The Right Stuff … And Getting It Done Before Summer

Now comes the ranking. Those tasks that will have an impact on the largest number of guests are ranked a “One.” It could mean that it improves the experience of most of your campers and parents, or removes a major aggravation. Rank “Two” those projects that will have the greatest benefit to only a portion of your campers and parents. Many parent complaints fit this category.

What about the staff? Priority “Three” are those jobs that will help make your staff more effective with campers and guests, more productive with their time and better role models. When you make the right thing to do easier, you get much more out of it.

Our fourth priority goes to those ideas that will save resources (time, money) that can better be applied elsewhere. If you can help the staff be more efficient, you’ll save hours; save resources and you’ll save money.

What if a project doesn’t fit one of these ratings? It may be somebody’s favorite, but it shouldn’t be done until the others are completed. It goes to the bottom of the board, and only gets started if all the others are finished.

Side Effects

By using these criteria with your staff on a regular basis, you’ll all start seeing things around camp in this light. Little things that seemed invisible take on a whole new importance when you measure them by their effect on your guests. Take a walk-around every building and program area in camp with the camp director and property manager and you’ll get a “punch list” of customer-oriented jobs that can efficiently be knocked off before summer and bring satisfaction levels to a new high.

What is the biggest reward? Your campers, parents and staff will notice you’ve gone out of your way to show you really care.

Gary Forster is the camping specialist for the YMCA of the USA and holds an M.S. in Management from Purdue University. You can contact him via e-mail at


Decision-making Criteria for Setting Priorities:

Ultimate Priority–Critical health and safety issues

Universal Priority–Generates income

• Increase occupancy rate (customer satisfaction–improved return rate and word of mouth)

• Increase capacity (bed space, scheduling, building use)

1st Priority–What will have an impact on the largest number of guests?

• By improving their experience

• Or by removing their aggravation

2nd Priority–What will have the greatest benefit to a portion of the guests?

• Especially at removing aggravations.

3rd Priority–Will it make staff more effective, more productive and better role models?

4th Priority–Will it save resources (time, money) that can be better applied elsewhere?

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Related posts:

  1. Time-Saving Ideas
  2. Avoid the Big Mistakes
  3. Conceptual Steps
  4. Incremental Improvement, Part 2
  5. Smart Money

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