Get Engaged (part I)

By Brian Marcus

Employee satisfaction means nothing anymore. It is just not enough to have satisfied or even very satisfied staff; everyone does! What separates you from the restaurant, fitness club or community golf course down the road from your Club? Your staff.

So, if very satisfied staff is not good enough what is? Engaged staff; staff that is switched on and truly wants to work with you…not for you. Assume you are paying competitive wages, your staff cafeteria is up to par and you treat your staff with respect. Now move to engagement.

How do you engage your staff? From my prior days as AGM at an international Distinguished Club here is one best practice that any Club can implement at minimal to no cost and maximum impact.

Divisional Staff Forums. Most Clubs have staff meetings, departmental meetings and executive meetings to pass on what is going on in the operations, membership statistics and so forth…the “data dump”. How does this engage your housekeeping staff or servers? IT DOESN’T; just ask them. Not that this information isn’t important and YES, they should have it so what is one to do? Hold a Divisional (or Departmental) Forum. 

The recipe:

  • 15% of the time spent on information, financials, and Club-wide happenings.
  • 25% of the time with a training session that is relevantto them
  • 45% of the time spent on celebrating the staff. Achievements, goals met, stories of how the staff impacted the operations, Member feedback and anything else that celebrates the staff
  • 15% of the time for town hall style Q&A

Collaborate for no more than 1 hour

Have the Division Leader host the forum, not the GM; in fact, the GM shouldn’t be there. Do it in the restaurant if possible so it is relaxed. Use AV thoughtfully and strategically with a great slide deck. Have the restaurant or one of the outlets serve signature items from the menu in small bites. Don’t settle for cookies and coffee.

Watch the staff come alive and most importantly move the needle towards engagement or truly feeling like their contribution matters.

Next blog will be about “Breaking Bread” a program that I put in place that my administrative assistant thought was crazy…with HUGE engagement payoff!

Brian Marcus is one of our executive recruiters specializing in private clubs and hospitality. Brian has over 10 years of club experience and 25 years of hotel, restaurant and F&B experience in numerous countries. For more information contact Brian at 626-836-1222 or brian@globalhospitality.com


So, if very satisfied staff is not good enough what is? Engaged staff; staff that is switched on and truly wants to work with you…not for you. Assume you are paying competitive wages, your staff cafeteria is up to par and you treat your staff with respect. Now move to engagement.

How do you engage your staff? From my prior days as AGM at an international Distinguished Club here is one best practice that any Club can implement at minimal to no cost and maximum impact.

Divisional Staff Forums. Most Clubs have staff meetings, departmental meetings and executive meetings to pass on what is going on in the operations, membership statistics and so forth…the “data dump”. How does this engage your housekeeping staff or servers? IT DOESN’T; just ask them. Not that this information isn’t important and YES, they should have it so what is one to do? Hold a Divisional (or Departmental) Forum. 

The recipe:

  • 15% of the time spent on information, financials, and Club-wide happenings.
  • 25% of the time with a training session that is relevantto them
  • 45% of the time spent on celebrating the staff. Achievements, goals met, stories of how the staff impacted the operations, Member feedback and anything else that celebrates the staff
  • 15% of the time for town hall style Q&A

Collaborate for no more than 1 hour

Have the Division Leader host the forum, not the GM; in fact, the GM shouldn’t be there. Do it in the restaurant if possible so it is relaxed. Use AV thoughtfully and strategically with a great slide deck. Have the restaurant or one of the outlets serve signature items from the menu in small bites. Don’t settle for cookies and coffee.

Watch the staff come alive and most importantly move the needle towards engagement or truly feeling like their contribution matters.

Next blog will be about “Breaking Bread” a program that I put in place that my administrative assistant thought was crazy…with HUGE engagement payoff!

Brian Marcus is one of our executive recruiters specializing in private clubs and hospitality. Brian has over 10 years of club experience and 25 years of hotel, restaurant and F&B experience in numerous countries. For more information contact Brian at 626-836-1222 or brian@globalhospitality.com