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Entries in teamwork (4)


9 Takeaways from the California Clubs of Distinction Spring Symposium

From member engagement to pricing strategy, there were many takeaways to be found at the California Clubs of Distinction (CCD) Spring Symposium in Palms Springs, CA, held April 19-21. 

IHRSA staff was there, attending sessions and gleaning insights for health club owners and operators who weren’t able to attend. Here are our top nine takeaways from the three-day conference. 

1. Focus on customer experience, not customer service. Building a great team is critical to any health club’s success, said Chris Stevenson, owner and founder of Stevenson Fitness, during his session. By hiring the right staff—and keeping morale high—club operators can deliver a member experience where “everyone leaves feeling better than when they arrived.” 

2. Build membership through community engagement. Karen Woodard of Premium Performance Training explained the many benefits health clubs can gain by getting involved in their communities. Doing so promotes member engagement, builds brand familiarity, and may ultimately increase memberships.  

Karen Woodard leading a team building activity.

3. Perseverance is the key to success. Shaun Quincey of DebitSuccess became the second person to row across the Tasman Sea between New Zealand and Australia at age 25, but the feat didn’t come easy. In his keynote address, he detailed the preparation and training that went into the 1,200-nautical-mile journey, including the 390 sponsors that turned him down. 

4. Strategy and execution go hand-in-hand. Bill McBride of BMC3/Active Wellness and Brent Darden of Brent Darden Consulting stressed the importance of creating a goal-oriented strategic plan, and also assigning the right people to execute that plan with the needs of members in mind. 

5. Pricing is a mix of art and science. McBride and Darden also spoke to the art of finding the pricing sweet spot. They recommended starting by by determining a product's or program’s usefulness, usability, and desirability. 

Brent Darden

6. Make time for team-building activities. Different team-building and team-bonding activities can help to improve relationships between co-workers, said Karen Woodward. Club operators should consider incorporating team-building exercises into existing meetings or holding team-centric events outside of work.

7. Think like a customer. Club operators should wire customers’ mindsets into their decision making process at every level, said Blair McHaney of ClubWorks. This will help operators better understand how to develop an emotional connection with customers, and thus increase loyalty.

8. Health club medical wellness programs can curb obesity. Successful medical wellness programs facilitate the relationship between fitness and healthcare professionals, said Mark Kelly of Principle Centered Health. Doing so may slow the rise of obesity, which is related to more than 50 preventable diseases. 

9. Differentiate your club by doing meaningful, purposeful work. Mike Alpert, president and CEO of The Claremont Club, which received the Outstanding Community Service Award at IHRSA 2016, shared his experience with partnering with the medical community to help people live healthier lives. In addition to serving as a differentiator, this practice will improve the overall member experience, which will lead to higher retention.


Teamwork can reap many benefits

The growing sophistication of health, fitness, and wellness professionals, and the expanding number of specialties they practice, pay significant dividends for clubs and their members. It’s innovative improvement, with special relevance for the increasingly diverse populations - including those with health issues - that clubs are now being called upon to serve.

But there’s often a fly in the ointment, a pebble in the progress.

As the process of caring for members becomes more complex, the providers - personal trainers, nutritionists, health coaches, group and small-group exercise instructors, and others - tend to work independently within their respective niche, focusing exclusively on their particular skill set.

It’s a situation that’s sometimes referred to as “siloing” - a failure on the part of professionals to communicate, fully and effectively, about the singular goal that they’re all striving toward: the well-being of an individual client.

A number of factors may contribute to the condition: a limited understanding of other disciplines, professional tunnel vision, heavy work loads, lack of opportunities to confer with colleagues, etc. But the result is a disjointed, rather than a seamless, procedure; a limited, rather than a comprehensive, treatment plan.

Read on to see how some clubs and businesses are helping members' overall health with teamwork and collaboration.


IHRSA webinar to talk about working together for same goal

Competition among clubs in the same part of town can be fierce. Potential clients can certainly feel overwhelmed. Imagine how a current client of your club would feel if they were getting hit from all sides – within the club?

It can happen. Once a member walks through the door, oftentimes they can be bombarded by different departments looking to fill their the non-dues revenue ledger.

March’s webinar, Increase Your Bottom Line Profits: Fusing Small Group Training, Personal Training and Group Exercise, will assist you in making sure all departments work together, for the best of the client and the club.

Jason Mason, Fitness director at Beverly Athletic Club in Beverly, Mass., and NEHRSA board of directors president, will lead the 90-minute discussion.

Read on to see more on Mason's webinar.


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.