As a gym owner, one aspect of running your gym business you shouldn’t take lightly is staff recruitment. Traditionally, you’d hire staff in your fitness business for reasons like member retention and smooth day-to-day running of the gym. However, your gym’s staff can also determine its growth as they interact more with clients daily.
While adequately staffing your gym could be an excellent way to increase sales, you must avoid the mistakes many gym owners make because they invariably come back to bite you in the backside.
The good news is that this article addresses some of those fitness industry mistakes so you can avoid them. We will also discuss the best way to staff your gym to maximize profit and boost your establishment’s growth.
Staffing Mistakes that Gym Owners Make
1. Hiring Unknowledgeable Personal Trainers
For some people, asking friends or relatives to help out in their gym is a way of cutting down the costs of running a gym. Although not an entirely terrible idea, it could limit your gym’s growth, especially if they aren’t qualified for the position.
If you’ve just opened a new gym, this might be a great stop-gap in the meantime. But eventually, you need to look into hiring competent staff – maybe even a sales team and an operations manager – to run things as smoothly as possible.
It’s also a good idea to educate all your gym staff on how to use the equipment and how to keep people from hurting themselves. The operations manager won’t be on the floor 24/7, and you may have members who work out when a personal trainer isn’t on-site.
2. Hiring Out-of-Shape Personal Trainers
If you’re looking to maximize profit for your gym, all your fitness instructors need to look like they know what they are doing.
In the fitness industry, your physical appearance is the first thing people judge you on, and having your on-site personal trainer in shape will only convince members that they can achieve their fitness goals.
One significant turnoff for gym members is seeing unfit or out-of-shape trainers in a facility. While hiring gym staff, consider what your members’ goals are, and hire accordingly. Even though personal trainers don’t have to be ripped to be successful, it certainly helps.
The bottom line: physically fit staff boosts your members’ faith in your establishment and helps them believe they can achieve their fitness goals
This goes for other staff, like your sales manager and other gym employees. Looking like they workout can only help your gym’s reputation.
3. Working with Unfriendly Staff
Fallouts and misunderstandings are inevitable in human interactions. However, keep an eye out for staff that are constantly quarreling with clients because it’s bad for your gym’s reputation.
An unfriendly atmosphere is bad in all situations, whether fitness instructors are leading group fitness classes or people are just walking up to buy some supplements.
A non-people person has no business being working as a personal trainer in your gym as the career requires interaction with people; it’s one of the core skills PTs require.
If a trainer doesn’t have excellent communication skills and isn’t willing to work on it, you may have to let them go. Rude trainers can affect clients’ participation during workouts and, eventually, the gym’s progress.
4. Hiring Staff Who Don’t Understand Your Gym’s Policies
Before hiring someone, you should ensure they understand the standards and policies you maintain in your facility. For instance, they should be aware of the steps to take in the event of an accident.
Likewise, your staff should be abreast of your gym’s policies on liability waivers, refunds, subscriptions, and discounts, and more importantly, be able to communicate them effectively to clients.
Finding Gym Staff For Productivity and Profit
Any establishment intends to make a profit, and the gym is no different. Now, the good news is that, in addition to proper marketing, friendly and competent staff can increase sales and client retention. Here are some factors to consider for gym productivity and profit.
1. Be Clear on Your Facility’s Staffing Requirements
As a gym owner, it’s essential to understand your establishment’s staffing needs before you start hiring. These needs substantially depend on your facility’s size and the hours you operate.
Do you need a sales manager to help get people in the door? Or is it a good idea to onboard an operations manager because things can get chaotic?
You should also consider security. You could hire a security officer if you are open for 24 hours, but may not need the help if you operate a 9 AM to 5 PM facility.
2. Determine the Kind of Staff You Want
Before you begin the hiring process, establish the caliber of people you would want to work with by creating a baseline. Without a baseline, you’ll end up hiring any Tom, Dick, and Harry, and you don’t want that for your gym.
Great factors to consider include personality, experience, and educational qualification. For example, you may need to hire someone who is friendly and understands the basics of CPR for your gym’s front desk.
You also want to check the qualifications of your trainers, especially if it’s a new gym, since they will be responsible for your members
3. Contact Notable Fitness Organizations
When looking for fitness staff, it’s an excellent bet to notify some prominent fitness organizations that offer certification for personal trainers. You can also contact professional associations to let them know you’re hiring and for recommendations.
With these professional organizations, you can inquire about posting job ads and advertising to their members. This is an excellent option if you’re trying to hire professional trainers with considerable work experience.
4. Contact Trade Schools and Local Colleges Offering Training Programs
If you’re looking for excellent staff recommendations, you can contact learning establishments that offer training programs. In most instances, these schools are enthusiastic about employer contacts because they try to ensure that their students can get jobs after graduation.
For this option, you should be open to working with freshly baked trainers in your gym business and helping them grow, as they’d most likely be relatively inexperienced. This idea is particularly helpful when you’re looking for a part-time employee.
Great ones to consider include the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
5. Involve Your Team in the Hiring Process
Instead of shouldering all the responsibility regarding hiring staff, you should include other team members in this process. They will end up working with whoever you hire, so they will be highly motivated to help you get it right.
The Bottom Line
The kind of staff you bring into your gym could mean the significant difference between growth and stagnation. For this reason, you should be critical when you hire staff – not just personal training personnel either.
Avoid hiring staff who aren’t physically fit unless you’re certain it won’t impact members’ perception or motivation levels. You should also be on the lookout for friendly staff because they will make members feel the most comfortable, which is critical.
When hiring, begin by determining your staffing needs and the type of staff best for your facility. Ask for recommendations from colleges and schools offering training programs. Also, remember to involve your team in the hiring process.