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Best ways to keep your employees from leaving

Hiring an employee can be a painstaking process, aside from being costly between advertiding the position, interviewing, training and time for them to acclimate.

That is why holding on to your valuable staff members is even more important. And this week's Best Practices talks to three veterans of the fitness industry on what their companies do to incentivize their staff.

 Q: How do you reward and retain your best employees?

A: The best incentive for our fitness team has been the planned lack of focus on the part of the club on the number of personal training sessions conducted and the related revenues generated. This has led to trainers concentrating on their own businesses. They are passionate about their trade, and are not under pressure from the club to chase the dollar. They have the desire and the time to educate themselves, and, interestingly enough, they have increased our revenues. We transition them from a contract of set hours and duties to one that allows them independence. They help members achieve the results they want and this helps with member retention, which is our top priority.

Gerard Oliver
General Manager
Al Corniche Club Resort & Spa

Building a successful organization is all about finding the right people, training them well, rewarding them for their efforts and allowing them the freedom to take ownership of their responsibilities. It's not necessarily just management, but also mentorship. Build confidence in their abilities and allow them to grow within the organization. We place special emphasis on training and continued development of everyone’s skills, whether it’s about general fitness knowledge, specific items related to Ellipse Fitness programming, customer service, sales and marketing, or building individual personal skills. That’s essential in an industry that is changing every day, as fitness does! These are critical elements in building and retaining motivated staff.

Lisa Welko
Ellipse Fitness
Appleton, Wisc.

We have 140 club employees and all of them are valuable to us. It is important to be explicit, understandable and fair. Moreover, our performance system depends on the relative performance of the employees, not just on the budget of the club. We offer a competitive salary and an excellent compensation package with frequent adjustments according to market dynamics. All of these things are good for employees, but the most important thing is that they feel as if they are a part of our family. Our employee turnover rate is very low. The key word is  “teamwork.”

Aydin Buyukyilmaz
General Manager


Club Operators: To be profiled in this column, please contact Kristen Walsh, IHRSA associate publisher, at

IHRSA has answered hundreds of questions and inquiries in the weekly column,Best Practices. Check them out here. Best Practices answered a similar group purchasing question in 2013.


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