In our last article we discussed how to arrive at actual working times and how interpret the information when you have it. What we’d like to tackle in this article, and hopefully will be the theme of this piece, is understanding the significance of the information FAIRWAYiQ uncovers as it relates to labor management and potential pushback from staff. Truly knowing actual working times is not an insignificance piece of information. In fact, it’s quite the opposite—at the management/operations level for example, it is deeply critical information to knowing the dollars spent doing tasks.
Parallel to caring about budget spent, questions and comments from Superintendents are often ones that reflect the “attitude” or “reception” of GPS technology by the maintenance staff. The question is almost always discussed on calls or in-person with Superintendents, and rightfully so. Superintendents care about their teams and motivating guys to do good work and things that would interfere with that must be looked at with a healthy skepticism. The goal of FAIRWAYiQ, from a labor management standpoint, is to give Superintendents insight to what is actually happening on the property and notify them of outlier scenarios. The question we’re trying to tackle, whether teams will repel or embrace such technology, is something we’ve deeply thought about.
Here’s our point of view…
The essence of this question really boils down to how the Superintendent uses the information. We are proponents of using the information to understand gaps in efficiency in order to make individuals aware of mistakes (and also successes) and know how to correct the mistakes when they occur. It should not be used as a malicious tool against the staff. No tool with oversight capability is, nor would be, effective with the intent to make people feel inadequate at their jobs. So, staying away from this approach is a good idea. The information that is uncovered is meant to be used as an opportunity illustrate inefficiencies and point to ways to optimize procedures.
Some people won’t be comfortable…
This is true, there will be individuals who might be offended, as an example, at the thought of their work being tracked. That being said, we’ve yet to hear of any major managerial issues with staff members on teams. In fact, in a conversation with Eric Swenson (Superintendent at the Floridian National Golf Club) on this exact topic, his response was:
“We’ve certainly added another level of accountability. That’s really my goal ultimately—to bring that accountability and responsibility back to our craft. To produce high-quality work, you need to care about what you’re doing. I think you can get spread out over a property so much that people tend to know when the boss isn’t looking so they kind of take it easy. We’re not trying to enact this ‘big brother’ culture, more so that the staff are holding themselves accountable and frankly keeps everyone a little more honest.
FAIRWAYiQ also lets our staff understand that there are other people out there and they’re starting to buy into what we’re trying to do. We’ve got FAIRWAYiQ on a big monitor here in the shop. At any point anybody can look up and see where everybody is, our whole maintenance team and where the golfers are on the course. Seeing it is important because we can talk about it and we can experience. You look up at that big screen and realize there’s a whole mass of staff out in this one region and here comes golf. I think it has been clicking with most of the guys here—understanding what our role is and really getting out of the way of our members, and we’re getting great feedback.”
Anytime you layer in a new element of structure to any environment there will be an initial feeling of pushback. This is simply because humans do not like change that they don’t understand. But overtime, as Eric mentioned, people begin to adapt and see the value it brings to their work when applied appropriately.
For more information on the EliteiQ integration between FAIRWAYiQ and taskTracker, please visit here: EliteiQ by FAIRWAYiQ & taskTracker