Warrnambool Bowls Club Success Story

Warrnambool Bowls Club, Employer of the Year, success story

Founded in 1890, the Warrnambool Bowls Club has been around for over 120 years. The club employs 45 staff and has over 400 current members. These members use the facility for social and sporting purposes.

With growing demand for weddings, functions and regional bowls tournaments, General Manager Stephen De Martin and his team were having difficulty supporting their growth with suitably qualified staff.

‘Growth and demand are always great challenges for a business to face,’ Stephen said. ‘However, we were having some difficulty attracting qualified staff to fill new positions in junior management due to the small size of Warrnambool.’

A Whole Workforce Approach

Stephen De Martin learnt about a workforce development program through AVTES. As part of the program an AVTES Specialist worked directly with the business.

They helped Stephen to identify the deficiencies in training, particularly amongst supervisory staff. This meant that the supervisory staff were not managing their direct reports as well as they should be. So there was potential to utilise existing staff better and improve performance.

‘Our frontline staff needed to enhance their people skills to raise the level of customer service being offered,’ Stephen said. ‘We also needed further development of hospitality industry knowledge across the entire workforce.’ 

The Ouctomes

A culture of knowledge sharing has been successfully created since the beginning of the program and training is now ongoing and a learning environment is fostered.

'You can see how the knowledge and skills development of staff has changed the overall performance of staff and improved our operations,’ said Stephen. ‘In the last financial year, the Warrnambool Bowls Club experienced an increase in sales of well over half a million dollars. I credit a lot of that to the staff.’

Management has seen definite value in the strategic action plan provided as part of the program. 13 of their employees completed training in hospitality, commercial cookery and business.

‘Overall, the program has been of great value to our club. Staff are confident in their roles and are motivated by having a recognised qualification. The training recommended by AVTES catered to the needs of our trainees as well as the business.’ 

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