Marketing Insight for Master-Planned Communities

Staff Makeover Impacts Morale and Members

Staff Makeover Impacts Morale and Members

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Makeover photo - front desk receptionist

In Jupiter, Florida, Admiral’s Cove implemented a noticeable hospitality staff makeover which made its members proud to show off to their friends.

The makeover is a clever marketing idea because property owners/club members are the best source of new referrals for residential club communities.

Why the makeover?

Admiral’s Cove has a large hospitality staff, many of whom are brought in for the season. They also have a discerning membership that expects top level service at the club’s 7 dining venues, golf, tennis, spa and yacht club/marina. Every staff member is well trained, so the next step is outfitting them with both a uniform and knowledge about how to look their professional best at all times.

The community hired image consultant and makeover specialist Susan Bigsby to revamp the staff’s appearance.

Bigsby selected one individual to represent each category of employment at the club, taking before and after photos to illustrate the look that was appropriate for each position. Then the entire club staff was brought together and, visually, they could see exactly what was expected of them from an appearance standpoint. It quickly put all staff on the same page as far as what the organization expected of them, from a grooming standpoint.

Here are some key takeaways:

Tailor every employee

When clothes fit well, it boosts confidence and self-esteem. Bigsby says the most common mistake is that clothes aren’t tailored to fit each staff member.

For women especially, most uniforms are designed to fit more of a straight body and most women’s frames are not straight. Because of that, the uniform often looks tight, sloppy and pulls at the bust line. Therefore, it will never fit well or look nice. Pant length is a common problem that’s easy to solve. Often pants are too long and dragging on the ground because they have never been taped up. Taping is such an easy way to shorten pants to the right length for the wearer and their shoe height.

When you look good you feel good. When you feel like you’re pulled together, your demeanor is altogether different. You’re friendlier, you’re more confident, and you have a little bit more pizzazz.

Be mindful of the fabric content so it’s easy to wear and easy to wash.

Consider the temperature & the position – a rigorous job in a warm climate requires a wicking fabric that absorbs moisture and keeps the employee cool and appearing comfortable.

Black pants are classic and do a good job of concealing any dirt that employees may pick up throughout their work day. Aside from that, the styles and patterns should complement the club’s motif and be consistent with their brand.

Bigsby says for a polished, professional look, you must iron what you’re wearing – especially if your outfit includes a tailored shirt.

Makeover photo - before and after

The transformation of Flavia in housekeeping with a sleek hairstyle and subtle makeup application.

Even the no-iron shirts/blouses need touching up. She adds that a crisp crease down the center front of the pant leg allows the pant to hang from front to back instead of side to side – making the wearer look slimmer.

Pony up

Many grooming guidelines require women to pull back long hair – especially in the food and beverage areas of the club. There are messy ponytails and there are neat & tidy ponytails. Often, women throw their hair back in a wad or hold hair with a ‘scrunchy’ or banana clip.

For a well-groomed ponytail, smooth hair back neatly and wrap hair around the elastic band holding the pony. If scrunchies or banana clips are used, choose a simple hair ornament in black or tortoise shell.

Observations from Susan Bigsby about how a neat, tidy, pressed and well-groomed staff affects the club and their patrons’ experience?

Wrapping the elastic band with your own hair finishes the look.

Wrapping the elastic band with your own hair finishes the look.

“I think it’s a level of respect – respecting where you work, respecting the club members, respecting the members of the community,” Bigsby said.

“I think it speaks to the company’s overall image. People spend a lot of money to live in a residential club community and expect the staff to represent themselves well, regardless of what their position may be.

I think it’s a level of respect – respecting where you work, respecting the club members, respecting the members of the community – and an overall respect for one another as well as the jobs that they hold in-house.”

About Susan Bigsby: Susan Bigsby is an image consultant and makeover specialist residing in Palm Beach County, Florida. Her client roster is extensive and includes governors and their first ladies, television personalities, corporations and private individuals. You can learn more about Bigsby’s work at

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