October 2014

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 20 of 51 friend. While this can be hard to deal with, as people generally want to be liked, it is more important that you are the boss. It is important that you stand up for everyone, and don't allow yourself to be taken advantage of. However, respecting everyone is essential. This doesn't mean you can't actually be friends, just be as impartial as possible to avoid accusations and unnecessary conflict. Take careful notes of issues. Keeping detailed notes will allow you to see when patterns in behavior appear, as well as to follow a progres- sive plan of discipline. For me, this is done by keeping a file on each employee in a locked cabinet in my office. If something happens, I simply jot a note and drop it in the file. It may turn out to be nothing, but if it escalates, I have it covered. This is a great help when it comes to doing annual reviews. What you think you will remember in June is a distant memory the following April. Be consistent with discipline. If you don't have a company policy/ plan for discipline, create one and stick with it! An example is: 1st offense: coaching 2nd offense: written reprimand 3rd offense: 1 day suspension 4th offense: 3-day suspension 5th offense: termination Each issue, from attendance to how to handle equipment, should be discussed with staff upon hiring. Rules should be well known to avoid the excuse of "I didn't know I couldn't do that". Always discipline in private. While general statements can be made to the entire crew, keep actual discipline and details private. This is essential to keep respect between you and the staff. No one wants their dirty laundry broadcast on the news. Always remember the Golden Rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated. This is huge. Staff will almost always respect you if you respect them. Remember that their lives don't revolve around the job. They have families, friends, pets, etc. Be aware that if someone is having a bad day, it may not be related to work. While issues need to be addressed, allow some wiggle room for when things may take a turn for the worse. Make sure to offer assistance programs if they are available through your organization. Sometimes everyone needs a little help. Lead by example. You can not expect someone to do something that you yourself aren't able or willing to do. While you don't have to be Superman/Woman, you have strengths and weaknesses too, show- ing staff that you can do the job goes a long way to gaining respect. When staff knows what you understand and are capable of doing the jobs they do, they tend to do a better job themselves. There are many ways to manage. Take the time to find your style, all the while remembering that people have their own way of learn- ing, so be flexible. And one last thing: never be afraid to ask for help. Someone you know has probably had the same staff issues you are dealing with, and will be able to help you figure it out. So join your local STMA chapter and talk to your co-workers. They are an invaluable source of information. ■ Sarah K. Martin, CSFM, works for the City Of Phoenix, Parks and Recreation, Special Operations Division and the Reach 11 Sports Complex.

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