Abstract: Golf course project management works when crew members are informed about procedures and goals. Open communications help morale and limit mistakes.
I’ve found that golf course project managers are divided into two types; micro-managers and information managers.
- Micro managers assume that they know everything. Employees are assumed to know very little and are incapable of learning and retaining new information.
- Information managers educate crew members and associates, and they let them do the work while assuming they know when to ask questions.
I’ve worked with a few micro-managers. They begin the work day with a fusillade of procedural and technical data. The crew members worked well when he wasn’t around, but when he appeared, the operation slowed while everyone defended a decision or process done earlier that day.
I’m an information manager. I evaluate my crew on how they think their way through problems. I’ve had employees who knew a few words of English, but they were able to comprehend very technical problems after I told them how I wanted the project to be completed. If a suggestion makes sense, I let them do it.
When beginning a new task, I spend extra time explaining work procedures. If it involves machinery, I’ll talk to the operator while they are sitting in the operator’s chair. When talking to laborers, I grab a shovel and work next to them for a few minutes. I’ve found that the extra time spent answering questions limits expensive mistakes in the future.
When the work begins, I study the flow. I look for a smooth pace. If staff members seem confused, I walk over and ask them about their problem. Any crew member can ask me a question at any time. When asked for knife blades or new shovels, I fulfill these requests quickly. I’ve developed positive working relationships with people by following through on requests for little things like time cards and gloves.
I’ve managed large projects with a limited amount of conversation. Shapers agree that they cannot absorb more than an hour of golf construction talk per day. I like to meet with them after lunch so they can finish out the day and start the following morning without interruption. They joke about dreaming about the next days work.