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Friday
Oct042013

Darden shows how to bond with your team

Brent Darden and his TELOS Fitness Center know a thing or two about how to treat employees.  

Case in point: following the lead by online shoes and clothing seller Zappos, he made what would be construed as an offer one couldn’t refuse. He told recently hired employees that he would give them around $500 if they wanted quit. This year-long offer has resulted in not one person taking the money and running.

“If the employee is not invested in the company and are not engaged in their job then we’d rather give them the money an let them go right away,” Darden explained.

It was reasoning like this, but more importantly how Darden treats his employees, that made his keynote, “It’s Personal: Building & Bonding Your Club Team,” one that kept the close to 100 attendees at the NEHRSA/IHRSA Fall Conference & Trade Show interested, and more than likely taking notes to suggest to their clubs’ decision-makers.

“Our people really should be our priority,” Darden started out by saying. “Engaged employees care about the company and are willing to give the extra effort.”

The owner of TELOS Fitness Center in Dallas then quoted a Gallup poll that showed only 30% of employees are engaged in their jobs, proving that it is vital to find those workers who really want to be there and will follow the culture and mission of the company.

As many managers and owners know, a hard worker who wants to be there will lead to higher service, customer satisfaction, sales, profit, retention and productivity, as well as lower absenteeism.

Darden went over his “roadmap” for new employees. It started with The Set-Up during the interview even before the employee is hired, to welcoming the new employee on Day 1 with something as simple as their name tag.

The roadmap ends with The Personal Touch, which is knowing special events in employees’ lives, and what they like to do, making gift-giving more than a generic gift card.

In between there are a lot of interactions like a welcome event at Darden’s house,  ice-breakers for new employee orientation, flowers sent to the new worker’s home, and writing personal notes instead of e-mails when congratulating on an accomplishment.

If you are lucky enough to have been with TELOS from the start – the 10-year anniversary party is tonight – you recently received $1,000 in cash during an all-staff event 

Darden’s speech can be seen at his website, brentdarden.com, under “It’s Personal” in the presentations page.

 

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