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Support Your Team

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As we all ramp up to get our clubs back in operation, our team members are handling things from all sides — on the home front and professionally in the club. They are sometimes working with less staff and less resources, and may be wearing different hats than they did before the shutdown with staff reductions.

They are trying to coordinate with staff who have not been in the club in quite some time and have other obligations or virus-related issues to deal with before they return to work. In addition, they have their own family’s situation of health, safety, employment while kids are not in school, or possibly caring for older relatives. 

As they balance all of this coming back to get the club open, help support them.

Be a sounding board as they go through these unprecedented times and are making decisions, schedules and budgetary decisions in their department that have not been done before. Assist with tasks you would normally not handle, like the procurement of much-needed supplies and inventory where you can. Help them navigate the new Department of Labor leave laws and guidelines. Work with your contacts in the local community of suppliers, chamber members and business leaders, as well as fitness industry suppliers and other operators.

Hopefully you are already using your network of club professionals around the corner and around the country to garner new ideas, best practices and lessons learned. Share those takeaways with your team as they develop your reopening protocols. Forward them to webinar recordings (like the ones from Club Solutions and Rex Roundtables) that are available so they can get ideas of what other clubs around the country are doing. Remember to pick up those magazines coming to your mailbox that have golden nuggets spread throughout them.

When you reopen the club, be on the floor for your department managers, front-line team and club members. Things will be different — equipment may be rearranged, and some amenities will be unavailable. Be there to answer questions, uphold new policies, and work through the unknowns that will pop up. Together you will find the right solution for your team and members. 

Be at the club in the early morning to support the openers, as well as in the late evening and weekend hours when some department managers may not be there. Help this by spreading department managers out over the week so you always have a couple key leaders on the floor and available for questions when there are so many things changing for your management team, front-line staff and members.

Encourage your team to take care of themselves as these are trying times and the pressures of the pandemic are all around us. We want them to focus on self-care and health by getting enough rest, exercising, and using the club as a respite.

These are new times for all of us, and there aren’t a lot of right or wrong answers. Show up every day, prepare as much as you can, and do your very best to follow up with your team and support them.

Remember, reopening your club will be the best day your team, members and you have had in a long time — make it count. And your team, members and community will support you right back.

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Marvin Gresse

Marvin Gresse is the assistant general manager of Stone Creek Club & Spa

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