This blog features information and advice from industry professionals on relevant club topics and issues. A companion to CMAA's Research Archives, this resource is updated biweekly.

Submissions should be sent to Kyle.Jennings@cmaa.org for consideration.

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Students’ Perspectives: What Managers Should Know About Internship Placement and Experiences

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College students enrolled in Hospitality and Tourism Programs often seek internship opportunities in order to gain valuable work and educational experiences at private clubs during their summers or school breaks. These internships vary from very basic staff line roles to more advanced leadership or even manager-in-training (MIT) positions.

Private clubs across the country have different ways of running their internships and MIT programs to suit their own particular establishments' needs. Whether it is food and beverage-focused, rotational, entry-level or management, these programs have one common goal: to enhance classroom experiential learning outcomes with real world hospitality business experience. However, one of the biggest fears among students is whether these internships are actually opportunities for growth in experience and knowledge or are more of just a "summer job."

Being aware of students' points of view and their ideal internships and MIT experiences, managers can strengthen their programs not only to benefit the students but, most importantly, to also enhance the overall individual experience of the students, but to also enhance the experiences of the clubs' members and guests. Therefore, to help club managers understand the perspective of students looking for internship experiences, University of Massachusetts Hospitality and Tourism Management Professor and Faculty Advisor, Rod Warnick, Ph. D. and students from the UMass CMAA Student Chapter asked 118 students from 22 universities attending the 2015 CMAA National Student Educational Conference (NSEC) in Boston for their opinions and recommendations to club managers about internship experiences. The primary purpose of this program was to obtain recommendations to enhance the internship and training programs for both the students and the club management staff and club members. These recommendations come from multiple university student perspectives and are meant to enhance the programming and planning of an internship or MIT experience. Read more...

The Sale

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04.12.16 Sale

I still remember my senior year of college as the most challenging for two reasons: my workload tripled compared to the previous three years and that was the year I took a job selling vacuum cleaners.

Those who know me might think I’m a natural salesman. While selling the vacuums, I learned the ABC’s of selling: A = Always, B = Be, C = Closing! Regardless of how valuable your product, how likeable and competent the salesperson or how much in need the potential buyer might be, the one thing every successful salesperson should know is the art of closing the sale!

Following are some guidelines for closing the sale.


Personal Foundation: Extending Boundaries

(Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Communication) Permanent link

04.05.16 BoundryThis article is the fourth part of a 10-part series that is designed to guide you in building a foundation that will support you in your professional and personal goals. If you have been following the series you will know that we have already covered three issues. If we can stop losing energy to unresolved issues, if we can truly operate authentically when we have restored integrity and we have the confidence, personal power and attractiveness that comes with getting our needs met we have really begun to set the foundation for a strong career and life.

The next step is to establish or extend boundaries.

Boundaries are imaginary lines we establish around ourselves to protect us from the unhealthy or damaging behavior of others. I touched on this concept briefly in the discussion about needs. In any sizable population of people there will be a number of individuals whose behavior can be unhealthy or damaging. In my time as a Club Manager and my years as a Coach working with Clubs, I found that Clubs are not an exception to this rule. If you manage a Club where there are no members or staff members who have displayed these kinds of behaviors, please contact me. I would love to talk to you. The reality is that you will have to deal with them and some protection is needed or it is easy to become resentful, defensive and less effective. Read more...


Want Employees to Feel Valued? Don’t Give Them More Impersonal Stuff

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03.22.16 - Gift CardAfter attending a conference recently, I was somewhat surprised to learn that there is an attitude that is still hanging around, which is that companies still believe and employ the method of giving their employees “stuff” to show their appreciation. Giving away things is not necessarily a bad thing, but if it is not reinforced with other forms of appreciation, it will not have its intended effect.

In fact, our research with more than 55,000 respondents shows that less than 10 percent of employees choose receiving a gift as the primary way they want to be shown appreciation. So while employers spend millions and millions of dollars on “rewards” for their employees, most companies are largely wasting their money (if their goal is for their employees to feel valued.)

Why? Because when a person receives a generic gift (that is, everyone receives the same certificate of recognition and the same $50 gift card), it feels impersonal. Sure they’ll take the gift but it doesn’t communicate (at all) “I know you and what you like.” (Do you want to add another component to make the gift feel totally impersonal? Give them “points” to choose whatever they want from a catalog provided by the company. Remember: this comes from the company and doesn’t cost the supervisor or manager anything.) Read more...

W.O.W. Compliments That Create Positive Change at Your Clubs

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03.17.16 Ice Cream

Remember the last time you did something really well at the club? You anticipated a huge compliment from a member or from a member of your team. You expected that compliment to be oozing with appreciation and all you received was a low-key “Thanks.” How motivated did you feel about going out and doing it again? How aware was the other person of the time, effort and sacrifice put into it? Chances are, you felt unappreciated and had little desire to do any more favors to that extent for the person again. But hey, they did thank you, right?

When we are on the receiving end of favors or efforts from others, we miss opportunities to make an investment in their people accounts by failing to acknowledge the importance of what they did or how they helped us. Behavioral science tells us that almost 7 out of 10 people will thrive off of others giving them positive feedback. What would it mean to you if you could get 70 percent of the people around you to be motivated, energized and looking for more ways to do things for you?

Follow these three steps to genuinely W.O.W others letting them know how much they are appreciated. Read more...

Personal Foundation: Getting Your Needs Met

(Leadership) Permanent link
03.08.16 Needs

This is the third article in the series I have been doing about personal foundation. If you are one of the many CMAA members who have utilized my services you may recognize this concept. For some people the concept of looking at our own needs may feel uncomfortable because, generally speaking, we don’t want to feel needy. That is precisely why it is important to get an understanding of your own needs. Most people reading this article have traveled by air and can recall the flight attendant’s instruction that if the cabin loses pressure an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you.  If you are traveling with a young child you are instructed to put the mask on yourself first. The point of this is if you want the child to live you need to be alive to be able to help. 

In club management, getting your needs met may not be the difference between life and death but it may be the difference between success and failure. It may mean the difference between doing the job well and doing the job brilliantly. Managers and their people can serve their members without getting their own personal needs met, but my experience is that it is not done with brilliance. Read more...

How to Turn One Article Into Multiple Social Media Posts

(Communication) Permanent link

02.18.16 Social Media 175One challenge private club professionals often face is finding good content to share with members through social media. We can, and often do, resort to posting event information and the lunch specials of the day. Too much of this “announcement mode” causes members to tune out. I often recommend that we search online for current and timely articles from trusted sources which contain information of interest to club members. Relatable content might come from wine, food, golf, tennis, sailing and/or wedding magazine websites. When you find a good article, do you repurpose that information into several posts and allow it to inspire original content? Do you post the article more than once? Do you share it on all social media sites where your club is active? Here’s how you can make the most of an informative and relevant article you find online.  Read more...

What Does It Mean to Be a Team?

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02_11_16 Team 175According to the Oxford American Dictionary, a team is simplistically defined as "two or more persons working together."  This being the literal definition, what are the reasons so many teams find it difficult to work together?

In our personal lives, we choose our sweethearts and friends. Our choices are often based on some common interest and/or because they are like us.

In professional settings, we may not have a choice about those around us. We are often placed in positions when we have to work with someone who is very different from us. They think, talk, work and look different than us, yet we must all work together.

The diversity and work culture of a team can be quite challenging. Although some teams are formed voluntary, others are mandatory. So, what is the master plan behind all of this team building? Should grouping people based on age, ethnic background, salary or other common personal factors form teams?  Would that make a team? According to this Communication Coach, no.  Read more...

This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.