Hiring Bottlenecks and Wage Pressure
Flatley covered the topic of hiring bottlenecks and wage pressure. She explained companies are raising hourly rates and the fitness industry sometimes struggles to attract good workers. Clubs should think about this and ask themselves if they need to raise their wages or change their staffing strategy.
Flatley also reminded the audience that job responsibilities are different post-pandemic. “If you're a top club in your market, you better be taking care of your people. When your members think you’re not treating your people well, it will come back to you,” McHaney added, “You’re competing against everyone for talent, not just local gyms.”
Wellness vs. Well-being
Darden says he has noticed a bit of a shift and push-back on the concept of wellness and how the word is used. He added that people think the word is overused. “Wellness is really more of physiological changes, nutrition, being active, getting sleep, hydration, those types of things. Well-being, on the other hand, is so much broader of a concept. It’s where you are spiritually, relationally, mental wellness, and financial security,” Darden said.
“It is nice that exercise is part of achieving wellness or well-being. The human body was meant to move,” McHaney added. Darden shared a shocking statistic from a recent Gallup survey where only 4% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be thriving when it comes to physical well-being.
McBride went on to add that we also have a mental health crisis in the U.S. because of the high demand for psychiatrists and therapists. “We are in a crisis and we are a big part of the solution. Happy people live longer,” said McBride.
Talks & Takes Quick Bites
Besides the top takeaways, hosts touched on a wide range of other topics. Here are the key points:
Celebrities as the Face of Fitness. We’re seeing a lot of celebrities partnering with the fitness industry from Beyonce and Will Smith to Mark Wahlberg. McHaney started the discussion by saying, “Celebrities’ endorsement with body acceptance is tremendously powerful.” He talked about Will Smith and how he is getting older but still holds high regard for fitness and wellness. “It’s a huge shift that makes celebrity endorsement valuable,” said McHaney. Flatley added, “The more people that get behind our industry the better.”
Media Influence: Positive or Negative. The powerhouse panel discussed media influence. “The notation that any press is good press isn’t necessarily true,” McBride said. He then explained that sometimes reporters get into an angle to get people to find controversy but sometimes the press is not coming with both sides of the story and every story has two sides. McBride’s advice is to get the correct story out there, don’t give up, and to know your local media so they know you and give you the benefit of the doubt before they run stories that may be negative.
Diversifying Your Content. McBride shared a video with key messages around the topics of representation matters, fitness is for everyone, and the importance of diversity. “When we talk about diversity, we’re not talking about gender, we’re talking about ageism, people with disabilities, we’re talking the whole spectrum of what it takes to be diverse in your operation,” said McBride. He added the point that you can’t be diverse in your content if you are not diverse in how you’re hiring. When hiring, he suggested asking yourself, “Who am I hiring, and are those individuals representative of my community?” He also suggested considering how you write job descriptions, where you recruit, and reviewing how you attract diversity for your team members so everyone feels welcome. “Diversity starts with awareness—be authentic and true,” McBride added.
CDC Guidelines and Mask Policies. McHaney started the discussion with a story on how he was in Las Vegas, Nevada when the CDC announced the new mask guidelines. He recalls seeing plexiglass everywhere as he was leaving his hotel that morning, but by night time, the plexiglass was gone and hardly anyone was wearing a mask, including employees. ”What was stunning to me was the difference in attitude in people. When masks come off, people engage more,” McHaney said.
Nutrition and Weight Management. Flatley shared her thoughts on nutrition and weight management and pointed out that our industry has not done well to educate people on this topic. “Nutrition is so much more than the plate. As an industry, there's a huge opportunity with nutrition and weight management,” Flatley added. People are looking for nutrition and weight management and she encourages clubs to capitalize on it.
Don’t miss the June edition of Talks & Takes.