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How To Find & Keep Good Staff

It is not the facilities that make a fitness centre, it is the feelings that your staff generate. This is why sourcing and keeping good staff should be a number one priority for every club owner/manager.

1. Find Them

Always plan for attrition; never just wait for it to happen. Constantly be on the look-out for people who have the potential to make good staff, even if a position is not currently available. Happy, friendly, approachable people should top your Most-Wanted list, because job skills can be taught but personality cannot. Other qualities include a positive attitude, honesty, hard worker, enthusiasm, and an ability to show initiative and be self-motivated.

Never neglect checking references, even if know the candidate well. Contact the main referee given by the candidate but also ask for another referee that is not listed on their resume. Good questions to ask the referee include ‘what are the candidates’ positives?’ ‘What is one skill/quality the candidate needs to work on?’ ‘Why does the candidate need to work on this?’

Your existing staff members are a good place to start looking for potential candidates. Include job advertisements in the pay packets of your employees or display in the staff room. The advantage of recruiting internally is that you don’t have to worry about whether they will fit into your club culture and way of doing business.

2. Train Them

It’s expensive to train people, but it is more expensive to not train them and have them leave, then not train them and have them stay.

All staff, not just sales staff, should know about the eight-step selling cycle: prospecting, initial contact, qualification, the tour, price presentation, overcoming objections, closing referrals. When people understand the overall picture they feel pride in their knowledge and are more likely to become informed advocates for your club. Also have your sales staff tour and present to the instructors, and have the instructors train the sales people. When each experience’s the other’s jobs first hand they develop a healthy respect for each other and are more willing to work as a cohesive team.

Remember that training will not work unless it is fun. Take the example of role pays – most people hate role plays but they are an essential part of the training process. Try to think up fun role plays that will get a good laugh before you launch into the more serious work-related ones. Here’s an example of a role play around the topic of asking someone to buy you a cup of coffee.
Steve: ‘Fifi, can you buy me a cup of coffee when you go out?’
Fifi: ‘Well, I have to think about that Steve’.
Steve: ‘Well I understand that, most people would have to think about it. Tell me, what do you have to think about – is it going there, or is it paying for it?
Fifi: ‘Both really’
Steve: ‘Of the two, what do you think would be the greatest barrier?
Fifi: ‘Paying for it’
Steve: Paying for it, well if I paid for yours and mine at the same time, would you be happy to get it?

3. Keep Them

Hiring and training staff are important steps, but equally important is making sure you keep them. So how do you do this? The solution is surprising simple – give them what they want! When was the last time you asked your staff what they need to be successful and happy at their job? Many businesses never find this out, or find it out when it is too late and the employee is leaving. When you hire staff you need to find out what makes them happy and then every quarter ask again to make sure you are providing these things. Use the following survey; simply include it with your staff’s pay slips every three months.

Rate the following on a scale of 1-10 according to what makes you happy.
10 being the highest:

__ Money
__ Recognition
__ Security
__ Opportunity
__ Excitement
__ Need to belong
__ Need to communicate
__ Need to be led
__ Concrete goals and objectives
__ Need to contribute

Now, on a scale of 1 to 5 rate how satisfied you are in your job with each category: 5 being the highest:

__ Money
__ Recognition
__ Security
__ Opportunity
__ Excitement
__ Need to belong
__ Need to communicate
__ Need to be led
__ Concrete goals and objectives
__ Need to contribute

Recognition, excitement and opportunity normally top the scale for what makes people happy, with money generally coming in fourth or fifth. If the two scales don’t match up, for example, if recognition comes out as the number one feature that makes someone happy, yet it receives a rating of 1 or 2 in the satisfaction, you know that staff member is on their way out the door!

The survey results provide you with the opportunity to turn this around – ask your staff member what you need to do to increase their satisfaction level in each category. A staff member wanting more recognition, for example, may simply want a public thank you, a handshake or a gift or bonus. A staff member wanting more opportunity may need to be given a mentor and a strategy put in place to start training them in new areas of the business. If you can’t deliver on a request put to you by your staff, instead of dismissing it, look for alternatives. People need to feel as though they belong and are valued, so as a manager your ability to listen, give feedback and take action is very important.

Join Steve’s (Dr J’s) FB Group, where he does weekly live coaching. The groups name is The Impact Sales Success Club

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About Steve Jensen

Steve is Managing Director of Impact Training Corporation, a company specialising in sales, sales management and communication. If you would like to like to speak to Steve please book in your preferred time in his calendar. https://impacttraining.agilecrm.com/calendar/steve_jensen

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