathing vary for different ambitions?
  • How do student interns and turfgrass graduates help us achieve business goals?

Traditionally, student interns and turf graduates provide a feeder system for entry level assistant roles and technician positions.  Ensuring you are able to provide foundational on-the-job experience will help prevent gaps in future skill needs.

Does the course setup for Ladies Day depend on the knowledge of plant pathology to get the job done?  No. Does a turf education guarantee someone can identify  the difference between 10 ounces per acre of growth regulator or 10 ounces per thousand square feet of growth regular?  One would hope. 

Consider the student pool, while limited, typically can bring energy and focus on career goal attainment, and they are looking to climb the managerial ladder.  Their goals can be tailored to provide learning and development through operations, technically focused tasks, small crew leadership and site specific agronomics.

When you encourage people to set goals that might stretch them, both behaviorally and in terms of their practical skill set, you’re building leaders at all levels. And companies that promote leadership throughout the organization are better equipped to withstand adversity and change. 

Being transparent and upfront about how the internship experience will help point individuals in the right direction will provide security and confidence for students. 

Develop a marketing and engagement budget

Employers continue to use social media in creative ways to highlight company culture, employee testimonials, career opportunities, operational practices and their employer brands.  

Develop a budget to cover items like communication and marketing materials, training, kick-off events, incentives or reimbursements.  Without adequate funding and support, your program stands little chance of sustaining itself and making a long-term impact. 

Consider looking at your annual budget expenses for 2023, and investing a portion into some collateral marketing to enhance your image and reputation.  Our friend, Brian Laurent of Superintendent Network, has developed some fantastic videos. 

Invite school advisors and faculty to your site to view operations, receive input and demonstrate why your facility will provide a great experience for students.

Encourage one-to-one mentorship

The #1 differentiator in the fight for good talent is you.  Your leadership, or lack thereof, will define your success in recruitment. Not every candidate wants to work at a top 100 facility or host a professional tournament, so consider reshaping your value proposition to provide one-to-one mentorship.  

Being able to have direct access to the main leader is desirable, and can have a major impact on someone’s trajectory.  Employees want to know they can talk shop at the end of the day, ask questions and pick the leaders mind.  Consider setting weekly internship meetings, guest industry speakers, calibration classes, irrigation repair and career development sessions.  

Providing career and leadership guidance will encourage employees to seek opportunities within the company rather than outside it.  Involving your key players such as equipment managers and assistants will make a real impact.  Don’t go at this alone, because you’ll likely be overwhelmed. 

A big reason why companies struggle to attract interns is a bad mentor-mentee match.  Word of mouth spreads within universities and peer networks, and thus leaves companies wondering what’s left to do. Ultimately, good mentorship helps match goals, strengths, personal interests and more to run an effective internship experience.

Be open to redefining the existing role 

For the most part, candidates will experience routine daily practices, applications, course setup and other typical duties in any internship. We can’t forget the fundamentals. However, providing different growth opportunities and exposure will attract a diverse pool of candidates. 

Create management scenarios, and consider your definition of “management.” Individuals can manage other things besides people. For example, you can oversee:

  • Projects
  • Initiatives
  • Systems

Consider these options when you have a strong individual contributor whose interests or behavioral strengths don’t align with traditional or existing management roles. Tie the opportunity to a goal or ambition they’ve expressed. In doing so, you’re developing leadership traits while acting on their developmental priorities, fostering both engagement and growth.

Make it easy for an employee to take advantage of various niche tasks. Want to establish new technology programs?  Delegate tasks such as the digital job board, social media or moisture management readings.

Does the individual need to improve communication skills?  Consider offering crew management for the week, leading a Green Committee meeting or safety meeting.

Consider highlighting where you work

This has everything to do with what geographic region of the country in which you’re located, and the assets of your location beyond the golf course.

Why is this important? Individuals are moving their life to work there. Highlighting the town and social component may sweeten the pot.  Location plays a huge role in attracting and retaining the best employees, many of whom keep a close eye on where they’re based in order to optimize work-life balance. 

Fortunately, it is becoming more and more common for clubs to offer some sort of housing setup or stipend, which should help relieve some of the cost of living burden. But it’s not a given, and that’s an important question to discuss with your key stakeholders. 

And by carefully considering these recommendations, you’re going to give yourself a better chance of landing the proverbial unicorn.

4 Steps to Build a World Class Culture

Building a top-notch workplace culture is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity in today’s hiring environment. Whether you are looking for executive level talent or building the bench to execute your operational game plan, taking deliberate action steps is critical now more than ever.

When most people think of culture, they think of pie-in-the-sky ideologies: ping pong tables, paid luncheons and other soft perks. Company culture refers to a company’s core values and is reflected in the attitudes, behaviors, and practices of an organization and its employees. 

