Boosting Employee Motivation Lead to Fitness Club Success

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Motivation. It is a key component of the fitness industry. Motivate prospects to join. Motivate members to attend classes, do personal training, and just reach their fitness goals.

However, too often, fitness club owners continue to focus on the motivation of the member and may not focus on motivating employees as much as they should.

Often, owners depend on money to be not only a key motivator for the staff (which it is), but the only motivator. However, as with fitness, there are many things that drive people to be their best, and there is no cookie-cutter way to motivate people. The same is true for your staff.

For many employees, a simple pat on the back can be a huge motivator. We have all seen the “Employee of the Month,” which can be an effective formal recognition program, but you don’t need a formal program to send a text or email letting a staff member know that it is appreciated that he or she covered the front desk on short notice or went out of the way to help a member.

While recognition is great, recognition without understanding the reason behind it may not be as meaningful.  When employees understand the bigger picture and how what they do contributes to the overall health of the gym, they often are more motivated to do even the simplest of tasks because they see how picking up a weight or wiping down a treadmill is really more than it seems as it will contribute to member retention and overall satisfaction.

Even if your fitness, sales, and other staff understand how they contribute to the success of your fitness club or studio, they may want to do more. However, the spark of motivation may be put out if they feel unimportant.

As a business owner, your day is full. Keeping an eye on the small details of the fitness facility may not always be possible when you are working to grow it. However, your staff is probably far more intimate with the day-to-day happenings, members, and concerns. Unfortunately, owners often forget that and aren’t open to listening to staff suggestions. But, when employees feel heard, they, in turn, feel confident about their positions in the company, the contributions they make, and that they play a vital role in the success of the business.

Even better than just listening, is to take it a step farther.

Giving your employees more of a say in how they do their job can help to motivate them. By feeling more in control of how they do their job and how it relates to the health club’s success they become more invested. If you really want to empower and motivate your employees, you need to not only take their suggestions, but also give them authority to make their own decisions, such as providing a guest pass or refund a member up to a certain amount without having to seek your approval. This will give them a sense of ownership over their day and allow them to feel like they made a difference and contributed to the club’s success.

While being part of the fitness club’s success is important, personal success is still a prime motivator.

Be sure to have a path of success. No matter how passionate an employee is for helping people reach their fitness goals, nobody wants to work a dead-end job. Motivate your employees by offering ongoing training that gives them the skills they need to climb their career ladder. You never know where your next superstar is going to come from. Your best personal trainer could have a future as a fitness manager. A front desk associate could have a great career as a salesperson with the right knowledge. Grooming employees to move on to better opportunities is valuable to the club as well because the better your staff is the better your club is.

In the end, there are plenty of ways to boost your employees’ motivation, but there is no one right way. In the end, knowing each employee, figuring out what motivates them, and having a multitude of motivational tools at your disposal is the best way to keep your staff engaged and motivated and your fitness club successful.