How HR Can Protect Your Golf Club
When things are running smoothly, purring like a kitten with a saucer of milk, it’s easy to ignore the human resources side of any business. However, doing so can be very costly if legal obligations are not met, or if there are bumps in the road such as dealing with disciplinary issues, long-term sickness leave or having to fire someone.
When Malcom Grubb become Manager at Thetford Golf Club, he persuaded the committee that HR is an area that needs professional advice. Consequently, Golf HR was hired.
“It is mainly because it can be a minefield. If you are not careful things do blow up in your face and it’s too late to complain that you should’ve had some more support earlier. In the same way that you take insurance out in case the place burns down. You don’t necessarily expect it to burn down tomorrow, but if it did you’d feel like an idiot if you didn’t have any insurance cover.”
As employers, there are very costly pitfalls golf clubs can encounter. One of the biggest is failing to provide employees with legal, watertight and up-to-date employment contracts. This can leave clubs open to such complications as employment tribunals and penalties for failing to fulfil requirements as laid down by the law. Therefore, Malcolm wasted no time in getting the club’s employment contracts looked at.
“Well, we have set up some new individual contracts for members of staff as well as a staff handbook, both of which had become a little outdated in our previous system.”
Thetford employs many different types of workers, from staff who are on zero-hours contracts all the way up to people who have been with the club for 30 years or more. Consequently, the contracts were something of a mixed bag.
“We have to cover all of their individual requirements and it often involves contracts that have been written and rewritten and updated and changed many times over the years. So, it’s been a comfort to get all of those sorted out and try to get a little more consistency to them.”
The complex employment regulatory environment that golf clubs must navigate means that effective HR strategies and the knowledge of experts are an essential, not a luxury. Therefore, Malcolm is reassured by the peace of mind that comes from having Golf HR at the other end of the line.
“The main thing is I’m not an expert in the field myself. I am accountable to the committee of the golf club who run it with me as the manager. Therefore, it strengthens my arguments and persuasions to them when I have the authority to say I’ve received expert advice before I make any recommendations or changes. And I think it is very useful to have this expertise available at the end of a telephone for whatever does crop up.”