The interview… Burhill Group Limited chief executive Colin Mayes

Burhill Group Limited’s CEO explains how personal and professional development is pivotal to the company’s success and gets out his crystal ball on the future of golf club management. How important is professional and personal development to BGL and what does it bring to your business? It’s very important to us. We challenge all our general managers to ensure they are constantly thinking about the training and development of their people. Certainly, at senior management and head of department levels, we’ve got good processes in place to identify talent, which is an important aspect. I’m a great believer in trying to make sure your existing cadre of workforce know there are opportunities to develop themselves but, it’s worth noting, a lot of this has to come from within. You can have a manager pushing somebody in a direction and saying ‘Well, you should take this course, you should do that’, but if it doesn’t come from within them, then you’re somewhat pushing a boat upstream. A lot of it is enabling and showing employees that we want to help them progress. We want them to be better people – better people for us at work and, hopefully, better people for the community. We absolutely encourage that. For example, one of our employees - our property and asset manager, Andrew Bennett - has completed his NHS vaccinator course. We encouraged him to do that because he’s been placed on furlough for a couple of days a week. He’s gone to the NHS and is going to help them on a voluntary basis. The emphasis we put on it is such that the people who want to develop and utilise life’s tools will find that we’ll work very hard to help them do that. So you see professional development not only in terms of what it can bring to the business but in the way it can increase life skills? It is important for the business, but we try to achieve that balance and say ‘look, it’s important for yourself, we want you to be the best version of you'. I try and encourage all of our people to do something for the community if they can. I sit on a couple of boards, one of them is in my hometown where I sit on the charity board for all the sports centres - that’s a particular interest. One of the things my family and I did at home during the first lockdown was get involved in taking deliveries to older people who couldn’t get out. It's not all about work. I would say it's 60% about work, but the other 40% is about personal development – whether that’s getting involved in sport or really trying to contribute to the community. I always encourage community work, because at the end of the day, that delivers personal satisfaction and helps the business. Online learning is a huge focus, particularly during the pandemic. That can be a solitary experience, so how have you supported...
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