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January 28, 2019

Cameron Doan: Create a Culture that Motivates Your Staff

Cameron Doan, the 2018 PGA National Bill Strausbaugh Award Recipient, is the PGA Head Golf Professional at Preston Trail Golf Club, in Dallas, Texas.

Cameron Doan on the importance of creating a culture that motivates your staff:
As a leader, it is important to understand what motivates your team in order to get the best out of them. Regardless of the job, motivating the individuals who perform the work often depends upon their preferences and goals. We have two categories of Professionals: 1) Long-term teammates who are fully invested in the long-term success of Preston Trail. Our Director of Instruction and Director of Operations are two such examples: and 2) Short-term teammates who usually stay onboard from two to seven years to develop their own careers and move on to other opportunities in the golf business. A good leader will create an environment that is centered on positive motivation. Out of that, a culture will develop – one that will hold the individuals to a higher standard. Every member of the team has an impact on that culture. It will be either positive or negative – never neutral. I consider the six types of motivation that may drive them – there are three positive and three negative such types of motivation. Play, purpose, and potential are three motivational factors that inspire employees to do their best every day. They find the job fun, are proud to be a team player, and are confident that their current position will lead to even bigger things in their future. These individuals want to be there, and it is clearly reflected in their job performance. The negative factors that too often propagate through a staff are emotional, economic, and inertia. These employees are there for the wrong reasons: they’re pursuing someone else’s dream, they’re just in it for a paycheck, or they’re going through the motions because they know they need a job and this is the one they have. Understanding that no great coach does it by him or herself, this effort is not a solo one. In collaboration with our Director of Instruction and Director of Operations, we are constantly working on that culture. The net result to the club is one of relaxed high-end service, one that members really enjoy being a part of. It takes a little time with each new teammate to figure out what makes them tick. We strive to find something they love within the game and stress that aspect of the job. If they give me their best, I will do everything I can to help them find joy and fulfillment in our business.

Cameron Doan on the business impact of creating a culture that motivates your staff:
I understand that every staff member is different. My job is to dramatically improve their own self-awareness, which will lead to finding their “home” in the golf business. At the same time, they will learn to understand their role within our team, and how important that role is. Early in my career as a leader, I thought if an assistant didn’t want to follow the path I had chosen, there wasn’t a place for him in our operation. Experience taught me very quickly that if a professional has the passion for our business and loves the game, it is my responsibility to figure out how to tap into that, plug him into a role he can handle, and coach him up. Members join a club to feel comfortable, to be part of something, and to enjoy the game. When our service team is hitting on all cylinders, the members can feel that. The net result has been record participation in everything we do – our tournament program, teaching and fitting, and the longest waiting list in the history of the club. When you build something that people will stand in line to be part of, the revenue side of the equation tends to take care of itself.

To email the author of this best practice directly, email cdoan@ptgc.net