Global Edition

Staff development pays its way at London Golf Club

11.06am 2nd February 2022 - Management Topics

As part of an on-going investment into staff development, well-being and progression, London Golf Club is providing employees with an array of new ways to grow their skills, experience and careers through strategic partnerships, qualifications and work-place education. 

Aiming to not only provide opportunities for staff to develop and learn new skills, but also to create a platform that allows them to be forward thinking and innovate, the investment strategy is proving of huge benefit to the club and something that will continue to be encouraged and supported. 

Among the updated practices that are already having a positive effect is the support given to assistant PGA professionals as they study for the PGA’s Foundation Degree in Golf Studies.

Over the last few years, London Golf Club has supported this qualification by not only enabling the time out of office and delivering valuable one-to-one contact time with head PGA golf professional Paul Stuart, but also by financially supporting each member of staff undertaking the program – something that many other clubs do not offer. 

The support is designed to not only help trainees develop their skills and enhance their future career prospects, but also to improve the level of service that is offered to the London Golf Club members. 

Stuart said: “Not every club would go this far to support their staff, but we realise that we can’t say we are committed to our staff and their careers without putting it into practice. Currently we have three members of staff working towards their PGA Foundation Degree and we are delighted to have our first female member of staff, Becky Bainbridge, joining the course.”

In addition to supporting qualifications, the club also offers ‘job-swap’ experiences through their partnership with European Tour Destinations and other surrounding clubs in the London and south-east area. 

The ‘job-swap’ experiences can vary from a few weeks to year-long placements, depending on the positions available. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, two greenkeepers headed off to Le Golf National in France for the Ryder Cup and assisted the local team in build-up and throughout the tournament. 

This gave them an invaluable insight into how the course should be presented and what is required to undertake an event of this stature, and the experience proved invaluable when London Golf Club hosted the Cazoo Classic this summer, with the greenkeepers able to offer valuable additional advice and ideas for the presentation of the course. 

Stephen Follett, general manager at London Golf Club, said: “We are very proud to be offering this type of experience for our staff. We want to ensure that London Golf Club provides the very best level of service for our members and visitors and these opportunities provide a great learning experience for our staff. By working with our partner clubs, we are able try new ideas, develop new skills together and create innovative processes that continue to move the club forward.”

Closer to home, London Golf Club also supports staff in-house by offering opportunities to try other departments and areas of the business. This is very much encouraged and, in turn, new careers are forged which lead to happy, engaged staff, brimming with ideas and determined to fulfil their role to the best of their ability with the obvious benefits to the club and club members.

A recent example of this is food and beverage team leader Mackenzie Sharp. Having shown an interest in accounting and recently gained some accounting qualifications, she completed a week-long ‘job shadowing’ placement in the accounts department. The next step for Mackenzie will be a transition of her role into the department which the club will fully support. 

Despite the recent setbacks that Covid-19 presented for travel and overseas opportunities for staff development, London Golf Club remains focused on the well-being and mental health of staff. Additional resources and time have been invested to increase one-to-one contact time ensuring that staff needs, and voices, are being heard. Moreover, the club has also created a partnership with an outsourced well-being coach to support staff throughout this time. 

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