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Industry Buzz: The Importance of a Human Element


shutterstock_200321441I’ve written about fitness trackers rising in popularity before. However, the more I use one myself, the more I realize that for many, some sort of human element needs to be present in order to be truly successful.

As you may remember, in March of this year I wrote about Club Solutions’ in-office “Fittest Gladiator” distance challenge, which we tracked via Fitbits and Netpulse. For the first couple of months, everyone in the office was extremely motivated. Almost everyone upped the miles they walked/ran/biked, including myself.

However, six months later, the challenge has lost his previous fervor. In March, everyone in the office participated in the challenge. Now, only about three of us participate each round, which leads me to believe this: Unless you’re an extremely self-motivated individual, fitness trackers alone will only get you so far. For many, a human element is still necessary.

This conclusion brings me around to the importance of clubs providing some sort of human element in their members’ club experience. For many of your members, self-motivation simply won’t lead to their craved results. This is why clubs need to continuously brainstorm on how to get members to participate in club activities that include other members or interacting with staff.

That’s not to say fitness trackers don’t have their place. After all, some clubs have even begun encouraging members to buy fitness trackers to complement personal training. However, the key factor is this: Those members have a personal trainer by their side to help interpret the fitness tracker’s data and provide suggestions for improvement. Although the fitness tracker is providing data, a human is still making that member accountable to the data gathered.

Ultimately, in order to see greater retention, your members need a human element in their experience at your club. And that human element can be found in multiple places, whether it’s bonding with a front desk employee, personal trainer, Group X instructor or other members.

As a result, make sure you’re providing as many opportunities for your members to bond — with a person — as soon as possible. Encourage members to take group exercise classes or participate in personal training. Host social events or seminars.

After all, no other form of motivation works better than accountability from another person.


Rachel Zabonick is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@clubsolutionsmagazine.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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