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The Staff Change Equation

Staff Change Equation

The hardest thing about running a club is staff changing the game plan once the club is at maturity.

Human nature states that rhythm and routine win every time, which makes it hard for executives to introduce a new initiative and expect the team to run the new play.

Consider the staff change equation (pictured in the sidebar below). With just one piece of this equation missing, the change management effort falls over.

› Without vision, you have staff confusion.

› Without skills, you have staff anxiety.

› Without incentives, you have staff resistance.

› Without resources, you have staff frustration.

› Without action plans, you have false starts.

So when introducing a new program, platform, initiative or play, be sure to list out your actions for each component of the staff change equation.

Vision requires you to map out what the future looks like, what problem will be solved and what outcome will be achieved. With this step, you are essentially painting a future state in a tangible way before it happens. Use emotion and logic even handily.

Skills may require online learning or group role playing. Building a skill set in the club staff is critical before expecting them to act. Set them up for success, not failure.

Incentives make the world go around. You will need to fold the new program into a bigger incentive structure so the correct amount of attention gets applied. At this point, you need to be cautious not to cannibalize the other programs you are pushing. I encourage you to spend time on this, and for new initiatives I encourage you to set a structure for just one quarter, as adjustments may be needed.

Resources such as inventory, marketing collateral, uniforms, a help line and support marketing materials are going to be crucial to your business. Without the resources set prior to launch, you will be sure to create frustration among your staff.

Action Plans need to be created prior to launch. Every initiative needs a one-page plan, either for one month or one quarter. The plan should be physically posted on the wall as a play sheet for everyone to follow. If the play needs to be adjusted, revise the one-pager and let everyone know. Each action plan needs tactics and smart goals so that the team knows if they are winning or losing, and if they are progressing at the correct rate.

Good luck with your next initiative, be sure to consider the staff change equation, and be thorough in your management. In an industry where unique selling points are not so unique, this is a key way to beat your competition.

The Equation 

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Action Plan = Staff Change


Emmett Williams is president and co-founder of MYZONE. He has built and scaled five fitness businesses over the last 15 years and has directly operated in six countries. Williams believes that systems run business, but people run systems, and a focus on people and process can be as much a competitive advantage as price or product. He can be contacted at emmett.williams@myzone.org.


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