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How do you appraise “staffing” at your club or hospitality venue?

Look at almost every club or hospitality venue’s historical profit and loss statement and the biggest expense item has always been wages or staff costs. And rightly so. In the labour-intensive hospitality industry, the workforce is your venue's greatest asset with employees at the nucleus and the determinant of culture, quality of products and services delivered and ultimately the profitability and success of your club/venue.

Traditionally, it has been an ongoing challenge to attract and retain quality staff.

Right now, things are “the worst it’s ever been” with “tens of thousands of open positions around the country, ranging from barista to head chef and everything in between." (Wes Lambert, chief executive of the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association).

So, it’s time to ensure that your staffing systems and approach are fine-tuned to boost the output of your venue’s biggest asset. Or to put it another way, maximise the return on investment from your biggest expense.

In appraising your staffing processes, consider the following four areas:

  • Recruitment and Onboarding

  • Managing People Performance

  • Effective Workplace Relationships

  • Team Effectiveness

1. Recruitment and Onboarding

Given the lack of available time and resources, the recruiting process needs to be quick and efficient. However, shortcuts can cost you more in the long run. A thorough process will secure the best fit for the position and help in staff retention rates which are strong drivers for increased revenue and lower costs. When filling a job position ensure you complete the following three steps:

a. Recruit - defined as searching for and obtaining a pool of potential candidates with the desired knowledge, skills and experience to allow for the selection of the most appropriate people to fill job vacancies against defined position descriptions and specifications.

b. Select - the process of assessing suitable people and then making a decision about which person is the most suitable in terms of hiring.

c. Onboard - which is the process of initiating or inducting this person into your environment to ensure they are best prepared to do their job.

2. Managing People Performance

Managing people or employees is the most important job that managers do in a club/hospitality venue. Managers need to understand and perform practices that keep employees motivated, inspired, developing, and attaining goals through their guidance. Effective managers bring out the best in people which makes a serious difference in the work environment. People Performance starts from day one (not after six months or a year has passed) and encompasses the following five areas of staff need:

  1. Knowing what their role is and what is expected of them

  2. Having the motivation and desire to do the role

  3. Having the ability, skill, competence to do the role

  4. Having the right environment and opportunity to undertake the role

  5. Having effective leadership to support them in these areas.

3. Effective Workplace Relationships

Managers play a vital role in developing and maintaining good internal and external working relationships so that staff, suppliers and the venue can achieve planned outputs and outcomes. They play a prominent role in motivating, mentoring, coaching and developing team cohesion through providing leadership for the team and forming the bridge between the management of the club and staff.

You can have the right people and they can be managed to do a great job, but if working relationships start to wane, trouble may be around the corner.

The time and energy spent building and maintaining relationships are returned through efficient, happy team members and growth via satisfied customers and patrons.

4. Team Effectiveness

The natural extension from getting the above three areas right is the power of teams, where different people and groups from across a club/venue, work together to maximise efficiency and reach a common goal.

There are many ways teams can be organised – some teams are organised around a particular area, while others are organised around a process, such as food preparation.

Teams can increase morale and improve job satisfaction by providing people with more control over their jobs and the satisfaction of working collaboratively with others.

In addition, good teams can achieve cost savings and remarkable gains through increased productivity, continuous improvement and responsiveness to member needs. Teams are also an excellent way to benefit from people’s skills and knowledge.

The above areas are covered in detail in the Club Managers Leadership and Management program. Each module provides in-depth insight and practical application of topics, and you can target and tailor a learning solution to suit you and/or your club/venue.

For more information on the leadership and management modules go to


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