If you own, manage, or work at a gym, this scene will seem very familiar to you.
A group of late teen/early twenty-somethings huddled up at the front counter, doing everything BUT taking care of your members.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the gym is (and should be) a fun place to work for our blossoming young-adult generation, but that cannot serve as an excuse for an unprofessional staff.
I want to share with you a quick, funny – yet – enlightening story from my time coming up the ranks in the fitness industry.
While the above scene is something most of you can relate to, I hope that what happened that day in my gym will never happen in yours.
Some time ago, I was performing a fitness assessment for a new member. He was a pleasant businessman in his 50’s, no history of injury or illness, but was de-conditioned and had never worked out in a gym before.
We began our session with a quick warm-up, which he handled like an absolute champ. Afterwards, we did a few basic stretches before moving on to some resistance movements.
Chest press first. Great. Leg press was up next. Wonderful. Then came the crunches. Uhm. Not so great, not so wonderful.
The first few crunches were executed perfectly. For a newbie, this man was doing an awesome job! But… after completing the final rep – disaster struck.
He farted. And let me tell ya’, it was loud.
In a near corner, a cluster of teenage staff members began laughing uncontrollably; completely embarrasing the member. Aware of this, I had him run some quick cool-down exercises and sent him on his way.
Needless to say, that was the last time I ever saw this member again.
I called his home several times leaving messages offering him free follow-up training and beckoning for his return. The facility manager also reached out several times, but to no avail.
The one and only thing that made it back to the club, was his cancellation of membership request.
What did I learn?
A professional staff requires consistent life coaching. If you establish yourself as a mentor, moreso than just another employer, your staff will long remember and value your relationship.
They will enjoy coming to work at your gym. And, in the end, you may get to keep your members longer.
Professionalism goes beyond a quick lesson in racking up dumbbells or ringing up a sale at the front counter. In such an experience-based environment, as gyms are, a professional staff is an absolute must.