Strategies to Hire, Build & Retain Your (Fitness) Team

As a manager or owner of a fitness business, it is important to have a qualified, competent, and knowledgeable team to ensure your gym or club operates smoothly.

However, when it comes to putting together a team, it is important to objectively assess who has what it takes and who does not.

Here are seven quick tips to make that process a little bit easier.

  1. Stop Looking for Another You:
    1. Your clients chose your gym/club for a reason.
    2. Therefore it is important to ask them why they chose to train with you, because this gives you an idea for what to look for when you hire staff.
    3. If you are in tune with what your clients want, you will want to hire staff that will be able to accommodate the needs of your current (or future) client base and help your business to grow.
    4. Make sure to hire at least one staff member that has a similar training style to you to give your clients an alternative person to train with in case you or another staff member, for example, decide to work a little less or go on holiday.
    5. However, it is equally important to not just hire “another you” because staff with a different skill set or coaching style to you allows your business to reach out to a wider clientele.
  2. Look to Higher/Further Education:
    1. Educational institutions keep producing great candidates for internships and new exercise professionals who may be in need of a mentor.
    2. Make the most out of these resources and you will surely find a future staff member who is eager to learn and has good training habits.
    3. Taking on an intern also allows them to learn about more your programme design and allows you to train them up to be the perfect fit for your team.
    4. Of course, the intern is not the only one who benefits from hiring. Using these types of staffing strategies can help build your credibility and could open the door to a ton of other marketing opportunities.
  3. Maintain a ‘Team First’ Mentality:
    1. TRX founder, Randy Hetrick, said, “Always feed the troops first.” And, this is the strategy adopted in the British Army.
    2. It is the manager’s/business owner’s responsibility to put their team first.
    3. Loyalty breeds loyalty.
    4. If you are loyal to your staff, they will be loyal to you.
  4. Be Fair:
    1. Managers/Owners and staff want to make as much money as they can.
    2. And, to achieve a win-win situation, you must
      have a system in place.
    3. This system must incorporate ways in which your team can be recognised and even financially compensated when they go above and beyond.
    4. Reward good behaviour, particularly when they
      help with the areas you want to improve.
    5. Some ideas for this include:
      1. Reward the staff member who services the most clients over a 4-8 week period;
      2. Run a social media challenge and reward the staff member who gets your business page the most likes;
      3. Reward the staff member who signs up the most new clients in a month; and/or
      4. Have a transformation challenge, and reward both the winning client and their staff member.
  5. Team Building:
    1. Take your team out every once in a while (possibly quarterly or more often!) and do something fun!
    2. You could take them swimming, hiking, bowling, mini-golfing, play laser tag, go through an obstacle course together, or you could even just have them over for dinner.
    3. Whichever one you choose, remember to not to talk about business and make an effort to get to know them on a personal level.
    4. The more connected you are to your team, and them to you, the more likely you will stay together.
  6. Let Staff Help You Make Decisions:
    1. Ask your team for their input.
    2. Whether it is for additional equipment, painting the studio, or rearranging the layout.
    3. Ask your staff what they think.
    4. The more they feel like they are a part of the decision process the more likely they are to stay.
  7. Encourage Your Staff:
    1. One of the best ways to make sure your staff always love working at your gym/club is to create a culture of learning.
    2. Continuing education will not only help to make the individual staff member better at their job, but the other staff members will see this and want to educate themselves as well.
    3. This also creates a great environment for clients as they hear the staff talking about all the new concepts they learn – and practically from putting them into practice.
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