Staying Clear of Employment Tribunals and Building for the Future
Prior to engaging the services of Golf HR, St Ives (Hunts) Golf Club approach to HR matters was very much one of ‘best endeavours’. That’s according to its General Manager Gordon MacLeod. Staff contracts had been put together by well-intentioned enthusiasts and by committee members who may have had some background in HR. They were not fit for purpose in terms or regulatory compliance and were holding back the club in further developing its workforce.
“It was very clear that our staff handbook was woefully out of date. We’d been through five general managers in as many years here, and that lack of continuity had prevented the updating of the handbook as far back as 2008, and I knew it was something that needed doing.
“It was also apparent from a staff contract review that we had as many different styles and formats of staff contracts as we had members of staff.”
Updating the staff handbook and contracts were working their way up Gordon’s to-do list. One issue brought to the fore their parlous state and the need to formalise them immediately. There was a business need to terminate the employment of one of the 2 chefs and the matter required urgent attention. It wasn’t something the club felt it could handle on its own. In the previous five years, there had been at least two occasions where the club had been threatened with an employment tribunal and had settled out of court. They did not want to repeat the experiences.
Having met Carolyne at various GCMA events and been impressed by the services she offered, Gordon decided to reach out to her. The end result was that the chef’s employment was terminated without incident, conflict or comeback.
“It was done in such a professional manner that two weeks after we terminated his employment I got a thank you letter from him, thanking us for the manner in which we dealt with him, for the manner in which we looked after him during his employment here, the training we had provided and how we had created a new opportunity in life for him. It was a genuine heartfelt thank you letter.”
Golf HR’s advice is also helping Gordon implement his vision for the golf club. St Ives has embarked on a five-year strategy and has a business plan in place. One of his priorities is recruiting, training and retaining a team of committed staff. And central to that is making sure they’ve all got good contracts.
“All the advice I get from Golf HR is in the best interests of the golf club but it’s also in the best interests of the individuals, and that’s very much the message I’m trying to get across to the members of staff here who are understandably sceptical about this new boss who has come in and given us all new contracts.
“What I’m trying to do is offer them greater protection going forward as well as giving the golf club a strong foundation to move on from as we look to increase staff, make staff more flexible and increase training.
“Golf HR is enabling us to do this sooner rather than later.”