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Entries in staff training (17)

Tuesday
Feb022016

IHRSA 2016 Session Spotlight: Training Your Team: From Interview to Star Employee

Having a strategic hiring and training process is critical for a successful health club, especially since studies have shown that member interaction with staff plays a significant role in retention. 

Marisa Hoff, general manager for Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park, CA, will take IHRSA 2016 attendees through her proven staff training program in her session, “Training Your Team: From Interview to Star Employee.” 

Hoff will teach attendees her five steps to create star employees, providing specific tips, tools, and actionable strategies that they can implement in their health clubs. Here is a summary of what she will cover in her Monday, March 21 session. 

Step 1: Hiring

In addition to typical job postings, Stevenson Fitness is constantly recruiting by reaching out to people who have friendly, outgoing personalities and other attributes that would make them a good fit for the health club team.

“Some of our best employees have come from finding people within our membership base,” Hoff says.

Step 2: Onboarding

“Onboarding is something that a lot of gyms fall short on—they may take an employee through all the technical steps, like how to check someone in and use the billing software, but for us one element that is really important is the customer service training,” Hoff says.

During the onboarding process, Stevenson Fitness employees are trained on how to interact with members in person and on the phone to ensure they’re representing the health club brand at all times.

Step 3: Leading

Once a new employee has gone through the onboarding process, it’s up to the managers to continue their progress through leadership.

“Once we’ve trained staff we have specific steps here that we do on a consistent and systematic basis to make sure all our employees are receiving ongoing training so they can do the best they can do in their department,” Hoff says.

Step 4: Recognizing

To maintain high staff morale, Hoff and her team recognize high-performers with bonuses, raises, and other accolades. For example, she encourages employees to use the staff Facebook page to give a “shout out” to another employee for doing something well.

“We make sure people are constantly rewarded and appreciated,” she says. “When you go to their personnel file its not just their resume and application, but emails their managers send that tell us about what the employee is doing and how they’re acknowledging it.”

Step 5: Evaluating 

Stevenson Fitness uses a range of formal and informal evaluations to gauge how staff and management are performing.

“We make sure we have specific systems and steps along the way to communicate what our expectations are and how our employees are doing,” Hoff says.

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Monday
Jan182016

Best Practices: Staff Smartphone Use and New Club Location Advice

The following post was written by Claud McIver and John Atwood for our Best Practices series.

Question: How should we address smartphone overuse during work hours with staff and new hires?

Claud L. (Tex) McIver: This has become a rampant problem. Instituting—and deliberately and consistently enforcing—a legally sound company policy is key to addressing this issue. However, as an employer, understand that, while your workplace may not be “unionized,” the many rights, protections, and obligations covered under the National Labor Relations Act still apply. You must ensure that all policies are consistent with decisions of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and should utilize recent advice memorandums drafted by the general counsel of the NLRB.

During hiring, first make sure you have a legally sound policy, and provide it to all new employees during the on-boarding process. See that they acknowledge, in writing, that they’ve received, read, understood it, and will comply with it. Enforce it appropriately, consistently, and equally (ACE). For existing employees, issue a policy, if none existed. Or, reissue a legally sound one, if needed. Reiterate that the policy will be enforced going forward, ensuring that all of your employees acknowledge, in writing, that they’ve received, read, understood it, and will comply with it, even if they’ve acknowledged a previous one. Your policy should also state the employee’s continued at-will status. Enforce it using ACE.

Claud L. (Tex) McIver
Senior Partner
Fisher & Phillips
Atlanta, Georgia

 

 

Question: What advice do you have for choosing the right location for the club I’m planning to open?

John Atwood: This is the most important decision you’ll make; get it wrong, and you can’t recover. In most cases, a formal feasibility study should be done. While an affluent area with a dense population with minimal competition is ideal, this perfect combination is rare, as most markets are close to saturation.

The key, of course, is having the right concept in the right market. Some chains like Life Time Fitness go into saturated markets and almost always thrive because they deliver quality. Planet Fitness succeeds as a discount model in otherwise overbuilt markets. Other considerations are the visibility of your location, signage opportunities, and the daily volume of people driving or walking past your facility. Also, will the building have the look and feel inside and outside that you require? Will the parking be adequate?

Research markets as far from your home as you’d be willing to commute to work at a good company. Study the region, not just your hometown. Create a map of all of the workout opportunities, their demographics, and their price points.

Do this before you invest your money, and that of your investors, and take on all of the effort and risks of a start-up business.

John Atwood
Managing Partner
Atwood Consulting Group
Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

Best Practices features answers from experts from both inside and outside the health club industry to thought-provoking questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question you'd like answered, submit your question today

Thursday
Nov122015

Best Practices: Should You Have a Staff Cell Phone Policy?

The following post was written by Claud L. (Tex) McIver, senior partner for Fisher & Phillips, for our weekly Best Practices series.

Question: I see several of my health club's employees using their personal cell phones way too often during work hours. They're texting, using social media, taking selfies, and who knows what else. How can I legally and appropriately address this ahead of time – that is, during hiring, and once it’s already a problem?

 

Answer: In the health club industry, employee use of cell phones on the job has become a rampant problem. Instituting and deliberately and consistently enforcing a legally sound company policy is key to addressing this issue.

