The caravan park industry is a unique space in our market and over the past 10 years, we have seen an evolution that has changed this space drastically.
Once the parks were family owned. It was a family affair, much like the traditional family farm. You were groomed and educated, much like an apprenticeship to take over the family business.
Fast forward to 2019 and parks are being brought out by corporates who are backed by enormous super funds and a new era of evolution is here. They have money, corporate minds and goals to turn good profits for their shareholders. I do not begrudge this model, its business, embrace it.
But, I do ask, what has been missed during this evolution and why are our people breaking?
Running a caravan park is one of the hardest and most stressful jobs a person can embark on. It is a 24 hour a day, 7 day per week role, where managing people in large numbers, finances, reservations, sales, lawns and gardens, rubbish, waste, water supply and your own personal sanity must all be done in unison.
A park is equivalent to running 4-5 business under the one umbrella at the same time. You must manage the reservations business, the property management business, the cleaning business, the lawn and garden business and often the kiosk business.
The people who can to do this, must be multi-skilled and have exceptional people skills. Running a park requires you to be a mediator, a police officer, a security card, a schoolteacher, a lifeguard, an exceptional customer service officer, a counsellor and a human resources manager, all at the one time.
The problem we have in this current day market with the corporate takeover is, who is teaching our current park managers these skills? Yes, the corporate entity may have a HR department, but let’s be real. Who is going to call the HR department of the business they work for and cry and complain about the fact the corporate entity has very little understanding and experience on the front line? The fact is, it just doesn’t happen, and these people feel under-supported, unappreciated, under-skilled and they leave.
They leave feeling broken, exhausted and often in need of rebuilding their lives and self-esteem. The corporate then faces a high staff turnover rate and the process of again recruiting a new manager to throw back into the park, for the cycle to start again.
This is real and this is happening.
How do I know? I own a park, am experienced and now coach and mentor these people to not only stay sane, but to increase profits, increase revenue and have a life at the same time.
I support these people in a way that resonates with them. I talk their language, have lived their issues and am now I am a fully equipped Behaviour Management Consultant, Coach and Mentor who helps them, make things manageable.
They feel supported, they feel equipped and they feel as though they have someone on their side, for them, not the shareholders of the multi-million-dollar corporate entity.
At the end of the day, parkies are people. They must be cared for, supported, guided, educated and championed for their achievements.
This is why all parkies need a coach. They need their person, who gets their goals, dreams and desires. They need a community for them, to keep them sane, reduce depression and to validate them that ‘YES, running a park is a bloody tough gig’.
They need someone to cry with, share with, express their parenting guilt with, discuss the pressure this role places on their marriage and someone to help them smash the KPI’s set by the corporate.
So, if you are a corporate reading this, who is coaching your team? Who is coaching you?
If you are a parkie reading this, who is coaching you and have you asked for the support?
I have numerous parks on my agency’s books. They are progressive, people focused and are paying for coaching and mentoring for their managers. This is a thing, this is happening, and do you know what? At the end of the day, their businesses and their bottom line is better for it and their people are happier. I call it, a win-win.
If anything in this article resonates with you or you would like to discuss the benefits and options around coaching and mentoring for yourself or your managers, please email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit or website www.bossladybrain.com
Take care of people and your business will be taken care of.