I don’t know about you….but there was a point early-on in running my fitness studio, when I got tired of doing everything myself.
I was working crazy hours each week including weekends and I was reluctant to take holidays because I feared losing members, losing income and I feared un-doing all my hard work so far… so I just didn’t take any holidays and kept pushing forward ☹ but unfortunately you and I both know that can work for so long. There is a point where you just get TOO TIRED to deal with anymore customer complaints, you lose the ability to come up with any CREATIVE MARKETING ideas and when you miss quality time with your partner, kids and/or friends you start to question ‘is this all worth it?’ ……Well that was my experience anyway.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS..THAT ALL CHANGED WHEN I STARTED ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS
Like “How do I build a team of hardworking staff who are ‘as passionate’ about quality service and member results as me? Slowly, carefully, and with much planning, I was able to achieve this. And here are 5 steps to help YOU reach this goal too:
- Attract lots of quality candidates – Hoping for good staff in not a strategy. Instead set up a career opportunities page on your own website, use your social media platforms, your email list, and newsletters to ask members for referrals. You can also go outside your network and advertise on job sites – my favourites FREE sites in Australia are www.indeed.com.au,www.fitnesscareers.com.au and my favourites PAID sites arewww.healthypeople.com.au and www.seek.com.au which definitely get you more applications.
- Capture – Business owners often make the mistake of paying attention only to the first wave of applicants. Make sure to commit to regularly checking your new candidate information and connecting with previous applicants when new roles become available. The best candidates don’t always respond to ads on the 1st day and failed applicants can often be successful on second attempt after further training or experience,
- Interview and Hiring Process – It’s very tempting to rush the process of hiring a candidate and just go with your ‘gut’. But you cannot REPLICATE this. Instead take your time and record the specific steps you took to get a great person. About 3 interviews are optimal when evaluating a candidate and statistics suggest only around 7% of people actually tell the TRUTH in the their resume, so DON’T believe the HYPE. Do a quick screening via email questions and on the phone before inviting them to a group interview. In the Group Interview – ask questions that test whether or not they align with YOUR business Core Values. for example you might ask “In your previous role working at GoodLife Gym, please give me 1 example of when you demonstrated ‘over and above customer service’. During the Group Interview, use a 1 page CHECKLIST to confirm availability, travel time, willingness to participate in team training and events and ONLY IF they impress, invite them to 2nd stage Practical Interview (on the gym floor) to give you a better perspective if a candidate will be a good fit.
- Onboarding – Help set up your NEW team member for success. Be clear on the roles, processes and skills that they will be required to perform on a ‘week to week’ basis like phone enquiries, CRM use, audio, lighting, 24hour access, reporting, meeting times and requirements for wages etc. Invest monthly in professional development training and map out a clear CAREER PATH to follow for promotions and added responsibility for anyone motivated to do more.
- Continuous training and development – Developing skill is a continuous process. The best fitness business is one that is a place of learning and where staff are constantly trained to improve their skills. Make training on regular dates in your calender and set aside time and money to develop your staff as individuals and as a team. We train staff in customer service, nutrition, exercise prescription, weight loss, hypertrophy and much more.
So what does a successful team look like?
- A passionate team of ‘good humans’ who are committed to building the business and providing members the best service possible.
- Staff take most ‘day to day’ tasks required to service existing members, so you can more time growing the business than working in it.
- You provide leadership using a clear ROAD MAP for where business is heading and how you will get there
- You also spend quality time with the people you love and doing the things you love.