Owning or managing a gym is a challenging but vastly rewarding job. Not only are you providing fitness and wellness to the community, but you’re fortunate to work with a staff of coaches and instructors that share your passion for making the community better. Here’s how you can build the best staff possible at your gym.
Hire From the Inside
Hire staff that know your community and know your sport. Really and truly, you need to make sure they are passionate about it. They should want to engage the community and be excited about fitness, yoga, MMA or whatever sport you’re selling. A lot of times, the best coaches come from within the gym. Members who become coaches show dedication to both the gym community and the sport, because they’ve put in the time to know and learn how to coach other athletes.
Having a background in that sport can attract members as well. Maybe one of your coaches was a professional CrossFit athlete or an Olympic rower. Having athletes with specialized skills makes a huge difference. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Focus on Team Building
When you’ve got the right individuals hired, it’s important to learn if they work together well as a team. Your coaches and staff must learn to rely on each other and trust each other. They should also have fun together. Having fun together will help build excitement in the gym and your members will see that excitement and look forward to coming to the gym themselves.
To help build a great team, try group gatherings or outings. Virtual team building is a great way to go if your gym’s hours make it challenging to get all members together at once. Give teams to work on and solve puzzles together. Even consider having them try a different sport together. Nothing bonds people like suffering together, afterall.
You can also host a barbecue, full of healthy food and fitness. Consider bringing in an expert in one fitness area that your coaches can learn from. Give everyone the opportunity to eat, bond and learn from the expert. Any type of laid back gathering will bond your team.
Focus on Communication Skills
Essentially a part of team building, having good communication skills is imperative to having the best team. First, focus on learning everyone on the team’s communication style. Then share that information with each other and learn how you can communicate effectively even if you have differing communication styles. Participating in this sort of exercise can be a real eye-opener as so often, humans think everyone’s brain works the way theirs does.
Also make sure you are communicating well with your team. If you set the standards for quality and effective communication, your team will follow suit. This means telling them when they are doing a good job and telling them when they need to improve on something. Make sure you know how appreciated they are. Be open and transparent about your business and the role they play. This is important because effective communication and transparency are essential to a well functioning team.
Have Uniform Requirements
Not as important as communication and team building, but still important, is team dress. You may not necessarily buy-in to the idea that conformity in dress means a stronger team, but having a uniform or set appearance standards can impact the way your team works together. T-shirts that say coach or staff are encouraged as well, so new members know how to find the person they should be talking to.
Having appearance standards and coach shirts helps make coaches feel official. It creates a feeling of responsibility and ownership in individuals and reiterates that they are a team. More than anything, it creates a sense of identity between your team and your business, which is so important as they are representing your brand.
Building a great gym staff is so important to having a successful business. It takes time and it may not always be easy. It is possible to be successful if you follow these steps.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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