Poor leadership, bad workplace environment, little to no training, lack of engagement, poor compensation and benefits, complacency, and lack of good hiring practices all contribute to talent problems. 

“Your employees are the engine that powers your business, and your company culture is the fuel; are you choosing regular unleaded, or premium? The advantages make it worth upgrading your time, attention, and effort,” said David Silbert, who is a content writer for the Predictive Index.

Building a world class culture doesn’t happen overnight, but here are four steps to get you started, or to help strengthen your existing programs. 


Often leaders aren’t clear on who they are, let alone what their organization is about. Understanding your motivators, drives and what gets you fired up will be helpful in setting the tone within your operation. Spending time to identify and discover ourselves is the first step to building a world-class culture. 

Identifying and articulating your values not only provides decision-making guideposts, but also can help guide actions for your organization. Examples of values can be innovation, teamwork, integrity and communication. If you need assistance, there are a number of assessments such as Strengthsfinder 2.0, Predictive Index, Enneagram, DISC and Meyers-Briggs that can provide insights into yourself. 

As you transition into thinking about your organizational culture, what key behaviors do you hold sacred, and what matters most to your existence? What are your core beliefs or convictions? These are feelings and sentiments that we will defend no matter the odds and at the risk of being the only person in the room sharing them. These beliefs are important to our employer brand because they clearly communicate who we are underneath the surface. 

Let’s look at Oprah’s personal values: perseverance, generosity or kindness, appreciation, and sincerity. By her own admission these seem to be the most consistent values she mentions: (Read more on — What Defines Me: 

The majority of the Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) programming and public activities exemplify those values. OWN’s shows are inspirational and educational. They tend to empower others and focus on personal development or enlightenment. 


A strong company culture supports a positive work environment, which improves employee satisfaction, reduces time-consuming conflict, and empowers team members to take pride and ownership of their contribution to the organization as a whole. 

Here’s the secret sauce: you have to integrate your team into the process. If they are not part of the process, they will not see any value in solicitation of their input because it will feel as if it is not valued.

In your next management team meeting, poll your team members on the following questions.

  • What is our purpose in what we do?
  • What are the core traits that make us unique?
  • What angers you or frustrates you about the existing work environment?
  • What are our goals in the next year to five years?

Finding a company which aligns with the goals and values which matter most to the employee is important to new hires, especially in a competitive job market.

Employees who appreciate an organization’s values and have a strong sense of belonging are ultimately happier at work, and therefore, more productive and invested in the company’s success. By engaging your new employees from the start with effective onboarding practices, it will stimulate the employee and have them excited to take on the job they’ve been hired for.

You don’t need to wait for a big ‘AH HA’ moment to inspire employees. Frequent check-ins during the work day — out on the golf course or in the break room — is a simple strategy to build rapport. Setting one-on-one meetings or quarterly reviews is a practice we recommend more than the annual employee review. It allows the employer to gauge where the employee is seeing success or struggling and effectively put in place a process to deal with either situation.

Most importantly, reward behaviors which align to your values. On-the-spot recognition is a simple strategy to ensure your team feels acknowledged for demonstrating the right values.


Every company’s culture will vary depending on the organization’s mission statement, leadership styles, behavioral expectations, and shared values. 

However, what shouldn’t be left up to chance is intentional mentorship or employee development, including your own. Instituting continued education and development shouldn’t be reserved for senior managers only. There are endless resources at your disposal to increase the hard and soft skills of your employees.

Basic online education from our regional or national associations, industry publications, YouTube, and other services such as Golf Safety are cost effective and replicable. 

Many companies are creating their own internal development programs to expose their team members to various industry experts. 

Scheduling time for your team to engage in these training sessions is your biggest challenge. What doesn’t get scheduled won’t get done, so mark it on a calendar, send it out in a Google calendar invite or other scheduling tools. 

Don’t reserve continued education only for the months of November through February. Create time once a month for a 20-30 minute presentation, video or discussion within your team. Consider topics beyond just the typical on-the-job competencies, such as leadership development, wellness, financial management and other areas. As you broach topics in these sessions which revolve around life outside the job, you show you care about your employees as people, and not just cogs in the maintenance machine. 

Whatever the platform may be, creating a once-a-month training and education for your team is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity in the competitive labor market. 


A key component that often is missing and the hardest part of the job for any manager or team leader is providing feedback and accountability. A crucial component to providing feedback is identifying successes and failures, and developing a strategy to bring action and behaviors into alignment with your stated goals. However, if there is no follow up then ambitious goals fizzle out. 

