I once worked for a CEO who I am certain was convinced that he was solely responsible for the success of his company. I do not exactly know where this type of over-the-top hubris stemmed from, but I am predicting that many of you reading this have been associated with someone like that.
The reality is this: Nobody does anything alone. And when it comes to building a successful fitness business, it is impossible to achieve optimal results without a group of people working together and having fun along the way.
Here are three keys to building a successful team:
1. Get rid of the lazy. First, try to vet them out during the interview and hiring processes. But sometimes, we don’t get it right. We all make hiring mistakes from time to time and that’s okay. What is not okay is keeping an employee around who is costing you money and hurting your business. You can try to coach lazy and unmotivated, but trust me, it is almost always not worth it. Cut bait, reload and move on. Let Mister or Miss Lazy go work for you competitor.
2. Treat them all the same, but coach them differently. Once you have a team of motivated and energetic fitness folks, you simply need to figure out their individual personalities and coach them based on that. To keep it simple and applicable for the purpose of this article, let me break it down into four personality quadrants: Energizers, Organizers, Harmonizers and Analyzers.
Energizers are your employees who aren’t the most organized, but like to keep moving and doing. Coach them by setting goals and challenges and rewarding their success with money.
Organizers are your employees who are organized and follow all the rules. Coach them by setting clear expectations and providing as much detail as possible regarding your systems and processes.
Harmonizers are your employees who are the true “people people.” Coach them by being very communicative, open and sincere. In addition, acknowledge them for their ability to communicate and build relationships.
Analyzers are your employees who have a lot of ideas to improve your business. Coach them by asking for their input often and by communicating with them with logical discussions.
To help figure out if your employees are Energizers, Organizers, Harmonizers or Analyzers, send an e-mail to me at email@example.com with “personality” in the subject line and I will get you a code to take a free assessment and a free e-book on the subject.
3. Have fun. If the work environment is too uptight and stressful, nobody is going to perform at a top level, regardless of their personality. The leader sets the tone, so make sure to keep the culture focused on sales and changing lives, but with a fun, upbeat and positive attitude. Start your meetings with a funny story, or have one of your Energizers tell one. Take your staff to the paintball range or the golf course on a regular basis. Remember, people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their leaders.
This doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party to gain their respect. It simply means that beyond the obvious traits of honesty and integrity, employees will do more for a leader who lets them have fun while working hard. And don’t forget that people will never do more than what is expected if they don’t feel appreciated, especially the Harmonizers.
Create a team of hard workers, coach them based on their individual personalities and build cohesion through a culture of fun and group support.
Keep changing lives.
Jason Linse is president and founder of The Business of Fitness, a consulting company. He also owns a personality assessment company called People Plus+ Fitness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 612-310-1319. Visit www.jasonlinse.com.