Employers in the health club industry must understand that, while their workplace may not be "unionized," the many rights, protections, and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act still apply. Therefore, employers must ensure that all policies are consistent with decisions of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and should utilize recent advice memorandums drafted by the General Counsel of the NLRB for guidance on their conduct and policies. Rather than get into too much detail at this point, please consider reviewing a sample policy we have prepared for our clients. We are pleased to forward this without fee as a part of our longstanding relationship with IHRSA. (Contact tmciver@laborlawyers.com for that sample policy.)

In addition to a legally sound policy, it is important for employers to ensure that the policy includes verbiage indicating the employee’s continued at-will status, and that the policy is properly understood and acknowledged by all employees. 

Addressing Personal Cell Phone Use During Hiring

After developing a legally sound policy, employers should: 

  • Provide Notice: Provide the policy to all new employees during the on-boarding process.
  • Receive Acknowledgement: Ensure all new employees acknowledge (in writing) that they have received, read, understood, and will comply with the policy.
  • Enforce The Policy Using “ACE”: Enforce the policy Appropriately, Consistently, and Equally. 

Addressing Personal Cell Phone Use After It Is Already a Problem 

  • Provide Notice: A new policy should be issued (if none existed), or a legally sound policy should be reissued and it must be reiterated that the policy will be enforced going forward.
  • Receive Acknowledgement: Ensure all employees acknowledge (in writing) that they have received, read, understood, and will comply with the policy, even if they acknowledged the policy in the past.
  • Enforce The Policy Using “ACE”: Enforce the policy Appropriately, Consistently, and Equally going forward. 

Claud L. (Tex) McIver
Senior Partner
Fisher & Phillips
Atlanta, Georgia
tmciver@laborlawyers.com

 

Best Practices features answers from experts from both inside and outside the health club industry to thought-provoking questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question you'd like answered, submit your question today

Thursday
Aug072014

Work and hire eagles, not ducks

Debra Siena led stretching in the middle of her session.One of the main tenets of Debra Siena’s afternoon educational session “Staff Hiring, Training & Retention” was hire eagles and not ducks. For those of you who have never heard the comparison before, eagles soar while ducks waddle along.

She had five keys she laid out to be successful in all three areas:

 

Key #1: Be a Leader Worth Following

  • challenge status quo
  • empower and inspire
  • have a vision

Key #2: Recruit and Hire Eagles, Not Ducks

  • prepare for an interview
  • look for team players
  • clarify your expectations
  • watch for pitfalls

Key #3: Build Employee Loyalty and Value

  • launch with care
  • restate expectations
  • set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Acvhievable, Realistic, Timely) 
  • watch for pitfalls

Key #4 - Nurture the Company Culture

  • share your vision
  • ask their expectations
  • keep them informed
  • don’t avoid coaching in order to avoid conflict
  • inspire them to motivate themselves
  • recognize them, let members recognize them
  • create a great work environment
  • walk your talk
  • never be a seagull manager

Key #5: Realize Human Capital is Your Greatest Asset

  • team retention = member retention

Debra Siena can be reached at debra.siena@midtownhealth.com.

 

 

Tuesday
Nov192013

Retention and Tenure are Subjects in Latest Trend Report

How important is the fitness staff to member retention? There are probably a couple schools of thought on the subject. 

The latest edition of the IHRSA Member Retention Report, conducted with The Retention People, definitely leans toward one side, that positive interaction is vital. The report shows that the fitness staff of a gym can be more beneficial, as far as retention, than the sales staff.

“The latest Member Retention Report highlights what many of us may intuitively believe: the fitness team plays a critical role in keeping members engaged and onboard for the long-term,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA executive vice president of Global Products. “Training and incentivizing fitness staff to build upon interactions with members can positively impact employee and member retention.” 

Read on for more on the latest IHRSA Member Report.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr252013

Check out new DVDs from IHRSA 

IHRSA has just released four new DVDs that will help you maximize your health club's marketing strategy.

Also available are four DVDs focused on member service as well as four others on the topic of sales. Together, they make staff training easy and affordable.

Read on for more.

Monday
Feb012010

Inexpensive Staff Training

Vaughn Marxhausen discusses inexpensive staff training systems:

Q: “Is it possible to give a good experience to members without paying a lot for expensive staff training programs? If so, how?”

A: A variety of things can be done in order to achieve extraordinary member experience through staff training that won’t drain the budget. Training can get expensive, so it’s important to be creative in order to watch the bottom line. Here are some options that are very effective, but not expensive.

  1. Select a book about customer service that is in line with your company culture and give it out to your staff. Develop an in-house training program around it.
    "...if your staff is attentive to the members... and gives them what they want before they ask for it... you have just WOWed your member."
  2. Select a training DVD to purchase, which can be repeatedly used and implemented in a teaching modality or at employee meetings.
  3. Google customer service, you will be surprised at all the things that come up that you can implement with your staff.
  4. Role play with staff about handling various situations that may come up with members (a proactive approach).
  5. Use industry articles about member experience. If you use your creativity, you could actually develop a training program from an article.
At the end of the day, if your staff is attentive to the members, shows them genuine care, assists them without being asked, hands out water and towels while exercising, gives them what they want before they ask for it and personalizes it, you have just WOWed your member. The trick is getting your employees to do all this without being told. It all begins from your company culture and developing a mission statement that your employees embrace.

Vaughn Marxhausen, Area General Manager
Houstonian Lite Health Club
281-732-9757
vmarxhausen@houstonianlite.com
houstonianlite.com

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