Prioritizing Risk

prioritizing risk management

MVP Sports Clubs has eight facilities throughout west Michigan and central Florida, and according to the director of operations, Scott Hendrickson, over 1,000 employees and 40,000 members to consider when addressing the issue of risk management. “Risk management for us is holding the safety of our members and our staff as the highest priority and doing whatever we have to do building-wise, infrastructure-wise and training-wise to make sure that we’re walking the walk,” he said.

Hendrickson explained the importance of safety was always a top priority for both the corporate and building-level managers within the company, but acknowledged communication between the various positions in a corporate entity is not always seamless.

The challenge, then, became bringing the proper operational components into play in order to develop and execute the most effective risk management plan MVP could.

Hendrickson said there was not enough concrete structure to guarantee a consistently delivered product — but MVP would change that. “We brought on a safety manager position,” he explained. “It is a corporate-level position and has responsibilities in all of the buildings. The safety manager’s No. 1 priority is making sure that all of the front-line staff in some way, shape or form understand the importance and are able to deliver on the safety and risk management aspect.”

Hendrickson emphasized the importance for MVP’s safety manager, Dan Kimble, to be on the ground level with all of the clubs, encouraging the idea that safety is the top priority in his presence and in his role.

It is Kimble’s responsibility to look through every single incident report submitted at any one of the company’s locations. “Even if a kid falls and bumps their knee in the childcare area — there’s nothing too serious or not serious enough to fill out an incident report,” Hendrickson explained.

Incident reports are of course sent to the company’s insurance provider, as well as the director of finance and director of human resources, as a part of MVP’s protocol.

While MVP encourages employees to take pride in the infrastructure of its establishments and hold the appearance, tidiness and cleanliness of each building to a world-class standard, the company believes the safety manager’s position goes beyond just facilitating those ideals. The position includes making sure everything is safe, and in good working order as well.

MVP’s employees begin to learn about the culture of the club during the on-boarding process. “Not only are they learning the nuts and bolts of how to treat people, how to carry out the specific tasks that are in their job, but they’re learning from day one what their role is in an emergency response,” said Hendrickson.

All 1,000-plus staff members are CPR/AED certified through the Red Cross, and that has to be done in the first 30 days of employment.

Hendrickson said just this year, MVP also began conducting mock drills once a quarter at every club location. “We’re very encouraging of having staff participate in risk management protocol,” said Hendrickson. “It’s not a, ‘if you fail this you’re off the team’ kind of thing. There’s a reason we practice. If you stumble through it, that’s no big deal. We’re going to come back and we’re going to summarize everything that happened, we’re going to point out the good things and the bad things, and we’re going to learn from it.”

That attitude carries over into monthly hour-long customer service training sessions mandated by MVP as well. In the last 15 minutes of that hour, a safety topic is covered and Kimble trains the management team in each building to understand what that safety topic is.

The managers who lead the customer service trainings during the month then relay that information to their front-line staff, who may encounter Kimble and any questions he has for them, at random during one of his routine visits to each club every 30 days.

“If they’re able to answer those questions — or even if they’re not and he’s just able to have a conversation with them — he’ll give them retail coupons to our stores as a little bit of a reward so people know he’s not the grim reaper walking around trying to get them in trouble,” said Hendrickson. “He’s actually trying to help them on what they need to know.”  

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