Improving Sport Services
An important task of the sport manager is to ensure that services delivered by the organisation meet the needs and expectations of members and/or customers.
There is a constant stimulus for the improvement of sport service delivery as a result of:
- Competition from similar organisations in the locality
- Competition between sports
- Changes in the demographics of the catchment area of the organisation
- The influence of the media on the tastes and expectations of the organisation's membership.
- Changes in government policy and/or changes in law
- Requirements made by funding agencies
Strategies to improve services
Sport organisations, especially at the grass roots level, do not usually have a significant surplus of funds to invest in improving services. As a result, improvement in service delivery can be frustratingly slow. Under these circumstances, strategies to improve services need to rely more on the input of voluntary labour and less on financial outlay.
The following strategies to improve services are generally feasible and effective in limited funding situations:
- Provision of training and education programs to increase the skills of organisation volunteers and professionals, e.g. training for coaches, training for club administrators
- Make good use of the organisation's website to provide information to members/customers and thereby help to coordinate programs, events and services
- Develop mechanisms by which members / customers can provide feedback about facilities, programs, events and services. For example, provide an easy method for people to make complaints or suggestions.
- Developing procedures for organisation personnel to follow to make their job easier and the outcome of their work more consistent.
- Manage the organisation's knowledge base (including membership database, results and records, job descriptions, minutes of meetings, coaching manuals) so that over time nothing is lost, and even improves year by year.
- Create learning resources for players, coaches, officials and committee personnel
One of the biggest issues in developing services is the turnover of committee members. It takes many months, if not a whole year, for a new committee member to become accustomed to the organisation's strengths and weaknesses. For this reason, the development of learning materials for committee members is well worth consideration.