10 Ways to Promote a Do-More Attitude in Your Gym Staff

For Gym Operators

10 Ways to Promote a Do-More Attitude in Your Gym Staff

A large part of a member's impression of your club comes down to their interactions with your staff. As many consumers will pronounce, it doesn't matter how great the product – your facility – is if the customer service is dreadful. As the front line of your customer service, you need employees who care about providing an excellent experience for your members.

Here are a few tactics that you can use as a club operator to inspire a positive and hard-working attitude in your staff.

The following is a summarization of an education session from the 2015 IHRSA Convention, produced with full permission from IHRSA. The full-length video is available for purchase at ihrsastore.com.

About the Speaker

Sarah Seifert is the Corporate Sales Manager at Kohler Co. She is an expert in promoting member engagement and retention. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management.

10 Ways to Promote a Do-More Attitude in Your Staff

How to Inspire Five-Star Thinking in Your Staff

As a health club operator, you know that the underlying goal of customer service is to go above and beyond for your clients. You want your members and prospects to be impressed with your facilities, programming, and level of service, and in order to earn that reaction, you need a top-notch team.

1. Encourage Your Team to Do More

Naturally, you have job descriptions for every level of your club's staff, but the challenge is to instill a do-more mentality throughout your club. You want to inspire your staff to exceed their job descriptions and create a memorable experience for clients. Fortunately, the fitness industry is staffed by those who have a genuine love for their job and the mission of helping people live healthier lives. You just need to encourage them to channel that passion into customer service.

2. Recruit Employees Who Genuinely Care About Your Mission and Clients

Teamwork represents the defining element of customer service, and team success is fundamental to club success.

You cannot run your club alone; you must have staff cooperation and commitment. If one of your employees does not share your vision and embody a passion for fitness, they should not be a part of your organization. Genuine customer service needs to be relatable – take steps to recruit people who care about the success of your clients. You should also incorporate your club's defined purpose into customer service and have those ideals at the core of your client interactions. Outline your vision and also anticipate the needs of your clients so you and your team are always prepared to serve them.

3. Create an Encouraging Environment

Team morale and club culture are also important to success. Create an environment of appreciation by recognizing and celebrating your customers as well as your staff. Appreciation creates an environment of understanding, excitement, and engagement. Little gestures can make a big difference. Hold regular staff events for the sole purpose of team building.

Take time to listen to your staff and members. Give and receive feedback for growth and development. Enhance the member experience through a genuine investment in staff development. A simple thank you can mean the world to a customer or team member.

4. Lead Your Team as Effectively as Possible

Great leadership creates success, and financial success is directly related to how we coach our teams. Passion, purpose, and vision form the base of the pyramid of success. Direction that includes these elements inspires others. With passion, vision, and the right staff, you can lead your team to overcome obstacles. If you feel that it is necessary, invest in leadership training for yourself and other club managers.

5. Always Stay One Step Ahead

Think ahead and be proactive. Stay ahead of your customers’ needs and desires and introduce them to new opportunities in your club that will appeal to their interests. Keeping your members happy will make the job less stressful and frustrating for your customer service team.

6. Spread Success Within Your Club

Share your members’ and staff’s success stories within your club. Learning how a peer has succeeded in their same environment can be incredibly encouraging to someone struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The same applies to a new staff member or a trainer who is trying to help a challenging client succeed. Motivation can be contagious, so make an effort to share as much positive news as possible.

7. Incentivize Participation

Implement loyalty and referral programs to incentivize members to stay at your club and to help recruit others. Offer perks, such as active-lifestyle rebates. You can do the same for your staff members and incentivize them to recruit other high-quality employees. This can also be an effective way to help retain employees and cut down on new-hire training costs.

8. Be Visible and Approachable

Create team focus and support by being involved in your business’ day-to-day tasks. If you adopt an energetic attitude each day, it will rub off on your team and your members. If you’re out there putting in a strong effort, the good example will resonate with your team. Define the goals for your staff and reinforce these daily in your conduct.

9. Create Opportunities for Growth

Look ahead toward the future of your club rather than focusing on the past. Create opportunities for growth for your staff at all levels. Build trust by being transparent, and invest in staff training and member onboarding processes. Offer developmental opportunities within your facility so it is convenient for your staff to participate. Create a culture of positive accountability, and always be proactive, not reactive.

10. Educate Your Staff on Member Retention Strategies

The following suggestions are ways that your staff can aid in member retention.

For New Members:

  • It's important that members feel comfortable in your club and believe that they belong there.
  • Implement new-member customized tours, which create an engagement opportunity.
  • Listen to members' goals and be supportive.
  • Make class recommendations based on individual fitness levels and interests.

For Existing Members:

  • Stay ahead of industry trends and offer new exciting programs based upon those trends.
  • Offer free trials for rate-based classes or complimentary training sessions.
  • Set client goals and perform periodic evaluations.
  • Give back to your community by hosting community and charity events.

By incorporating these objectives into your leadership approach, you should be able to recruit high-quality team members, weed out employees who are poor fits for your club, and inspire your team to provide excellent service.