The Bright Spots – December 16, 2016

Hello Countryside Tribemates!

How did it get to be December 16 so quickly?
 
It has been a year of highs and lows for most of us for a variety of reasons, but one simple fact remains: our administrative team is boundlessly proud of you and the work that you do within our building and out in the community.  Each of you is a Cause Driven Leader, the face of the Y, contributing to something bigger than yourself via the YMCA movement in the United States.
 
I want to say a HUGE thank you to LARA SURFUS and her staff for providing us with the MOST DELICIOUS staff luncheon I could have imagined!  I am slightly embarrassed at the amount of turkey and fruit cobbler that I was able to consume.  You will see me with all the other “New Years Resolutioners” in the CSC next month. Hope you had a Dickens of a Good Time!
 
It was wonderful to be able to share time in the new community space, and I will look forward to many more activities there in 2017!

Another huge thank you to everyone who participated in the door decorating contest! Congrats to Arts & Ed for winning the grand prize of a $50 gift card to Royce Cafe! The judges LOVED the “Christmas at Hogwarts” theme!  And yes, in the second photo below, those are floating candles that actually light up. 

I’ll be adding an album of photos to the Facebook Countryside Staff Page so that you can check out all the talent from this competition!
 
I’d also like to offer congratulations to everyone who won a prize for participating in our raffle and “Who Said It” activities!
 
The “Who Said It” winner was NATE BRESTELLI, who received a $20 Target Gift Card!
 
The winner of the “Guess How Many Chocolates in the Container” challenge was KATHY WINKLER from the North Entry membership desk!
 
We have another interesting year ahead, one where we are going to have to continue to show the community why the Countryside YMCA is a special place, grow our membership and make an impact in the community.  
 
Everyone here has a role in making that happen. 
 
In the words of Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void Art (who I realize I quote constantly), is this truth:
customers

“We know that selling is about more than a great product, it’s about filling a greater need.

We know that marketing is about more than flashy ads, it’s about meaningful content.

We know that our clients and customers and patients and users are, first and foremost, people.

So, we have to know that our greatest strength lies in our community.

Building relationships with your people takes time, sure, but it’s worth every second — because those are the people who make sure your brand stays alive and relevant.”

2017 will certainly be a year for relationship building as we share our renovated areas with our existing and new members!  
 
One last Dickens quote before we close the week, one that is fitting as we head into 2017:
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Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.!
Kirsten

The Bright Spots – September 16, 2016

Hello Countryside Tribe Members!

 
As I type this email, 100 dachshunds are racing downtown to be crowned the winning wiener at the Running of the Wieners as the kickoff to Oktoberfest Zinzinnati!  How can you not love this town?
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Speaking of love, I just participated in my fourth STAFF CHAMPION SELECTION meeting, which is one of my favorite “HR Tasks” that I get to participate in here at the Y.   Thanks to our third quarter winners, KAREN RICHARD, JAMIE EHRLICH, KATHY PETERSEN, JERRY ROTH, JASON WILLIAMS AND JOHN LUCIUS for their valuable input and fantastic selections!  Can’t wait to make our announcements for October, November and December!
 
Our Children’s Center staff did something really cool (again) this week.  They participated in a trike-a-thon for St. Judes and raised $1,765.00.  Wow!!! The center has been participating for over 25 years and has raised over $25,000 for St. Judes!! Amazing!

 

How many of you out there are Starbucks fans?  Whether you love their coffee or think it tastes horrible, Starbucks is renowned for great customer service.  They summarize their credos in something called “The Green Apron Book,” which apparently gives their employees the power to hypnotize customers into thinking a $5.00 coffee is totally worth it, and then COMING BACK FOR MORE. 
 
The central theme is called “The Five Ways of Being,” listed below.  Just about every bullet point in this list could be modified to fit the kind of customer experience we are striving for here at Countryside.

Be Welcoming – Offer everyone a sense of belonging

  • Provide uplifting experiences that enrich your customers’ daily lives
  • Greet customers when they walk through the door
  • Make eye contact with your customers
  • Start a conversation
  • Get to know your customers by drink or name
  • Anticipate and respond to your customers’ needs
  • Ensure your customer is your number one priority

Be Genuine – Connect, discover, respond

  • Always be aware that customer service is communicated verbally and nonverbally
  • Remember that basic service meets customers’ expectations; legendary service exceeds customers’ expectations
  • Focus on the positive, on what you can do, and not on what you can’t do
  • Be enthusiastic about your customers’ experience, and invite them back for another visit
  • Exceed expectations. Look for ways, both big and small, to let customers know they’re valued
  • Use your good judgment and common sense when making things right

Be Knowledgeable – Love what you do. Share it with others

  • Know what is special about the ways Starbucks selects, roasts, and packages our coffee
  • Familiarize yourself with the different coffee growing regions
  • Learn how to describe coffee – your customers expect you to be a coffee expert
  • It’s okay to not always know the answer. When you don’t know, find out
  • Remember that learning about coffee is an everyday adventure
  • Share your coffee knowledge, passion and excitement with partners and customers through coffee tastings. Enthusiasm is contagious

