Workable goals for a bonus program

Bonuses are an important motivational tool—as long as they’re logically administered and fairly applied. The first step is to set workable goals for your golf facility. Follow these steps:

1. Be open. Talk with those you supervise to get their thoughts on what job-specific goals have the most impact on productivity and revenue. By seeking their input on what behaviors and tasks to target with your bonus plan, you’ll better prioritize their activities.

2. Be specific. “Improve customer service” is pretty vague. Instead, go for the hard numbers: “Decrease golfer complaints by 40 percent over the next season.” You should be able to track your progress on a regular basis.

3. Be inclusive. Of course you want to increase rounds and improve golfer satisfaction. But don’t limit yourself to bottom line business goals. Also consider goals that raise the profile of the maintenance department within the golf facility or maintain both quality course conditions and the budget.

4. Be realistic. Make sure your goals are attainable and based on the capabilities of the position. If your expectations are unrealistic or could easily be derailed by Mother Nature, your program could wind up doing more harm than good.

5. Be reflective. Revisit bonus goals on a regular basis to ensure that they remain relevant and that management staff remains focused.

Source: Adapted from “Bonuses: How to Be Fair,” as published in The Motivational Manager, Aug. 2003.