Gaps in feedback allow for toxic relationships and environments to grow. Whether issues are developed from poor policy, communication failures, inconsistent leadership, or individual employees, addressing the issue at hand is paramount. 

It’s important to state the facts you have as a manager, but equally important to give the employee a chance to explain their side of the story. More often than not, by revealing their rationale, they’ll actually help you coach them through how to approach the situation in the future. 

Here are five approaches which can help employees grow and improve through feedback:

  • Make feedback timely
  • Be truthful
  • Be specific
  • Take an unassuming approach
  • Don’t rush positive feedback

Building a world-class culture takes time and effort. There are many components to producing a positive company culture, including compensation and benefits, innovation, and goal-setting. Taking the time to build an impressive company culture, employees will be empowered to feel like they’re truly part of any success the company achieves.

And with empowered employees, you can accelerate all of your organization’s efforts to build toward success.

6 Strategies to Accelerate Your Career

As the fall hiring season picks up in the golf industry, leaders and professionals from all backgrounds continue to explore career pathways. 

Being a viable candidate, to some degree, has never been easier given the lack of qualified applicants for open positions across many sectors, including the golf industry. Companies are focused on attracting qualified candidates who will stay and serve for not just their role, but the broader goal of the organization. 

There is still uncertainty around the job market. The Great Resignation’s trickle down effects from the COVID-19 pandemic is still in play. Will things come back to normal? Who truly knows. But employees are empowered now, more than ever, to take control of their careers. Top candidates have carte blanche in choosing where they want to work. 

Thoughtful career planning will ensure you come out of this — whether in your current employment or future — standing on top. 

Whether from a Business Owner, Board of Governors, General Manager, CEO or a committee, we have consistently heard these three traits as being pivotal to what stands out about candidates. 

  • Self-awareness
  • Humility
  • Team Builder

A polished resume and cover letter, portfolio of work and presentation skills are all part of the package to landing your dream job.  Today, we’re going to focus on the most important step in your career strategy — self-awareness. Without this, you may continue to live a life not fully fulfilled, coming up short on career aspirations and spinning in circles. 

Who you are.

You have to get clear on who you are, which isn’t the same as what you do. If you could look back at your life’s work, and those pivotal moments, how would you describe yourself? What problems do you solve? What are you passionate about? What would your friends say about you, your family, your closest peers, your archrivals, your employees? 

Do you have a set of core values which serve as guiding principles and show up in your daily life? 

Brain dump all the words that resonate with you and you would be most proud to represent. List out your top 15. Break it down to the 10 that you are really passionate about, and then down to your top 3-5. 

This may seem “rah rah” to some, but getting focused on who you are is a critical step in landing your dream job and preventing you from taking the wrong job.  

If you need help there is a list of assessments which can provide an objective viewpoint. We utilize The Predictive Index, so feel free to shoot me a message to learn more. But also explore these options: 

  • DISC
  • Strengthsfinder 2.0
  • Predictive Index
  • Meyers-Briggs
  • Enneagram
  • RightPath

These assessments may reveal some personality blindspots that are contributing to falling short in your job search quests. 


Benchmark your skills and take inventory of your traits. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but it’s important to document your successes in agronomics, communication, staff training/development, business, project management, leadership, environmental stewardship, water management, etc.

It’s also important to take stock of the soft skills you have — empathy, overcoming adversity, time management, delegation, coaching and many more. 

Take the time to write these out and keep an ongoing database of your strengths, skills and accomplishments to pull from. 


Whether starting out in your career or a savvy leader, you can benefit from a fresh perspective. Identify three people who may have some expertise about business opportunities or career paths. Consider surrounding yourself with those who have more positive, encouraging voices and limit the less positive voices.

It has been said that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with on a daily basis — family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others you interact with. This may also include virtual connections or voices you listen to via podcasts or social media platforms. 

Here are some questions to ask to gain feedback. 

  1. What topics do people come to you organically for advice about?
  2. What is a one word problem you solve?
  3. How do you overcome problems? 
  4. What do people ask you a lot about?
  5. What are three things I’m good at?
  6. What do I underestimate about myself?

Research & Network

What is your dream job? Have you actually listed this out and put it on paper? Visualizing the scenario is a great step that often no one takes. 

If your goal is to be the Superintendent at Three Jack National, then it would behoove you to align yourself with those closely associated with Three Jack National. 

Job boards, referrals, social media and your internal network are great resources to learn about career opportunities.

If you don’t have a connection, go to LinkedIn and send an invite to mutual connections that may have previously worked at the facility, or better yet the existing hiring manager. Given the state of labor, I don’t know a hiring manager who wouldn’t take a direct message, email or phone call to talk about career opportunities at their facility. 

