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Tips for Increasing Employee Longevity


Employee turnover is costly. According to PeopleKeep, “losing a salaried employee can cost as much as twice their annual salary, especially for a high-earner or executive-level employee.”

With this in mind, it’s important to seek ways to retain your employees for as long as possible — especially those at the leadership level.

Shawna Winters, the vice president of operations at UFC GYM, has been with the company for 9 years. She started out as an Arm Bar employee — the brand’s pro shop — and has since become an integral part of the brand’s success.

Winters explained there are three main keys to her longevity at UFC GYM, outlined below:

Continuing Education and Growth

According to Winters, one of her favorite aspects of working for UFC GYM is the fact employees are supported in their professional growth through continuing education.

“We encourage our team members and coaches to try out new education,” explained Winters. “We have a reimbursement program for any of our coaches to continue their education. We’re also OK with team members working in multiple departments to try something new.”

In addition, staff are encouraged to be creative in their roles for the betterment of the brand. “It’s OK for us to branch out — and if we think there’s something that’s going to be better for our members or team members, myself and other people are able to try those new things out,” said Winters. 

Fun Working Environment

Also key to Winters’ longevity at UFC GYM is a fun working environment.

“There’s never a day that I get up and I’m upset or sad that I have to go to work,” said Winters. “I’m happy with what I do every single day and I feel our team members feel the same way. It’s just a fun environment.”

In addition, the positive impact UFC GYM makes on its members is an added bonus.

“You can help so many people in the clubs — you get to watch people’s lives change for the better,” said Winters. “Take our youth program as an example. Being able to watch these kids come into the club and try out classes, and then you watch them grow into having more confidence and being better citizens in the community — it’s amazing.”

Shining a Spotlight On Employees

Lastly, Winters explained UFC GYM is a great place to work because it recognizes the great work of its employees.

“I have the privilege of working not only with Adam Sedlack, but Derek Gallup as well, and I think they both feel how important it is to make sure you’re always spotlighting your employees,” said Winters. “Whether it’s a front desk person who does great when greeting the customers, or an Arm Bar employee who is always energetic while working — it’s always important to give back to your team members. UFC GYM gives myself and other team members that opportunity to feel appreciated.”

When seeking to increase the longevity of your employees, keep these best practices in mind. 

BONUS: Keys to Professional Success From Shawna Winters

Be Passionate: The most important thing with every job is that you are passionate about what you do. With passion, you can navigate the difficult days and situations. I love going to work every day, I love what I do and what UFC GYM stands for, and I love the passion our team members have for the brand. Always be willing to learn something new and take on new risks and challenges. 

Never Give Up: For me, I never give up. I start each day with a goal in mind and I’m very competitive, and I have learned that in order to succeed I had to be confident and take risks. I make sure to stay the course and be the best version I can be. I am constantly learning and willing to try new things. As one of my colleagues used to say, “You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

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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