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Entries in Good to Great (1)


A Great Team is a Health Club’s Dream

By Shannon Fable

While Teamwork seems like a passé notion, creating an environment where every employee strives to take care of each other for the good of the company can prove priceless. Many clubs function quite well on the surface and consider this teamwork: shifts are covered, the facility is clean, classes run, and personal training sessions are purchased. But, if you pull back the covers – this is merely COOPERATION. Teamwork is something completely different.

“Teamwork involves getting the right people on the bus, seated in the right seats, and heading in the right direction – towards a common goal”(Good To Great, by Jim Collins … a must read). When a group is led this way, they begin to view their co-workers as their number one customers. And, when employees are taken care of, your customers are taken care of better. Now isn’t that worth taking some time to investigate?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your team KNOW the mission and vision of our facility?
  • Does EVERY team member (regardless of how part-time) know how their role intersects with the mission and vision? In other words, do they know their significance?
  • Do you have a method for tracking teamwork each and every day? Do you reward those who excel? Do you set expectations for all?

If you answered NO to even one of these questions, it may be time to sit down and develop a teamwork strategy. Yes, it will take some time to establish the framework, implement it, and reap the rewards. But, it will be well worth your time.

Use the word TEAM to help you develop your plan:

T – Team

Begin by reviewing what TEAM means: research it, read about it, and get real about it! Observe what’s going on at the club and how you’d like to see things change to take your company to the next level.

E – Empower

Make sure your department heads are on board once you have it all figured out! Creating a team, or restructuring an existing one, starts with this group. Each department head should be responsible for fully explaining and managing teamwork expectations within his/her department, but the GM or Owner should weigh in on the progress from time to time. Regularly observe the teamwork in action and offer constructive feedback to keep all team members on board.

A – Assimilate

Conflict is when expectations don’t meet reality. To avoid this common pitfall: part of your recruiting process should focus on the purpose, mission, and vision of the facility. Make sure every potential employee knows the value you place on teamwork and the consequences for not ‘playing nicely with others.’

M – Mentor

Begin by hiring for attitude and training for skill. Sometimes your best employees are not your most skilled … initially; but they’re willing to do anything you ask if they come with the right mindset. Choose role models and mentors in the TEAM arena and highlight their efforts consistently.

Teamwork is essential to providing the best customer experience possible. Get started today! 

Shannon Fable is a 2006 ACE Group Fitness Instructor of the Year & 2009 Top 3 Finalist for IDEA Instructor of the Yearis the founder and CEO of Sunshine Fitness Resources and the owner of Balletone.  Shannon is an international presenter, program developer and Master Trainer for several well known companies including the Schwinn Fitness, ACE, BOSU, and Power Systems. Additionally, Fable consults for fitness professionals on a wide variety of subjects covering career development in the fitness industry.