As the club industry continues to innovate and collaborate to meet the evolving needs of both members and professional staff, we share our predictions for the elements of success that will help clubs thrive in 2024….
Stronger Focus on Governance Best Practices
There will be continued emphasis on clubs operating more like a business where data, financials, and the Strategic Plan/Capital Reserve Study are used to make decisions.
One of the biggest opportunities for clubs in 2024, will be using a third-party portal for all governance-related items. Portals can be accessible by desktop or on a mobile device and give board members easy access to all governance documents. Portals allow governance to be more efficient by dealing with minutia outside of the boardroom and focusing on strategic issues during meeting time.
With respect to talent strategy, which we will touch on more below, boards will become more strategically involved in how the club is recruiting, onboarding, and retaining staff. There will be a plan as to how the club can become an employer of choice and boards will become a strategic partner with paid staff in attracting and retaining talent.
Additionally, we will see more frequent and transparent communication between all constituencies, club management, the board, and the membership base as a whole. Key components of this improved communication will be:
- Sharing master goals for the board, committees, and GM/Department heads annually with the membership.
- Surveying members (not anonymously) through day-to-day satisfaction and feedback surveys and moving away from using committees as a sounding board for understanding perspective.
- Transitioning from a Nominating Committee to a Leadership Development Committee that works year-round actively nurturing volunteer leadership making it easier to find good people to fill volunteer positions.
Elevating Food & Beverage Operations
In 2024, clubs will prioritise elevating and improving the quality of their food and beverage operations. Recognising the importance of offering unique and diverse experiences, clubs will invest in their food and beverage programs to excite and engage members. From farm-to-fork dining options to curated cocktail and mocktail menus, clubs will enhance their offerings to align with the evolving tastes and preferences of their members.
Moreover, there is a growing trend toward incorporating sustainability into food and beverage. Clubs are increasingly sourcing locally, reducing food waste, and adopting eco-friendly practices in their kitchens. This not only aligns with the global push for sustainable practices but also resonates with members who are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of their choices.
Embracing Technology for Operational Efficiency
The integration of technology will continue to be a dominant force shaping the club industry in 2024. Clubs are leveraging advanced technological solutions to streamline operations, enhance member experiences, and stay ahead in a competitive market. From sophisticated reservation systems and contactless payment options to AI-driven personalisation of services, technology is becoming an integral part of the club experience.
Operational efficiency will be a top priority with clubs implementing state-of-the-art management systems to optimise resource allocation, track member preferences, and manage inventory effectively. Mobile apps will continue to grow in popularity for providing seamless member interactions, from booking facilities to accessing personalised workout routines. This tech-savvy approach not only enhances member satisfaction but also positions clubs as forward-thinking and adaptable.
Employer Branding and Professional Development
The coming year will see continued emphasis on employer branding to attract and retain top talent. Professional development programmes will be at the heart of this strategy as clubs recognise that investing in growth opportunities for team members not only improves service quality but also enhances the overall club culture.
From offering specialised training to creating clear career paths, clubs will work to position themselves as employers of choice in the competitive hospitality labour market. Focusing on employee development not only improves retention rates but also fosters a positive work environment that directly contributes to better member satisfaction.
Michael Herd is an International Consultant and Search Executive with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, a consulting firm providing executive search, strategic planning, and data analysis services to the private club and hospitality industries. Michael can be reached at +44 (0) 7903 035312 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.