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Operations: Use Your Core Values as a Hiring Compass


Here at Gainesville Health & Fitness (GHF), we use our core values as a compass in hiring the best players for the team.

We are often asked: How do you get your employees to do what they do? We have the philosophy to look for individuals that embody the core values we consider essential for our culture. Those core values are integrity, hardworking, extraordinary commitment to helping others, and creating our own future.

Our interview process is unique and has been in place for over 20 years. We created it to test the interviewees in ways that they have no idea they are being tested. Becoming an employee at GHF consists of many parts: The application process, interviews, training and shadowing.

As you can see, we take our time in selecting the appropriate person who will be on the team. We want to make certain they embody the core values.

The coaching doesn’t stop after training and shadowing — we have daily goals for the team and coaching every shift, sometimes every interaction. We have Moments of Truth (MOTs), which are classified as any interaction a guest, member or staff has in our facilities. They can be interactions with the other members, staff and even the physical plant.

We want every interaction someone has to be the best experience it can be. There are two other ways it can go: neutral — nothing bad happened, but nothing great either; and negatively, which we don”t want at all.

We even have a MOT notebook that has past interactions in them. We have supervisors coach their staff on MOTs and we coach on the spot, or at the monthly performance reports.

All of the core values are equally important. There isn’t one that is first or last. It is more like a circle of core values.

When you embody your core values it shows in your interactions with others, how you walk, talk and present yourself. Our culture is how we do things around here.

Occasionally we do have hiring mistakes. It is very apparent if someone has come onto the team and doesn’t live out the core values. They can’t keep up the culture to our standards. We then start the process of coach up or coach out. We explain to them this is what we expect and if that doesn’t occur we will have to part ways. We make it as simple as possible.

We all want to know what is expected of us. Today some companies have gray areas — we at GHF spell out everything about our culture.

I encourage you to do the same with your employees. Do they know what’s expected of them? This may be some work at first. I can assure you, it is well worth the time.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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