No staff who sit on treadmills while clients workout are NOT what I am looking for in staff. Our research has shown that staff to member interaction has been hugely effective at increasing member retention. One of the characteristics of clubs who retain their members for longest, is the staff they hire.
The most effective clubs hire employees with specific traits and characteristics that will enhance the business. Hiring the ideal member of staff is not just about who is the most knowledgeable because information, technique, and systems can be taught. Recognising the best qualities of an ideal candidate is important in order to determine who will work best with other members of staff, who is most apt, and who will also become a strong asset. Assuming that our fitness staff have an appropriate qualification to do their job the following 10 items become the essential criteria for recurring staff that can assist in the development of a member and increase retention.
Here are 10 characteristics of a superb fitness staff:
Positive Attitude. You need staff that have a positive attitude because people who come to work energetic and optimistic will be enjoyable to work with are fun to be around and create a positive atmosphere within the club.
Self-Motivated. Having an employee who is self motivated can increase productivity and help the company grow. They are less reliant on managers and other staff to get things done. They are often keen to learn and pay more attention to the members needs when walking the gym floor.
Dependable staff show up on time and get the job done. This allows the club mangers and owners to focus on operating and growing the business, rather than spending hours on the phone trying to get shifts and classes covered.
Detail-Oriented. Less mistakes are made and productivity is increased when people are detail-oriented. Detail-oriented employees are also known to have a strong work ethic and take pride in their work.
Honest.Being upfront, authentic, and true portray the characteristics of honesty and these characteristics can ensure trust and reliability. Members place importance on how trust worthy and reliable the fitness staff are. Particularly as they are their main point of contact.
Team Player. Clubs consist of multiple employees and groups of people needing to work together in a team environment. Staff who get along with one another can ensure the club runs smoothly and people are willing to work together to get the job done.
Staff who communicate well both verbally and written are able to express themselves in a clear and concise manner in order to get the job effectively completed.
Confidence shows assertiveness and initiative where the staff will be encouraged to take on new projects and tasks without fear of the unknown. Confidence also suggests the employee believes in one’s self-efficacy and ability to do a good job when presented with any endeavor.
An employee who demonstrates common sense and the ability to learn will be easily trainable which may result in less micromanagement. It's a shame how uncommon, common sense is.
Ambition is what helps drive motivation and innovation which may result in a club continuing to grow and excel. Ambitious staff help generate ideas and can help keep other staff motivated and creative.
When I ran clubs part of the interview process was an interaction test. We would ask candidates to walk around the gym floor talking to members.
Some were so daunted by the task they left straight away, good, didn't want them anyway.
Some only talked to people like themselves, took the side of the member when problems occurred and voiced those problems to the managers with a, “you need to do something about this”.
The best spoke to a wide range of members, enjoyed doing it and continued to do it in all areas of the club.
Sometimes we need to rethink a essential and desirable behaviours when hiring staff.