“I joined because I didn’t feel good about myself,” said Dyson. “When I first went, I put my head down.”
That all changed when a GoodLife employee took note of Dyson’s demeanor and said, “You need to get more involved.” They suggested Dyson take one of GoodLife’s orientation programs, which introduces members to cardio, group exercise or a total-body workout. Members can take one or all of the orientations, as many times as they want, at the beginning of their membership, or any time after.
According to Stacey Cechovsky, the general manager of the GoodLife Fitness club in Oakridge, Canada, typically 80 percent of her club’s members participate in one of the member orientations — and most do so at the start of their membership. “It’s critical to their success from the beginning,” she said.
When Dyson first joined 20 years ago, he took GoodLife’s “Fit Fix” orientation, which takes members through a 20-minute circuit of strength training machines that provides a total-body workout in a short period of time.
“The orientation was phenomenal,” said Dyson, explaining that not only was the orientation helpful, but paramount in improving his confidence. “GoodLife is an environment where I have learned to thrive and believe in myself!”
Dyson’s first orientation was over a decade ago. Therefore, more recently, Dyson realized he needed some motivation, as his workouts had begun slacking. So, about three months ago, he asked to be re-oriented through GoodLife’s “Fit Fix” orientation, yet again. “I thought, ‘I need a refresher,’” he explained.
Due to GoodLife’s interest in Dyson and its employees’ encouragement, Dyson said he’s been able to overcome barriers he faced in his life — such as being illiterate, something he suffered from for the first 40 years of his life. “GoodLife gave me confidence,” said Dyson. In addition to overcoming illiteracy, “I now walk with my head up,” he said.
According to Cechovsky, giving members confidence is one of the main goals of the orientations. “It’s all about making someone feel comfortable when they walk through our doors,” she said.
How do you make members feel comfortable when entering your club? Consider creating orientations for different club programs, such as Group X or strength training. And, make these orientations available to existing members as well, in case they need a refresher. Doing so will bring the intimidation factor down a notch, and increase participation.
By Rachel Zabonick