The countdown to 2017 is officially underway. For health clubs, that means soon your space will be packed to the brim with people looking to fulfill their fitness New Year’s resolutions.
Luckily, there are several steps that can be taken to combat the chaos, and proper staffing is high on that list.
Shawn Stewart, the COO of O2 Fitness in North Carolina, said that his team’s process begins in late October, with systematic approaches to hiring, training and preparing employees for the impending January rush.
He said they prepare for two main scenarios: an increase in new members, and accommodating current members who may not have been in or worked out for a while.
“For new members, we make sure the front desk and sales team members are fully trained and prepared to execute more than what they may be used to,” he said. “We will set each new member up with program design sessions to acquaint them with our facility and with general exercise knowledge so they can feel more confident when visiting.”
Stewart added that O2 Fitness increases supplies like new member packets, welcome gifts, retail and cooler products, cleaning supplies and equipment by 20 to 30 percent in anticipation of the rush.
The club also runs a “no dues until 2017” promotion beginning in December as a way to get new members in early, before the January urgency sets in.
“For current members, we will contact them in December and invite them in for a review visit and program design session,” Stewart added. “We review their workouts, discuss post-holiday healthy eating tips, and put together a workout program for their success.”
He said that strategy works well as people take advantage of the meeting in December in an attempt to avoid the crowds they may face post New Year’s day.
Stewart noted that another critical area of importance during this busy season is cleanliness.
“Each club will perform a ‘club cleaning party’ in December, and all team members are encouraged to participate,” he said of the company’s 23 locations throughout North and South Carolina. “Each area of the club and all equipment receives a deep cleaning and refresh to keep everything looking new.”