With autumn passed by and the agronomic practices in the rearview mirror, the frosty and snowy mornings will begin and staff numbers will have lightened. Planning projects may be part of a larger master plan for the facility. These are great tools to ensure the projects undertaken by the club are done in a fiscally responsible manner and keep progress moving forward on a schedule. A very beneficial undertaking for the facility, but what impact does that have in your department? While budgeting offers a chance to plan for equipment and staffing numbers, have you done any planning specific to the grounds team at your facility?
The winter offers the perfect time to engage your biggest assets, your team. Why not consider a SCOR analysis with them. Getting their feedback on team dynamics could be key in making improvements you never saw. Where are the strengths of your team, what challenges do they see? Are there opportunities that would improve the processes you already have in place? What risks do your staff see within the grounds department? Would you benefit from this information? Would your team be more effective after engaging them in developing such an analysis?
Effective planning includes a lot of input, and your staff are poised to provide that information. Planning for a successful 2021 season could easily begin on a wintery morning this off-season. GCSAA conducts such strategic planning sessions for chapters. Utilizing that same process and providing your board of directors similar opportunities to plan for improvement is a great benefit and assists in creating value for your association members.
Do you challenge or set goals for your staff? We thrive in an industry that blends science and art while newer techniques trend towards quantitative, measurable data. GCSAA offers two great programs that will benefit individuals on you staff, your team, and the facility. These professional development opportunities for key staff members can assist you structure advancement or benefit increases for your people, all while increasing their value to the facility. What better time to encourage participation than the off-season.
The Assistant Superintendent Certificate Series is composed of certificates covering key competency areas of:
- Leadership and Communications
- Environmental Stewardship
The certificates are golf-centric, available to GCSAA members and non-members, and can be completed in any order. It is strongly recommended that an assistant superintendent has at least two years of work experience before beginning any of the ASCS certificates. However, the certificates are available to all and not limited to assistants.
Equipment Management Certificate Program Level 1-Level 2-Certification are a series of exams designed to demonstrate proficiency in key competency areas related to turf equipment. This certificate program is available to any and all turf equipment technicians regardless of whether you work for a golf course.
The Level 1 program is made up of eight exams covering the key competency areas of:
- cutting units
- drivetrain systems
- electrical systems
- engine technology
- hydraulic systems
- metalworking and fabrication
- spray systems
- fundamentals of turfgrass operations
You can choose to take one exam or work to complete the entire program by successfully completing all eight exams in any order. Level 2 follows completion, with a Certification opportunity upon finishing both levels.
You will spend countless hours with decision makers at your facility this winter preparing for improvements to the grounds to ensure a successful 2021 season. Be sure to have those discussions with your team, allow them the opportunity to shape the culture for success (SCOR analysis), and challenge them to use certificate resources available for your people to succeed in 2021 and beyond.