Successfully Managing Your Gym Assets: Staff

For Gym Operators

Successfully Managing Your Gym Assets: Staff

When it comes to running your gym, it can be tough to tell if you’re using all of your assets to their full potential. One asset that can be overlooked is staff – the people your members interact with on a daily basis. We’ve compiled advice from fitness industry experts on how to most efficiently train and organise your staff to help reach your gym’s goals.

The Importance of Quality Staff

Personal trainers, front desk staff and managers alike, the people who work in your gym can make or break your members’ experiences at your facility. It should go without saying that members who do not feel welcomed, valued and appreciated by staff are at high risk of cancelling their memberships.1 On the other hand, when you create an environment where everyone feels welcomed and comfortable, you are creating an environment that instils passion in its members.

How to Hire

One of the best ways to hire successfully is by keeping your gym’s core values – that is, the defining qualities, culture and values of your club that make it unique – at the forefront of your mind when hiring gym staff. Doing this will enhance your ability to select staff who are right for your club2:

  • Look for potential staff who are personable and outgoing, who will engage with your members and who fit in with your company culture
  • Review applications and conduct phone and in-person interviews with your core values in mind
  • Ensure that your staff have the proper certifications and education, are organised and pay attention to detail

Celebrate Staff Accomplishments

Whenever possible, recognise excellent staff performance and develop in-house talent by promoting from within. Also note that recognition doesn’t always need to take the form of promotions. Work milestones and successes with customers are all reasons to celebrate. Reward excellent performance regularly.

This has a positive effect on your facility: when staff feel appreciated and engaged, they will be more productive and passionate about your company. In turn, this positivity is reflected upon your members, and means that your staff are more likely to stay with your facility. Staff retention is valuable – by providing the type of workplace that your staff love, you will also be retaining those members who love your facility because of your staff. 2

Train Your Staff

After recognising, promoting or hiring staff who are aligned with your core values and will enrich your members’ experiences, it’s time to move on to the next crucial step: training. Many gyms face issues with leadership, operations, design and systems. While staff training is something that most fitness companies tend to put too small a price on, it is essential, and something you will need to continuously invest in.

Consistent Training Improves Culture

Overcome difficulties down the line by immediately sharing with new employees information that reflects your values, culture and customer service. Ensure that all staff understand the role they play in providing a safe, efficient, clean gym. Also make it a goal to increase staff learning opportunities, training and education so that they occur on a regular basis and can assist with the improvement of your ongoing culture.2

Prepare for Member Questions

In addition to building upon your staff’s understanding and implementation of your core values, ensure that your staff are up to date on the technology that exists in your facility. In this day and age, exercisers expect all staff to be knowledgeable and well trained to help with any technological issues ranging from cardio consoles to Wi-Fi connectivity to how to use your latest equipment, or anything and everything else in between.3

Support Your Trainers – They’ll Support Your Business

If you want your trainers to have the best impact on your members, it’s important to have relevant equipment and dedicated space for group and personal training. Offer multiple types of training opportunities: individual training, small groups, larger groups and training sessions of varying lengths.

Consider offering free group personal training sessions for current members, led by personal trainers. This is a great way to let your members get to know your staff and experience the benefits of personal training – which could turn them into clients willing to pay for personal training services in no time.

In Summary

One of the key factors in running a successful gym is having staff who embody your company’s core values. We hope we’ve provided you with some ideas on how to go about hiring, optimising, training and investing in your staff so that your facility is welcoming, motivating and safe for all members.

Read about how to better manage your other gym assets:

     

References

1 “IHRSA 2015 Education Summaries - Customer Retention”
2 “IHRSA 2015 Education Summaries - Customer Service and Retention”​
3 “Health club industry mid-market report,” Precor Resource Center

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Trevor Gibson
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