By Monty Becton :: Photography by Kelsey Grudle
When someone asks me that question a long list of items come to mind: the natural beauty of the ranch, the quality of the facilities and amenities, the friendly nature of our residents, financial stability, the location in relation to a major metropolitan area, medical center and airport, the outstanding Boerne schools, the list goes on and on.
One of the reasons not often discussed is the quality of our Employee-Partners. One of the greatest assets in any organization is its people and it becomes even more important in the club industry. We spend a great deal of money, over $4 million annually, and time hiring, training and developing a culture within The Club to insure that we’re attracting and retaining a quality team. One of the most rewarding parts of my position is seeing the interaction between our staff and Members. I believe the quality of the facilities and the beauty of the Hill Country draw prospects to The Ranch, but the Members and our employees keep them coming back and make being a Member here rewarding.
We have several processes in place designed to inspire our team to excel and deliver a memorable experience. Five years ago the employee recognition/activity committee developed three levels of service recognition for our employees.
- Minimum 3 months of service
- Has completed New Hire Orientation
- Is on time and completes shifts as scheduled
- Uniform worn correctly with nametag displayed at all times
- Minimum 6 months of service
- No unexcused or excessive absences from shifts
- Is competent, enthusiastic and sincere when interacting with members, their guests and others.
- Works well with others and contributes to a healthy and exciting work environment
- Minimum 12 months of service
- Leads other employee-partners in completing tasks
- Forms relationships with other departments to ensure outstanding customer service
- Helps other employee-partners learn the skills and methods of their position
I’m proud to announce that during our employee recognition event in January we recognized 17 Ranch Hands (mostly new employees), 29 Wranglers and 24 Trail Bosses. Our senior supervisors and department heads aren’t eligible to participate in this recognition; their responsibility is to help define the culture within their departments and to support the growth of our team members.
This year we also added a new tradition to our recognition. Obviously we have a significant number of employees who excel and are recognized as Trail Bosses, but we also have some team members who deliver “Outstanding Service” and have made “Outstanding Contributions” that exceed even our highest level of expectations. The following individuals were presented with custom sterling silver money clips or bracelets designed exclusively for The Club by Clint Orms Engravers and Silversmiths. Both pieces also include a 10k gold C-Star as well as their initials and what they were recognized for.
For 2015 Rich Braune and Phillip Sloan were recognized for their outstanding service. I could go on and on listing what these two gentlemen mean to The Club and our Member as they are extraordinary individuals. Ernie Fernandez who is part of our golf course maintenance team is now our longest tenured employee and you’ll never catch Ernie without a smile on his face; he’s an inspiration to all of us. Vicki Hansen and Kelsey Grudle were recognized for their outstanding contributions associated with their work on the Angel Tree Project last Christmas which benefited over 150 children thanks to them teaming up with our Members to make Christmas special for those children.
Our team of department heads also recognized Charlie and David Hill for their “Outstanding Support.” Every year they make it a priority to attend our recognition event and thank the staff for their support. We decided that this year we wanted to take the opportunity to thank the two of them for supporting us. I’ve been in the club business for almost 30 years and have had the pleasure of working for several different organizations and clubs that I enjoyed very much. I have to say, we couldn’t ask for better owners or supporters of our team. The Hills never hesitate to support our efforts and most importantly understand the financial resources it takes to operate a complex facility of this size and magnitude. We are truly unique in regards to the stability and success we’ve experienced as a club. The other two clubs located in the Hill Country who also rank in the top 10 private clubs based on the Dallas Morning News ratings both experienced ownership changes during the last 18 months and their dues are significantly higher than ours.
I’m confident you are aware of our passion for recognizing and inspiring the folks who take care of you on a daily basis. It’s also critical for all of our team members to understand what our priorities are at The Club, therefore, several years ago we created the “Main Things” at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. Beginning with our new hire orientations we emphasize the following “Main Things.”
- Be the friendliest and most engaging club in the world.
- Create unique products, services and programming designed to provide a world-class lifestyle. “Life is better out here.”
- Deliver a financial return to our partners.
- Become the employer of choice in Boerne and San Antonio.
I believe there are three critical partners in our business: Employees, Members, and Financial Partners. Most clubs can excel in one or two of these areas, but balancing the needs of all three vastly increases the degree of difficulty. Our priority is to create an environment where all three partners thrive and prosper. Members should expect good service and unique programming, employees should expect competitive wages, good benefits and a 401k package, and our financial partners should expect us to spend our money wisely and to generate enough net revenues to adequately support the operation and to insure its future success.
I would also like to thank you for participating in our recognition program by supporting the annual Christmas bonus fund. Last year your contributions generated $30,000 in funds that were distributed directly to our employee partners. Once again, our senior leaders do not participate in that fund as it’s designed to thank those employees in the front and back of the house that serve you on a daily basis.
By now you know that David and Madeline Cottrell are the front page feature of this issue. David has been one of my favorite authors and I had to pinch myself when I found out they were moving to The Ranch and joining The Club. His book Monday Morning Leadership is one of the best books I’ve ever read in regards to the fundamentals of leadership. One of his quotes is, “Your job is not to lower the bottom by adjusting and accommodating the falling stars. You should be raising the top by recognizing and rewarding superstar behaviors.”
It’s in that spirit that I share this article and these photos with you which include some of our award recipients along with photos of our first and third place Lip-Sync Battle winners which also took place during our employee appreciation event. For those of you who know Jared and Marc, you missed their award-winning Lip-Sync Battle performance of GREASE……it was priceless. Jenna and Sal took third place in the competition with their performance of Dirty Dancing…..they had the time of their life! On behalf of our 100+ employee partners, we look forward to serving you and appreciate your support.
See you at The Club,
Monty Becton is the General Manager of The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at 830.336.4024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.