Ask many business owners what the secret to a successful company is, and a high percentage will answer good staff.
The fitness industry is no different, but is there a growing concern that many gyms and studios offer little in the way of personal development and corporate gratitude for the staff that are the life blood of their facility?
As someone that has worked extensively within all areas of the fitness community, I often come across waves of negativity from the hard working instructors that are on the front line of the business.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Here are a few of the most common complaints from instructors and gym staff that I hear:
1. My ideas are often ignored
Gym staff that are motivated are a great resource for ideas that have perhaps been previously overlooked. I regularly hear ideas for new sessions or programs, that are filed away, never to be heard of again. There is nothing to lose from launching a new class in a schedule, devised by a staff member.
That member of staff would relish the opportunity to deliver their own format, and that enthusiasm would encourage members to attend. Plus, if the format is a winner, the gym has an exclusive session open only to members. Gym managers take note, self developed classes could make your gym stand out from all the others.
2. I spend a lot of time cleaning, that’s not what I trained to do
Gym Instructors and group exercise teachers have a passion for the work they do, but often that doesn’t extend to other duties. Of course a certain amount of time is set aside for maintenance duties, but often staff spending hours cleaning can led to discord and job negativity.
Would the cleaning team at the facility be better suited to doing the big clean up, leaving instructors to maintain cleanliness as it occurs? Perhaps this would show staff they are being supported, and not taken for granted?
3. The sound system/head mic do not work
If you have never stood in front of a class of eager fitness fans, ready to deliver your session, but the music sounds terrible, and the microphone makes you sound like an alien, then you won’t understand how frustrating and un professional it can make you look. Music motivates exercise classes and changes the entire class dynamic, therefore it is essential.
In the past, I have stopped teaching sessions when the equipment I have been given to work with isn’t up to scratch. As a teacher, I know I am giving my best to those clients, but the facilities equipment is making me look bad. these days a decent sound system and microphone is cheaper than ever, and there is no excuse for dilapidated equipment. Support your staff by keeping up your end of the contract.
4. I never know what’s going on
This is a common complaint that can be solved instantly. Staff like to get together and chat about what is going on. Why is it so difficult to schedule a weekly meeting so that views can be aired and problems ironed out? A staff briefing will make the team feel more involved with the running of the business, and allow them to gel as a group.
So if you are a gym manager with disgruntled staff, perhaps it’s time to have a look to see what you can do for them. Managing a busy gym is also often a thankless task, but these actionable steps may push your team into a more harmonious working environment.
After all, they are the ones on the front line, keeping members happy, doing classes and inductions and helping your retention rate. If they are happy and doing their job well, it will reflect on the whole organisation and business will boom.
Keep your staff happy and watch your gym begin to grow and shine.