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Staffing/Recruitment/Retention

Sexual Harassment and the Fitness Industry

One day, while stretching my client Jim, I was taken aback when I realized he wasn’t wearing underwear. His shorts were swim trunks with interior netting. I quickly looked away and continued to stretch him. This happened with Jim on several other occasions, but I never mentioned it because I wasn’t sure how to broach the matter. I also didn’t feel as if he was doing this intentionally, nor did I believe he meant harm.

Learn, Connect and Thrive at the IDEA® World Convention

Education is the foundation of the IDEA World Convention, but this fitness event offers plenty more than stellar instruction. For Jonathan Bernath, publicist-turned-personal-trainer, it’s where he discovered the “fitness family” that would guide him in his new career.

How to Find Your Epic

The fitness industry is a rewarding and inspiring place to be. However, it’s not without its challenges, and getting ahead with passion alone can be difficult. The most successful fit pros know that to build an epic life and career, they must invest in education and learn from those who’ve been there and done it.

How to Help Employees Get Through Personal Crises

One Saturday afternoon, Bill Sonnemaker, MS, 2007 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, watched a newly hired personal trainer lead a group of new members on a tour of Atlanta-based Catalyst Fitness. Sonnemaker—the facility’s owner—noticed that throughout the tour the trainer was receiving text messages to his cell phone.

Once the tour was completed, the trainer checked the messages, which alerted him that an emergency had taken place. He responded to the text: “What’s wrong?”

To Motivate or Terminate?

Your employees directly affect the success of your business. They work with your clients, sell your products and engage in frontline, day-to-day operations. Some employees are a pleasure to manage, and others—well, not so much. Working with an exemplary employee who is productive, independent, motivated and delightful is every manager’s dream. On the flip side, some employees are just bad hires and the decision to let them go is straightforward. Unfortunately, staff management isn’t that black and white.

Top Traits of Great Business Leaders

Bosses. We’ve all had them. Good, bad, indifferent. What sets the good ones apart from the rest?

If you have difficulty relating to or mobilizing your staff, perhaps it’s time to do a little self-assessment and determine what leadership qualities you may be lacking.

“My favorite project manager always had my back,” recalls Susan Wall, a freelance instructional designer from Lisbon, New Hampshire. “He also trusted me to do my job, and he challenged and encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone.”

Top Five Technology Roadblocks for Personal Training Staff

Gone are the days when all that your personal training department needed in order to stay ahead of the curve was a gym full of the latest fitness equipment and a team armed with clipboards, stopwatches and maybe a heart rate monitor or two. Now there’s a barrage of fitness technology, such as wearable activity trackers and mobile apps. Many fitness managers are contemplating if, when and how to formally integrate these new tech tools into personal training services.

Lessons From the Trenches, Part Two: The Challenge of Leadership

Great leaders don’t just point the way; they also give clear directions. However, it’s not always a simple task to inspire and motivate even the most willing of followers. Once you’ve thrown your hat into the leadership ring, you’ll be faced with new challenges. In part two of this series, we’ll expand on finding the leader within, and we’ll explore the best ways to handle challenging situations.

Coping With Instructor Burnout

The new year likely brought with it a crush of new class participants. But then along came spring, and the inevitable happened: As the snow melted, so did resolutions; visits became less frequent as members began suffering from a classic case of burnout. In fact, many fitness professionals also experience burnout. What can you do to stay inspired??
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Toxic Talk in the Workplace

Imagine that your beloved group exercise director has just given her notice. She is a well-respected, long-term employee, and now you have to hire someone new. Group exercise staff members are shocked by the news, and they start talking—to each other, to members, to friends and to anyone else who will listen.

Tribal Fitness

We all want to belong to something. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. A group. A club. An association.

To reach our highest potential, we need to go beyond thinking of our “customer base” and our “employees” and start thinking of our tribe. You may have a group of clients or a number of employees, but that is not a tribe. In a tribe, people feel a deep affiliation with— and take pride in—your fitness business.

The Professional Development Conundrum

Experts agree that employers need to invest more in staff training and development to create stability, boost retention and improve the consumer experience. This is a particular challenge for many large-chain, membership-based fitness facilities. Rather than nurturing and training a newly hired personal trainer for exercise life- style programming and customer service skills, some fitness facilities orient trainers to be salespeople whose wages depend on commissions.

Phone Etiquette for a New Age

Proper phone etiquette is essential in a health club environment. Many people prefer to call ahead to ask simple questions, rather than physically coming in. It’s their way of getting a “feel” for your facility. As a manager/owner, you want that introductory phone call to translate into a new membership. However, phone communication has degraded among young adults working the front desk, and it’s easy to see why.

Mobilize Your Personal Training Staff

The fiscal year is coming to a close, and you have a chance not only for a successful final push but also to connect with your personal trainers in a way that inspires them. Use the following tips to build a cohesive team, empower your trainers and, ultimately, sell sessions.

Creating a Code of Conduct

In the fitness business, where many personnel are part-time, employee conduct can easily be overlooked. Because of their schedules, some fitness facility employees may not even have contact with management.

Inspiring Your Part-Time Staff

One of the most challenging aspects of fitness management is inspiring part-time staff to remain focused and invested. Many part-time fitness jobs are mundane, and even the most motivated staff member can feel unappreciated after folding endless stacks of towels or repeating the facility rules time yet again.

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