If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple. – Richard Branson

Human Capital is every company’s most valuable resource, but it can be a daunting struggle attracting the best and brightest and keeping them. Strengthen your battlefield by getting the Human Resource (HR) Committee involved in the war.

We don’t typically encourage clubs to increase committee activity; however, when it comes to finding leadership talent, you must be willing to fight the battles that get you only the best for your club and your members.

Just as a Leader Development Committee will do the hard work of vetting potential leaders for healthy Club Governance, the HR Committee is invaluable in doing the hard work of cultivating the right employees and developing a working culture for your team.

Every club has a membership roster that no doubt includes top professionals from top companies that you should leverage. Their expertise in Human Resources is of utmost value because HR is the foundation of a solid operation.

While other committees are vital in their ability to provide counsel and feedback in their advisory role regarding the needs, concerns and wants of the Membership, the HR Committee is essential in creating the foundation for delivering on Club Strategic Goals like nothing else can. Neither Bylaws nor Membership Plans are as important as your HR Plan.

Leverage the member resources you have by filling your HR Committee with business professionals from top public companies that have a firm understanding of the eight major functions of HR Management (see charter below). Very few clubs have the resources to employ a fully staffed HR Team that can fully deliver on all eight functions adequately. You simply must engage an HR Committee. When you consider the risks associated with not having a strong HR program, you simply have no choice but to examine this aspect of your club and begin implementing the strategies that work for your culture.

Your team and your future teammates will judge you not only on your operation, reputation and membership levels; their first impression will come from the HR experience.  The stronger your human relations, the stronger your club.

Six Key Fighting Strategies to HR Success

  1. Recruiting: First, you must recruit from only the best sources. You must know where you’re going to look, how you’re going to market and when. Build your plan of attack for the “war on talent” whether it’s specific job posting websites and apps; your website; networking; job fairs or word-of-mouth.
  2. Vetting: Your application process must be streamlined so you can track applications and input resume vitals into a database that has reliable information from which to mine. Too often we gather applications and resumes from a variety of untested sources; scan them with no consistent vetting; grade them for next steps (interview, save or discard) and then move to the interview stage with our selected few without creating a valuable recruiting source that this information can provide.
  3. Onboarding: The new teammate orientation and onboarding should consist of not only a full campus tour but a full day of introduction: an introduction to the team; to your club’s culture and history; a comprehensive review of rules and regulations; and the clubs vision and mission or branding. It is vital that each new hire has all the tools necessary to succeed. If an employee leaves or fails because of a lack of resources, that is the club’s fault.
  4. Culture Setting: The Orientation is the blocking and tackling. Culture setting takes place when the team has a clear understanding of the club’s Mission, Vision and Core Values. The teammate must have an internal understanding of why they work at the club, who they work for and why they love what they are doing.
  5. Training: Training and development is the heart of a successful organization. The seriousness and consistency of how your organization trains and develops its team is the key to a strong reputation which in turn leads to being viewed as a great place to work and a hard place to leave.
  6. Reward and Recognition: Making sure your team understands that it’s part of your culture to recognize the great work that they do as an invaluable tool to ensure their tenure and long-term enjoyment. There are hundreds of programs and ways to make sure you do it. The important thing is to create a culture that encourages and inspires the leadership team. Seek out opportunities to give positive feedback to your team and thank them for being the most important part of what makes your club great.

Effective HR Charter Outline

As with any committee, you must have a Charter for Human Resources that definitively spells out the expectations and scope of work. The HR Committee is an important ally in the fight for your best troops, so give them their marching orders by managing the process through an effective charter. Each year, review the Charter and create strategic goals with measurable success criteria with your committee chair.


  • Help COO or CEO ensure that the Club is an employer of choice in your region through the delivery of the eight major functions of HRM.


  • The Human Resources Committee shall consist of at least three members but not more than seven.

Responsibilities/Scope of Work

  1. Job Analysis & Design
    1. Help COO or CEO create a hierarchy with an organizational chart and job profiles.
  2. Recruitment & Selection
    –  Recruitment: Identify best sources.
    –  Selection: Help create application process SOP
  3. Onboarding/Orientation/Culture Setting
    –  Support management in creating and communicating the right welcome strategy
  4. Training, Development & Succession
    –  Encourage and support ongoing team development
  5. Performance Management/Recognition & Retention
    –  Develop review and recognition programs
  6. Compensation and Benefits
  7. Labor Relations
  8. Managerial Relations

Tom Wallace, CCM, CCE, ECM is a partner with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, a consulting firm providing executive search, strategic planning and data analysis services to the private club and hospitality industries. Tom can be contacted at