Be Considerate – Take care of yourself, each other and our environment

  • View the store from a customer’s perspective. How does it look and feel?
  • Take the initiative; when you see something that needs to be done, do it
  • Recognize partners for the effort and quality of work
  • Always be punctual – it affects customers, partners and store business
  • Contribute to a safe, secure and accident-free environment for everyone
  • Communicate to partners with openness and sincerity

Be Involved – In the store, in the company, in the community

  • Ensure our Purpose and Values are reflected in everything you do at work
  • Apply our Guiding Principles to the way you do business
  • Consider ways to become involved in your community
  • Be aware of the tone, spirit and energy of the store
  • Be a model of positivism
  • Enjoy taking on new challenges with your store team

Essentially… are you saying the following to yourself when you arrive at work and put on your name badge?

light
Get out your shades on and shine!
Have a great weekend,
Kirsten

The Bright Spots – Weekly Roundup, January 29, 2016

Hello Mind/Body/Spirit Warriors!! 
 

Welp, we’ve just about made it through January 2016!  It’s been a pretty January-ish month, and if you’re anything like me you are pining for the sunshine and warm air of spring.

This is my first “New Years Resolutions” month as an employee of the Y, and it has been hard to miss the increase in humans and decrease in available parking spaces.  I want to thank all of you who continue to follow our instructions to park in the far out “employee” area and make the long cold trek across the windy pavement. 
 
Also a shout out to our welcome center/front desk/membership teams who have to field the extra questions, tours, paperwork that come with the New Year’s rush.  
 
It’s easy in these glum months to overlook the extra effort some folks are putting in, so I wanted to pass this on in the hopes you’ll express your appreciation when someone goes above and beyond:
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Speaking of appreciation, I forgot to announce earlier this month that our Bright Spots Random Draw Winner was BECCA COLEMAN!! Congrats Becca!  I’ve attached copies of the awesome cards we received in December, and will be making another random draw next Monday.  Thanks to everyone who has participated in this Staff Recognition Program!   ROBIN TRAINER is on point with her shout outs!
 
Last week was the maiden voyage for our incredible gymnastics team in their new facility!  PEGGY HOFFMAN was able to forward me this awesome video capture of the event by Ron Alvey!  Peggy noted:
 
 “Our Gymnastics Meet was a “clean sweep” All levels took 1st place as a team at our our Home meet this weekend. Way to Go Team!!!! 
 
Thanks front desk, North entry desk and Lower level desk for welcoming all the team families and friends. They all loved our Y and our new gymnastics facility!
We are creeping towards a big few months in the renovation.  Things are going to get dirty and there’s going to be a lot of questions coming your way from members.  Please make sure to follow Mike’s updates and take a moment to digest the update flyers and signage that is being placed around the facility. Your ability to keep a positive attitude about these changes will be key with members, even when the messaging feels like:
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We’re also heading into campaign season.  In case you missed it, Y National has released two excellent videos which can be seen here https://youtu.be/pSc-06KaeP4 and here https://youtu.be/WhuC2pmLqPs.  We’ll talk more about the Campaign and what it does for the community in subsequent weeks.
Again, THANKS your part in making our Y a place where we are genuinely building better people!
Great job
Have a great weekend!
Kirsten

Weekly Photo Challenge – Gathering

<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/gathering/">Gathering</a>

 Well the timing of this one couldn’t have been better!  Yesterday was our staff “Holiday Brunch & Munch” at Countryside, and we had a ball.  It’s a bit tough to get 600+ employees who work anywhere from 5:30 am – 10:00 pm, but between two servings, a stacked dessert “bake off” table and the hot cocoa bar, plenty of sugar was consumed and plenty of us will need to keep exercising.  Good thing we work in the largest YMCA in the country!

The Bright Spots – Weekly Roundup, December 4, 2015

Hello friends!
 
Hope this finds everyone happy and healthy post-Thanksgiving and ready to dig in for the remainder of the holiday season!  Just in case you need a little help to let you know EXACTLY how much time you have left to shop before Christmas, the internet has you covered HERE:  http://www.xmasclock.com/ though in the end I think the message below is the best present ever. 
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I was very pleased to see the following tweet with a lovely compliment regarding our engagement coach Jennifer Schultz!
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Thanks to Nick Kneer for bringing that to my attention!
 
Also, a HUGE round of applause for our MARKETING and MEMBERSHIP teams, who engineered the Black Friday specials held last month and set a RECORD number of memberships on November 30th!  
 
We also had a TON of Bright Spots last month!  Congratulations to KARLA TOYE for winning our random draw! Karla gets a $25 gift card for being awesome!  Thanks to Laura Roble for participating by nominating Karla!  All November Bright Spots are attached to this email.
 
We will also soon be selecting our next four STAFF CHAMPION winners!  Have you nominated anyone this quarter?  Reminder:  Staff Champion is for PART- TIME staff who go above and beyond their normal duties! 
 
Nomination form is attached!
 
Get our your festive hats!
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It’s almost time for our STAFF HOLIDAY BRUNCH & MUNCH!  Please save the date for December 17th between either the hours of 11-1 or 5-6!  We WILL be having a bake-off so please start thinking about what recipe you want to show off and become locally famous for!  More details will be forthcoming next week!
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 As you go about your business this weekend, don’t forget!
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​See you next week!