As the new year approaches, the opportunity for a “blank slate” inevitably sparks the fitness industry. When fitness business leaders strategize around this annual opportunity, the focus is naturally placed on marketing and converting leads into paying members.
Although the new year historically presents a great opportunity to grow your business and help more people, an often-overlooked factor in your gym’s profitability is employee retention. According to the Bureau of National Affairs, employee turnover costs companies around $11 billion dollars each year. With this in mind, the challenge becomes assessing the state of your team and mitigating the risk of unpredictable employee turnover.
Your fitness business is a community consisting of both customers and employees. One of the special realities of the fitness industry is it’s personal – fitness professionals are a huge part of their clients’ lives. A fitness community with strong client-coach relationships may improve both your member retention and your employee retention.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) elaborates on this relationship between community and employee retention, “Studies have suggested that employees become embedded in their jobs and their communities and as they participate in their professional and community life, they develop a web of connections and relationships, both on and off the job. Leaving a job would require severing or rearranging these social and value networks.”
Simply put, the closer your community is, the harder it is to leave – you have likely experienced this firsthand.
Like most industries, an effective way to improve performance and morale is to encourage a culture of personal and professional development. A simple way to begin this may be to offer a continuing education and seminar stipend.
Beyond financing your team’s development, many fitness businesses benefit from staff in-service meetings. Staff meetings in which an employee shares educational findings offers everyone a chance to take ownership and feel directly involved, beyond coaching. The concept of “ownership” is important to this examination of employee retention. Without real equity in your business, creative benefits and personal development are massively important to inspiring your team.
Pete Dupuis, Business Director of renowned Cressey Sports Performance, illustrates this point clearly, “Your business is your baby, not that of your employees. The sooner you come to terms with this, the sooner you’ll realize that your coaches aren’t lazy.” This is a difficult truth to accept for some business owners, but self-awareness and realistic expectations are paramount when managing people.
An efficient business undoubtedly improves the employee experience. From simplified scheduling to modern payroll operations, technology solutions like Zen Planner can play a key role in making your team’s job easier. At a deeper level, embracing advancements in technology and industry standards display your commitment to long-term success, an observation that will inspire your entire community.
By building community, fostering development, and targeting efficiency, you will be in a better position to live your passion and experience success in 2019!
Looking for other ways to improve your fitness business, click the image below to download our free Fitness Business Template today!