The Elements: Implementing an Inclement Weather Strategy
Inclement weather — whether it’s a hurricane or snowstorm — can cause a huge headache for club operators.
According to Judi Edelman, the director of culture and customer experience for O2 Fitness, that is why ensuring your have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for handling inclement weather is a must. That way, you are prepared for any scenario that arises.
“We’ve developed the SOP from experience over the years,” said Edelman. “And then we use each opportunity to better prepare for the next incident. It’s always a learning process. Every single time we have an inclement weather scenario, we have people take notes that are added to the SOP. That way we’re not repeating the same mistakes.”
At O2 Fitness, which has multiple locations in North Carolina and South Carolina, the company takes a safety-first approach to inclement weather. As a result, communication is key. At the first hint of inclement weather, all leaders jump on a conference call to go over the plan and ensure everyone is on the same page.
“We review all scenarios and rely on our leaders for accurate information to make the best decisions,” explained Edelman.
In case of ice or snow, O2 Fitness deploys its maintenance team to deliver pre-salt and ice melt to all locations. The company’s general managers are responsible for making sure it gets put out in a timely manner. “We also keep in close communication with the landlords that we lease from to discuss our expectations,” added Edelman.
Finally, the communication of closures or delays to members is also streamlined. Staff are provided scripts for a variety of scenarios, and O2 Fitness works with its social media manager to ensure the same script is used at the appropriate times.
When it comes to inclement weather, Edelman added preparation is key. “We’ve learned to be proactive,” she said. “When we know we’re getting bad weather, we have a strategic plan and make sure it’s communicated throughout.”