Foster an Environment of Education and Learning for Your Staff
Shawn Cox on the importance of fostering an environment of education and learning for your staff:
Education in any field is vital to progress and success. As the Education Chairman of the Southern California PGA Section’s San Diego Chapter for more than nine years, I have had many great opportunities to organize educational events throughout our Chapter and Section. These events positively affect the careers of our members and go a long way in our efforts as an association to grow the game. I encourage all PGA Members to get involved in their Section or Chapter committees, and for me, the work of the education committees across our 41 Sections and their respective Chapters is invaluable. We encourage a culture of education and development that is important in an ever-changing business environment. Secondly, we promote collaboration among PGA Professionals from multiple facilities, exchanging ideas and facilitating events with passion and enthusiasm. And finally, it gives younger PGA Professionals the opportunity to step up and take initiative in their own careers, while allowing more established PGA Professionals to share their knowledge and experience with the PGA Apprentices and PGA Assistant Professionals across the Section. Locally, I integrate this theory into the training of my own golf staff. They are assigned projects to research and are required to provide a presentation on their specific topic. Those staff members who embrace the opportunity are offered the chance to facilitate youth golf camps and instruction, while becoming more seasoned PGA Professionals.
Shawn Cox on the business impact of fostering an environment of education and learning for your staff:
The effects of encouraging, promoting, and implementing education programs on a Section or Chapter-wide scale trickle down to those facilities who embrace the concept. At our club, continued education and development are part of the job. Complacency is generally detrimental to progress in any business. Whether it be high finance, professional sports, or the golf industry, resting on your laurels is usually a catalyst for stagnation and lack of progress. I firmly believe the success of our various golf programs has increased retail sales in the golf shop, and the uptick in membership is due to the notion that education produces development, and development triggers success. Our PGA Junior League Golf program has two teams with 15 kids each, and last year we were the only club in San Diego to field an all-girl team. With each youth golf clinic or event, we have dozens of our youngest club members signing up. In fact, our kids’ programs have received such acclaim in the community that we have gained new members just so their kids can participate. The past few years have seen an increase in membership due to the success of the kids program, the reputation of our facility and the overall service provided by our accomplished and able staff. With membership up, our golf shop has seen increased golf club sales. Our successful custom fitting program helps in that regard as well. Our staff is educated on all aspects of the golf operation, and can speak knowledgeably about the products in our shop. With a relatively small staff of five PGA Apprentices and Class A PGA Assistant Professionals, we can focus on a culture of education and development, while enjoying the success recognized in all aspects of our facility.