I am trying to get my staff more engaged. I am looking for ideas on how to stress the importance of their position. We are a small club with limited staff hours so most of my employees work very little & I feel they are disconnected from the job. I found a great article on the importance of the front desk staff & had a hard time getting them to read that. I want them to feel like their job is the most important part of our club. Any suggestions would be great!
Our blog series, “The Circuit” is a greatly entertaining and informative blog that we send out every week to owners, managers, and investors in gyms and health & fitness facilities, created by the team at Motionsoft to highlight insights on innovative management techniques and maximing your bottom line.
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Hope this helps!
Just a few quick tips to start…
First of all, don’t hire staff that has no interest in pursuing a career in the field. They are there to collect a paycheck, not looking to move up. So they’ll do just enough to get hours, make money, and stay in good standing for a good reference. A little blunt, but I think it’s true.
Second, don’t just suggest or ask of them, but actually require some action on their part. Delegate responsibilities as their leader. Use trainers and instructors for the desk. This will introduce them to the client base but also give them time at work to prepare for clients and classes, but still fill your needs.
Also, promote from within. Even if they do have interest in this field, if there is no going up for them, there’s no incentive to perform.
I know you asked this question a while ago, but if your staff still is not motivated, the greatest motivation can be to incorporate competition with specific goals in mind! An age old business adage states “What gets measured gets improved.” Therefore, you should measure the things that are important to your business.
In order to encourage competition that will benefit your club is to constantly measure and show the results to every person in the company. You must keep your staff accountable!
So how do you measure and keep every single one of your staff accountable on a monthly, weekly, or even DAILY basis? You need a gym management system (GMS). That way you know if you’re in danger of posting a bad week, month, or quarter way before the numbers are crunched by accountants and that is the single most powerful tool a business can have.
With a GMS, you can know if you’re slacking on personal training sales way before any accounting period ends and every person in the company can see these numbers every single day.
As a club owner myself, the practical take-home is that my club has not missed a goal ever since we started measuring and our growth and profit margins look amazing. It’s nearly impossible to miss a goal when every person in your company is focused on that goal and sees the progress several times a day!
To learn more about the GMS that I use, visit:
Great question. Your front desk is like your first line in the army. They are generally the first people that your clients and potential clients will have a chance to interact with…their position and how they handle themselves is critical.
The first thing that comes to mind in helping to get them more engaged is a mission and/or vision statement. Do you have one for your organization? If so great. Take some time with each of your front desk personel and help them to see how their position supports your mission. Try to get them to “buy into it”. You can simply ask them if they are inspired by this mission. If not, you may have to rethink your mission, or get rid of those personnel.
If you don’t have a corporate mission, I would begin working on one and try to involve all of your staff in the process. This will create a sense of greater responsibility and ownership for their position.
With a powerful mission, you can then use this to help create specific expectations of your front desk staff – such as “greetings and salutations” – basically the expectation is to greet all clients coming through the door warmly and getting and learning names.
Regarding meetings, I think you should only meet as often as you need to. Again you can ask the staff for their thoughts. At this meetings you might perform some role playing in dealing with different front desk scenarios that may pop up.
Lastly, you should make it clear what is expected of your staff and make sure they are aware of both the positive and negative consequences of meeting or not meeting those expectations. The positive consequences should ultimately reflect back to your corporate mission, but can have other extrinsic items, like prizes, eligibility for bonuses, etc.
Lastly, lastly: Going out of your way on a regular basis to let each teammember know you appreciate them is a big deal!
Hope this helps.
Have you had complaints from your patrons or is this something you would like to make a priority?
I think the desk person is THE most important first impression that your club will get and I totally agree that the staff are mostly overlooked.
Meetings are a drag unless you make it fun by having “ice breaker” games, raffling off prizes for a task performed, or have a slide show of the “faces” of people who come to your club and whoever can name the most faces wins something great!
I would constantly be reiterating that they may not work many hours but the hours they work are vital.
Words of encouragement posted someplace behind the desk along with a big smile can motivate and remind them that you appreciate them
Sending them a card or flowers expressing your appreciation can go a long way.