How to Retain Health Club Members When a Popular Instructor Leaves

It's always difficult when a beloved instructor leaves your club. But there are some steps to ensure a smooth transition for members and staff.

The following was written by Christine Thalwitz, vice president of marketing for ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers, for our Best Practices series.

Question: How can I retain health club members when a popular exercise instructor leaves?

First, take steps to ensure a smooth transition. Inform members about pending changes clearly and well in advance. If you plan to retain the class, find a strong replacement, and, if possible, have the new and departing instructors teach together a few times prior to the transition.

Focus members on other exciting club offerings.

“Encourage members to participate in a wide variety of club activities to help them develop stronger feelings for your brand, and to develop relationships with staff and other members.”

Christine Thalwitz, Vice President of Marketing

ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers

Overall, be sure to reward staff teamwork more than personal popularity. Team goals and incentives help instructors understand the big picture. Consider pairing your newer teachers with veterans for mentoring to improve the quality of instruction. Avoid filling your schedule with specialty classes that rely on the expertise of particular leaders.

Encourage members to participate in a wide variety of club activities to help them develop stronger feelings for your brand, and to develop relationships with staff and other members. Special workshops, member socials, and class-launch parties foster camaraderie.

Finally, if instructor turnover is a recurring problem, then organizational issues may be sabotaging staff satisfaction. If you don’t already do so, you should administer employee surveys and conduct exit interviews to gather valuable feedback.

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IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.