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What resonates with members when it comes to group fitness or small group training? Is it the diversity of programs, the availability of classes or training sessions, the intensity and perfect delivery of choreography? Or, could it be “the people” that resonates with members the most?
While all of the above are important contributors, at the end of the day it is how exercise makes members feel — more energetic, less stressed, better mentally and physically — every time they go, that wins. The motivation received from their instructor or trainer, and the friendships members have at the gym, resonate more than anything to do with the programming itself.
So why do we focus so much on programming? If you think of programming as a destination for members, and the experience within these programs, classes and training sessions as the journey, then programming is vital to creating the opportunity for members. Often it is said people quit gyms everyday, yet they do not quit their friends, nor do they fall out of love very easily.
With the New Year schedules started, I encourage you to take some time to engage with each of your associates and embrace conversations around a new key performance indicator — one that measures member experience and engagement. Continue to measure participation of course, but I would invite you to measure that as well.
Conducting an open-ended survey early in the first quarter of the year would provide you with some valuable information and a baseline metric to work from. Ask questions that help you learn what motivates your members and keeps them coming to your gym/studio. Ask members for their input, for example, “How can we help support you?” or “What is one tip you would give to a new member starting out with group fitness/personal training?”
Today it is easier than ever to engage with our members.
Mo Hagan is vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro. Email her at email@example.com.