When staff work together, no dirt, trash or mess goes uncleaned.
Keeping your club clean shouldn’t be the job of the janitorial staff alone. Instead, a sparkling clean facility should be a group effort, from the front desk staff to managers and beyond. By doing so, you can ensure no areas, big or small, are missed — earning your club a positive reputation.
That is why Reinier Arocha, the director of sales and marketing for Downtown Athletic Club in Miami, Florida, has no qualms about doing some cleaning of his own. Although it’s not in his job description and the club has its own cleaning staff, Arocha is constantly on the lookout for areas that need to be tidied up.
“The number-one priority is our members, and we need to make sure that a clean facility is available to them at all times,” said Arocha. “Even myself, if I see something on the floor, I pick it up immediately.”
The all-for-one and one-for-all attitude is a hallmark for clubs known for their clean facilities. This includes Chuze Fitness, which has locations in California and Arizona. At Chuze Fitness, cleanliness is even stressed as a part of the club’s training process for new employees.
“It’s part of our culture and selection process,” explained Cory Brightwell, the co-founder of Chuze Fitness. “All new staff members are taken through an on-boarding process that will help them understand and internalize the importance of cleanliness before they even begin their first shift. The leaders in our club are the first to put on a vacuum or grab a rag, and the example they set is the best way we can express the importance of cleanliness at Chuze.”
Although stressing the importance of cleanliness to employees is important, having specific processes in place can make their job easier and prevent areas from being overlooked.
For example, The Rush Fitness Complex, with 23 clubs in Tennessee and North Carolina, has several procedures in place to establish club cleanliness. First, at each location a janitorial team comes in twice a day, for a total of eight hours, and completes a checklist detailing what their team did in the morning and what they did at night. The next day, the clubs’ operations managers complete a walkthrough critiquing every area in the club, communicating with the janitorial staff on areas they think need additional attention.
According to Leslie Daley, the senior vice president of human resources for The Rush, the key to a clean club is communication and feedback. “If the operations manager is having a consistent issue with an area being neglected, they are trained to communicate within the chain of command and consult with the regional manager of our janitorial service,” she said. “They speak on a weekly basis at times and build a relationship, as communication is key between both parties.”
Like Chuze Fitness and Downtown Athletic Club, keeping the club clean is a team effort at The Rush. “All staff are asked to complete hourly locker room checks and the front desk [staff] complete ‘front end’ cleaning tasks during every shift,” explained Daley. For example, front desk staff will clean the windows on the front doors, the top of the desks and check that all areas are clutter free. “This ensures that our first impressions are perceived well.”
According to Brightwell, clubs may fail at having a sparkling clean facility because the correct procedures weren’t put into place at the get go. “Develop specific cleanliness expectations and standards, and then create accountability measures that will allow your clubs to meet those expectations and standards,” he said.
At Chuze Fitness, staff are assigned daily tasks, checklists and inspections.
“We have a checklist that breaks down each section of the day and which cleaning tasks need to be performed,” continued Brightwell. “Once the task is performed, the employee will initial the checklist next to the completed task. Then, district management will perform weekly and monthly club inspections to [check that] the tasks are being completed at the standards we have set in place.”
According to Arocha, boasting a clean club is the top compliment he receives from both prospects and members, and that fact couldn’t make him happier. “We always get complimented on how clean our facilities are,” he said. “It’s very important.”
Daley explained that having a clean facility adds value to your club, a value that may get overlooked. “A consumer is more likely to join a club that is clean and is more likely to stay if a club is clean,” she said. “We show our members that we care about our facilities enough to invest additional revenue in a janitorial service to ensure a constant focus on keeping our clubs clean.”
Although there can be challenges in keeping your club in tip-top shape, if you make the challenge a team effort, that challenge can be overcome.
“We teach our employees that we play a major role in keeping our clubs clean,” continued Daley. “We ask that each club management team pick an area of their club every week to detail. This helps us do our part in [assuring] we contribute, in addition to our daily janitorial staff. This shows pride and ownership and is a practice that many teams put in place.”
By Rachel Zabonick