October 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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Page 30 of 51

www.spor 31 October 2017 // MY EMPLOYER HAS A POLICY AGAINST THIS SORT OF TRAVEL. You got me there; you probably have an uphill climb in front of you. But don't assume that because it's always been done that way that that's the way it's always going to be. Lay your groundwork now and be fi rst in line when the moratorium is lifted or the money begins to fl ow again. Perhaps these sorts of training opportunities are available to only those of a certain pay grade. Ask if an exception can be made once you've presented your case. Maybe you can negotiate or barter for what you want. Are there other "value-added" things that your employer routinely offers that you could trade or give up for a ticket to the STMA Conference? IT'S TIME AWAY FROM MY JOB AND MY FAMILY. They'll do just fi ne without you at work while you're gone 3 or 4 days. None of us is indispensable, so don't even go there! The Conference takes place in January. If you feel it's your calling to attend and you want it bad enough, you'll fi gure out a way. I'D PROBABLY HAVE TO TAKE VACATION DAYS TO GO. Yes, you might. I know of a few sports turf managers who have taken PTO days to attend the STMA Conference. Many of them also paid their own travel expenses, too. These are personal decisions to make. I also know of a couple turf managers who have had their attendance fully covered by their employer once their bosses saw the value. Perhaps you could negotiate some of these expenses with your employer. Maybe they handle conference registration and you pick up the airfare and hotel. Showing your boss you're willing to put some skin in the game will show him how important this is to you. Use "airline miles" and fi nd a roommate. IT'S FRIVOLOUS AND JUST A VACATION IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING. Not so. Do your homework, present your case and fi gure the return on investment. Your prep work will help combat this mindset. The STMA Conference is almost always held in warmer climates such as San Diego, Daytona Beach, Phoenix and San Antonio. Limited-thinking folks consider these locations to be "glamour spots" and it can make your job a bit harder. Would it be an easier sell if it were held in Detroit, Des Moines or Bismarck? I'd like to think it wouldn't matter, but we both know better. Take the focus off the location and place it back where it needs to be: professional growth and learning new ways to become a more valuable asset to your employer. Defuse the vacation mindset by suggesting to your boss that they come along. I've seen this work, too. It's a great way for them to see the value fi rsthand, share in the expense and get to know you better. Companies and institutions that invest in key personnel know they have a better chance of retaining them. Some of the mainstream methods of investing in employees include continued education opportunities that result in personal growth, more job satisfaction and making them feel they are more involved and part of something important. They may not vocalize this, but most employers understand this. The cost to hire and train people, pay them and provide non-salary benefi ts (insurance, retirement accounts, pensions) becomes more staggering each year. Employers invest regularly in professional consultants and leadership coaches to help them motivate and retain great employees. Ignoring employee development opportunities only creates a work culture equipped with a revolving door, costing companies and institutions millions annually. Making a pitch to attend the STMA Conference isn't a career-changing event. But it could be a fi rst step toward getting to where you want to go. Reach out to any one of us who have been there. Hope to see you in Fort Worth. /ST/ Joe Churchill is Senior Turf Specialist for Reinders, Inc., in Plymouth, MN and a member of the STMA Editorial Committee. AERA-vator with New Power Seeder Shaft The New Power Seeder Shaft with its up and down vibration creates great seed to soil contact with minimal disruption is ideal for fairways and tees. WWW.1STPRODUCTS.COM 800-363-8780

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