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With retention being a key driver in the profitability and success of a club, operators are always looking for ways to improve the lifecycle of their members. But, sometimes we forget that member retention starts with employee retention.
If you have been in this industry for a while, I am sure you have had great staff that unfortunately leave at some point. When we lose the rock star instructor, the great trainer, or the favorite person on the welcome desk, we often have an upset member base. Members feel as though they lost a friend or someone that motivated them to come.
Often it is not the club’s or manager’s fault someone moved on, but it is important the leadership of the club communicate to members when we lose a staff favorite. When we lose a frontline team member to their dream job, they graduate from college and move into their chosen field, or if we are lucky enough to have staff retire with us, let the members know the reason and encourage them to congratulate the staff member on their next journey in life.
Here are a few things you can do to communicate to members that the club is losing a great employee, assure those members that the rest of the team is still here to support and help them, and in turn, improve your employee retention.
Announce when staff graduate college and move on to a new job outside the field. Post on a whiteboard in the lobby encouraging everyone to say goodbye to the employee and wish them well. It fosters community.
Host retirement parties with members involved. Allow members to come to the party and wish the favorite team member well in their retirement.
Send an email. Sending an eblast to the membership is a great way to communicate a transition in managers. If there was a well-liked manager, let the members know we are also sorry to see them go and we support them in their decision. Also communicate to members that the rest of the staff are here for them during this time of transition.
Post on social media. Congratulate staff when they move on to their dream job outside the industry.
Follow these steps, and your employee retention will increase, and have a positive impact on member retention.
Andrew Barranco is regional operations and aquatics manager for Merritt Clubs. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.