“Culture is what motivates and retains talented employees” – Betty Thompson. Culture really is or should be your number one focus in any business. As a fitness business consultant, often, I see a huge emphasis placed on creating amazing culture with members, however, I see it missing when it comes to the company and their team.
We must place just as important emphasis on team culture, as we do on member culture. It is imperative to ensure the happiness of our employees because your community grows from within! Happy team = happy members. When you have a team that is on side, classes get covered, messages get communicated and the workplace becomes a happier place to be!
It can often be tough – especially in the fitness industry where we are recruiting casual employees and contractors, however this is why a great importance must be placed on ensuring we are doing everything we can to develop the best culture possible. Here is a quick check list to see how you are going as a facility and perhaps where you could look to improve…
– Up-skilling and development
Are you continually up-skilling and developing your team? Are you getting into classes to give feedback, as well as finding opportunities to grow your team’s knowledge and skill set? Do you have benchmarks for them to have growth or something to reach for? Many instructors in particular feel stagnant with the repetitious nature of the job. Keep it fresh for them!
– Encourage team participation
Are you AND the rest of your team attending each other’s classes? Great camaraderie and bonding happens through supporting each other simply through attendance. This community as I mentioned above starts with your team, but is very visible to your community and sets a great tone.
– A career path
Is there room for your team members to grow? Take on more hours, take on more responsibility or even be mentored by a senior member of staff? Do you have career talks with your team members to see where they want to be in 1, 2, or 5 years time?
– Social activities and team bonding time
Everyone loves a good social! Are you making time for regular team catch ups out side the official meetings and workshops? Just getting out and having some fun together creates close knit teams fast and effectively.
– Set clear boundaries and expectations with excellent communication
Are you getting your team together for company meetings? I believe at least once a quarter is a good expectation at a minimum. Team meetings are a space you can set clear boundaries and expectations with your team, you can keep them informed of any major changes or upcoming events, but most importantly this clear communication allows them to feel like a valued important part of the team as you are taking the time to include them in this way. If you want more regular team meetings, ensure they have purpose and a clear outcome in mind.
– Reward your team
Are you rewarding your team? Team player of the month, best class attendance, or best member feedback awards are great ways of acknowledging amazing team achievements. Perhaps this is something you do in team meetings or over social media. Make sure you are consistent ie – if you set out to award monthly make sure you do!
This is by no means a definite list, but we see these as imperatives, particularly in the Group exercise world where instructors can feel on the outside of your facility if not included. We have always said that member retention begins with staff retention. These tools and checkpoints have such an immeasurable effect on your business, if you start to implement them now, we know you can create a dramatic change for the long term.