With its panoramic views of the Thames Valley, the Goring and Streatley Golf Club could not seem further removed from an employment tribunal…
But it was closer than it thought, explains Club Manager Mike Evans: “When I arrived here we had no HR department or any HR support and I had inherited some difficult situations that had real potential to go badly wrong and cost us thousands.
“Then one of our members mentioned Carolyne Wahlen from Golf HR and recommended we use her; she came in to see us and was a breath of fresh air and has been hands-on from the very start.
“She reviewed the contracts of the 16 full time staff and 20 part-time staff and quickly established the ‘standard contracts’ were not really fit for purpose and she revised them and drafted a company handbook too, together with terms and conditions for new staff.
“We needed to do some restructuring and this was carefully and professionally handled and since then Golf HR has guided us on staff appraisals and interviews when we have needed to appoint new staff. It is refreshing to have someone who is excellent at such processes that are truly looking out for the golf club.
“Just last week we had a potential new employee who wanted to work around school hours – taking and collecting children from school and not working during school holidays. This suited us too and I just called Carolyne and talked it through and she drew up a contract that reflected these working hours and we had a new member of staff who is already thrilled with how we are supporting them.
“Golf HR really is a one stop shop and together with all the support it offers us, we also have given all our staff Carolyne’s number and encouraged them to call her with any concerns or questions.
“Perhaps the biggest benefit of working with Golf HR is how it allows me as club manager to focus on the members and ensuring they get a great game of golf; without it I would be spending at least 10% of my time dealing with HR issues, researching solutions and probably still getting it wrong with the potential cost that brings!
“The nature of a golf club is unusual. We are owned by our 900 members and effectively run by a committee of volunteers, but we are still subject to all employment law as if we were a traditional business.
“I would certainly recommend Carolyne Wahlen and Golf HR to other Golf Clubs who no doubt like us will never be HR specialists, but are employers and need to consider how employment law impacts on our club.”
Mike Evans, Goring and Streatley Golf Club, 01491 873 229