Each month we ask club customers and managers of others fitness facilities what are the burning issues, the questions on their minds:
QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
Q: Can hiring by personality type help retain club employees and build long-lasting teams?
A: There may not be a one-size-fits all perfect personality type for club employees but hiring for three distinct traits can help your business, team and members
The average industry tenure for a club employee from front desk to trainer is about two years. Some of that stems from the highly competitive nature of the fitness industry, but employees can just as easily decide to move on for all kinds of reasons. The wrong fit. Lack of opportunities to advance. And of course, compensation. But speaking with club operators across the company, three key, distinct character traits always rise to the surface when people talk team recruitment. Hiring for these three character traits and experience can help build a team with strong, shared foundations, work ethic and values:
1. Connectivity – are your team members able to connect with co-workers, management and most critically your members. Do they always remember member names at check-in? Do your trainers build solid client relationships and empathy in every session? The ability to be open and approachable for members is essential to creating return, repeat business every day, but it’s relationship building and real connections that will make members feel seen, and engage them for the long term.Recruit for the ability to connect and you’ll have strong team bonds that help to build content, high-functioning and strong employee teams, but also member engagement.
2. Communication – employee dissatisfaction can often be traced back to poor communications, misunderstandings and misperceptions. Recruit, of course, for trustworthy, straightforward and honest team members, but place a priority on those who bring stellar communication skills to their jobs every day. That doesn’t just mean outgoing personalities who are friendly with members, but team members who understand what’s important, who can spot issues or problems and raise their hands, or feel valued enough to suggest ideas for improvements to your club environment and member offerings. Your front of house team, your trainers, instructors and support staff are your eyes, ears and voices to member needs and desires too. Look for people who embrace that role and excel at every aspect of daily communications.
3. Charisma – it’s the secret sauce that makes instructors become member favorites and front desk reception teams beloved for their daily interactions. There’s no formula here and it can’t be taught, but often intangible qualities like likeability, personability and charm (not smarm) are just as essential to building strong teams and happy members as anything else on the resume. Yes, your team members should be qualified, have experience and aptitude, but people who bring the ability to be liked, trusted and valued by staff and members can be an enormous asset. Employees who feel valued and liked by co-workers and members tend to stay in position longer and help to build a stability among your employee team.
Todd Wiginton is a seasoned fitness professional with over a decade of experience in the industry, currently serving as the Director of Operations at Fitness On Demand. His career, marked by roles such as Personal Training Manager and Strength and Conditioning Coach, showcases his dedication to fostering personal and professional growth in ever-changing environments.