Lightspeed Commerce: How Golf Courses Can Tackle the Current Staffing Crisis

Among the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is a labor shortage in virtually every industry. There are, for several reasons, fewer workersto fill the many frontline positions that are so vital in hospitality, restaurants, retail and more.

Although it is hoped that employment trends will return to what they were before March 2020, business owners must now seek new methods of recruiting and marketing to fill the many jobs that remain open today. today.

Golf courses are not immune to this problem. Downsizing has left many seasonal jobs outside of operations, catering, pool and youth activities, for example, unfilled, affecting the seamless customer experience that golf, as an industry of services, strives to offer.

Despite setbacks, your course can still retain the workers it currently has and hire new ones. Here’s what you need to do to manage the staff crisis:

Create a culture that attracts workers

Pay a working wage

Start an employee referral program

Free up your staff in every possible way

Set expectations for all of your staff

Download our free Golf Course HR Handbook for expert advice on hiring, directing and managing your employees.


The labor picture before the pandemic

Before 2019, the population of foreign-born workers increased by more than half a millionindividuals each year. Immigration policies at the timeinitiated a dramatic reduction in this pool of workers, with the pandemic essentially wiping out the group entirely.

Additionally, there were more women in the workforce than ever before, and older people seeking respite in retirement would fill roles that piqued their interest in supplementing their social security and retirement income.

Today, family priorities have changed due to school closures, which has reduced the number of women working full time. And seniors, for obvious precautionary reasons, work less than before.

Unfortunately, as businesses reopened in the second half of 2020 and throughout 2021, each of these trusted groups of potential workers was less available, and this shortfall affects the economy, basic services, the retail and many other business segments.


How to Navigate the Staff Crisis

With few and far between workers, you’ll need to make sure your golf course offers more than just jobs – you need to create a pleasant work environment, offer attractive perks, and use technology to your advantage.


Create a culture that attracts workers

The most important step in dealing with the labor crisis is to reassess and consider what else you can offer to attract more workers. After all, golf is all about leisure and fun, and that jovial sense of commitment should carry over to the work environment. Remember that as a golf facility you may be competing with businesses like pizzerias, big box retail stores, and fast food restaurants, so it’s important to understand how you can create a more ideal work experience for job seekers.

With networking opportunities, diverse job responsibilities, fun work experience, and flexible hours, there are few seasonal or part-time jobs that compete with the moodgolf course, driving range or local recreation center. Now more than ever, it’s important to make sure this is clear in your job postings and throughout your hiring process.

AT Keeton Park Golf Coursein Dallas, PGA Professional Tony Martinez employs a young staff who understand what their diverse clientele wants in a golf experience. With current music in the golf shop, cutting-edge logos on golf apparel and more, and a shoe room that houses the latest Nike and Jordan golf shoes, Keeton Park is not just a destination for golfers, but also for golfers. , as well as.

It is this environment that golf facilities must present to potential employees. Tony LaFrenere, Executive Director of the Schaumburg Park Districtin Illinois, says he promotes the free amenities available to employees at his facility, including a huge fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis, golf simulators and, of course, 27 holes of championship golf.

These benefits should undoubtedly surpass any employee discounts or free food a worker might receive at a retail store or restaurant. It’s all about messaging, and LaFrenere goes to high school and college career fairs to sing the praises of working at his institution.


Pay a working wage

With fewer workers to fill more jobs, the laws of supply and demand have largely dictated which companies fill vacancies and which do not.

As the minimum wage continues to rise locally, businesses, including golf courses, must rework their budgets to account for the higher wages and weigh this against any loss of services that reduced staffing could cause.

When hiring new employees, your course should definitely highlight the benefits of employment at your institution, but there’s no getting around the issue of compensation. Many young people will go to the companies that pay the most first, then look for a more suitable work environment after weighing the pros and cons of an extra dollar or two per hour.

Industry experts from organizations such as the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) are naturally suspiciousto raise wages, but with few effective alternatives, re-budgeting to account for rising labor costs seems like a better option than counting the dollars lost by fewer parties, reducing food and beverage revenues and slowing golf store sales due to an insufficient level of service staff to serve customers well.

If you’re concerned about cost, however, a golf management platform like Golf at the speed of lightcan help you not only identify new revenue streams, but also maximize existing ones. For example, a golf management platform can increase your pro shop sales by sending automated e-mail sendingpromoting your products. You could then use the money generated by your e-mails to increase your salaries.


Start an employee referral program

With this dynamic work environment in mind, LaFrenere and other PGA professionals like him encourage current employees to recruit friends and family. Who better to praise the work environment than peers already in these positions?

Employers are now offering existing staff monetary and non-monetary rewards for recruiting employees through employee referral programs. Some pay cash, others offer time off or work benefits, and still others make it a contest, pitting their employees against each other in a fun and competitive contest.

Employee referral programs go beyond a pleasant work environment and empower existing staff. With the cost per rental often adding up to several thousand dollars, motivating your current team with $200, a day off, a more flexible schedule, or a prime parking spot won’t be a drain on your course finances.

Employees who refer friends or family are also more likely to stay on board themselves, making employee retention less of a concern.


Free up your staff in every possible way

With fewer staff available and a small pool to choose from, golf courses need to consider ways to get the job done without staff – which is where technology comes in. Many courses have added the ability to book departure times via their websitesreducing the need for golf shop staff to answer endless phone calls from potential golfers.

Along the same lines, golf course management software frees staff from other time-consuming tasks, such as inventory managementand accounting.

Golf course superintendents are installation of autonomous mowersdo the work that a human being used to do. This has proven to be efficient in terms of time and money, and has saved the lives of many golf courses, as staff resources can be used in other areas of the facility. These individuals may even find additional work opportunities in other departments within the golf facility itself.

Golf courses and golf courses also add autonomous range pickersto their arsenal of machines. Removing responsibility from staff around this monotonous task frees them up to welcome customers and meet their needs, without sacrificing conditions and services on the range.


Keep your best employees

Experts predict that the labor force will increase by less than one percentannually from 2024 to 2031, which means that this problem is not necessarily going away anytime soon. As employers seek to deliver on their customer service promises, they will need to keep their employees happy with competitive wages, a positive work environment, inclusion, and a good work/life balance.

Looking for an easier way to track employee performance? Reward and retain your top performers with easy-to-read sales data from Lightspeed. Talk to our expertsto learn more about adding our powerful software to your pro shop or restaurant.

Michael C. Ford