As you make your way through the conference and education circuit this winter, be prepared with business cards to network. Don’t miss an opportunity to meet someone who may have potential influence for your next job. It is a small industry and it’s getting smaller by the day.


Career success means different things to different people at various stages of life. Change is a constant in life. You change, the world changes. You get to choose your direction. 

What causes are you drawn to? What needs in the world do you feel most passionate about? Do you have skills which align with your passions that could make an impact? 

Think about 6-12 months from now and imagine what you would want your life to look like if you could never fail. Let go of what someone else wants for you or what you think society wants for you, or what the industry wants for you. 

Consider not just business success, but your relationships and wellness. Losing one affects the others.


Nobody starts a process with the intention of fizzling out after a few weeks. But the reality is that sometimes life gets in the way, and without having something in place to keep us accountable, we can start to drift. 

There have been various stages in my career that I didn’t have the right accountability to keep honest to my goals. Instead, I often overlooked experience and wisdom from those who walked the path before me. When you have accountability to someone other than yourself, it’s harder to let things slide.

Whatever doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done, so it’s time to take what you can do right now and put it on your calendar. 

Your first focus must be THIS week, maybe even TODAY! Here is a simple 3-step process you can easily repeat to gain momentum and pursue your goals. 

  1. Choose what you can do next to achieve each goal? What is holding you back? What can you do, learn, or discover to push past?
  2. Schedule when you will do it. Get specific on a day and time. Put it on your calendar. 
  3. Act on it.

How to build trust within your team

Building trust within a team — new or established — takes deliberate discipline. It is not a passive process which just magically produces results.

You know how devastating it can be when you try to get your team to work together, but there’s constant disagreement, a lack of communication, and missed expectations. During these low points, it feels impossible to imagine coaching a team to get through a week of work let alone their full potential.

Building collaborative and accountable teams that deliver consistent results is a reflection of team trust. 

If your team isn’t willing to trust one another, they most likely won’t take risks. Consequently, they’re not going to be able to effectively adapt or innovate when challenging situations head their way. We all know problem solving is a must to succeed.  Worse is if you let one bad apple or group of employees persist within the team. It will be tough to re-establish trust as friction spreads. 

When an employee doesn’t mesh well with the people on their team due to trust issues, this can lead to friction among the team or disengaged individuals. No matter how talented those individuals are separately, if they can’t trust one another, they’ll never get the top results.

A Classic Case study

The classic case study example is the end of the New England Patriots’ dynasty. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are unquestionably one of the greatest duos in sports and set the gold standard for teamwork at the highest level of the NFL. Toward the end of their epic run, there were lingering trust issues which led to friction which bled into the media. (Easy to say from this armchair quarterback) 

Think about a highly cohesive team that you’ve been part of in the past. Why did that team work so well? 

Now, think about a team that you’ve been a part of that didn’t work well in the past. What do you think the unsuccessful team was missing which the previous successful one had?

When a new process, project or objective surfaces, it is best to pause and take a moment to ensure everyone is aligned. 

Understand how decisions can impact individual jobs or the overall work style of your team. Some individuals are more inclined to fly by the seat of their pants. Others require a step-by-step outline. Being clued into the personalities of your key stakeholders and how they interact can keep everyone united.

Creating an environment where your team can play “complementary football” to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses will help achieve team cohesion. 

What are some action steps you can employ today? 

First, focus on the team dynamic. 

Bring the group together, create a safe space for discussion, ask for feedback, and allow others to speak candidly. Not only does this show respect, but it also provides opportunity for diverse thinking, improved outcomes and ability to be transparent to generate healthy conflict.

In most cases, one person doesn’t have all the answers and that should be transparent amongst the group. Be willing to share decision making and consensus, play to the strengths for the greater good.

If not, teams can feel paralyzed, like they are stepping on toes and have to run decisions through one authoritarian which can bring productivity to a halt. 

Second, consider assigning team roles based on their strengths. Ask them who they feel would best complement their abilities. Set accountability checkpoints to encourage trust and move in a productive direction. 

Ultimately, team morale may decrease if there is a lack of control over decisions.

Finally, encouraging healthy conflict and feedback will nurture those that have been previously uncomfortable as it is not a common practice. 

Here are six other steps to build trust within a team.

  1. Be vulnerable: Don’t pretend you have all the answers, and be willing to share decision making and praise.
  2. Be accountable: Follow through on your commitments and your role in projects. This can be as simple as communicating weekly with the team on project timelines.
  3. Be deliberate: Say exactly why you’re taking specific steps.
  4. Be transparent: Be open and honest about what causes change.
  5. Be open: Allow others to speak candidly for better feedback
  6. Have a clear goal in mind: This allows all team members to be aligned on a project or objective. Not having a clear strategy can lead to frustration around responsibilities.