Earlier this month, 40 health club operators gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona, at The Phoenician Resort for the 2019 Club Solutions Leadership Retreat. The goal? To bring club operators out of the day-to-day so they could network and exchange best practices and ideas in a unique setting.
The 2.5-day event centered around six key roundtables ranging from topics such as technology and the member experience, to leadership and marketing, and more. Following are seven ideas gleaned from each of these roundtables, straight from some of the best minds in the fitness industry.
- Ensuring you’re hiring all-star employees should be a top priority for all health clubs. With this in mind, consider this hiring “challenge” called the “Seven-Day Pass.” Essentially, the idea is to provide a seven-day pass to your club and see how often the prospect comes in and utilizes it. During those visits, you can evaluate how they engage with members and staff. Do they use it? This also allows the prospect to feel what a member feels.
- A second hiring “challenge” is called the “Teamwork Challenge.” The goal is to see if the person is going to jump in and help out — something you’d expect out of any real teammate. Proposed scenario: Have them meet with a service team leader, and have the team leader say, “I’ll get started with you in just a minute. First, I have to move these towels to another room. Once I do that, we can get started.” If the person jumps in and helps, they pass. This challenge can be duplicated across a number of different scenarios and positions.
- As a health club operator, it’s important to identify “memorable moments” that can level-up the member experience at your club. Some of these moments are everyday, some are special, and some are over-the-top. One idea for an everyday memorable moment is designating special parking spaces for moms and moms-to-be.
- Another idea, for a special memorable moment specifically, is taking snow off members’ cars while they’re working out.
- Ultimately, the goal is to identify special or over-the-top memorable moments that can eventually become everyday memorable moments. As an example, Gainesville Health and Fitness used to go above and beyond to escort members to their cars when it was raining. However, they now supply umbrellas free of charge, an example of an everyday memorable moment.
- Along those lines, it’s also important for health club operators to create service-level agreements for your members. For each position/role, what level of service should a member expect to receive? At the leadership level, this involves setting the expectation for each position/role, deploying training and feedback, and follow-up to ensure the service-level agreement is being met.
- As an example, a service-level agreement for a Group X instructor could include arriving 10 minutes early before class time to ensure class starts and ends on time. This would include closing out the class — high-fiving people as they leave, thanking them for coming, etc. If you’re a host and it’s a dinner party, you’re there first and you never leave first. Host the party start to finish.
Of course, these are just a few ideas that came out of the 2019 Club Solutions Leadership Retreat. If you’d like to take part in these discussions in the future, feel free to reach out about attending next year’s event.
Next year’s Club Solutions Leadership Retreat will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage in California, from September 9-11, 2020. Interested in attending or sponsoring? Email Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.