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A Positive Outlook: COVID and Retention

Positive Outlook

Andrew Barranco, the regional operations manager at Merritt Clubs, shares how to have a positive outlook with COVID-19.

The word COVID likely elicits a lot of anxiety and negative thoughts. We have come to know it as a society health and safety concern. Professionally, COVID may remind you of the challenges gyms are having operating and running our clubs, and it brings a negative association to 2020.  

What if we retrained our reaction to the word COVID? What if when we think of COVID, we do not think of all the unknowns with the virus and safety risks, but looked at the word in a positive outlook? This acronym can hopefully make you think of COVID a little different.   

COVID Acronym:






Care: If nothing else, the experience allows us to show how much we care about our members. We showed we cared by our actions; like checking in with members even when not being billed.

Opportunities: Opportunities exist in our industry right now, from virtual fitness to increased childcare services and programs. Many members of the community who otherwise would not be looking to join a gym are now looking for fitness solutions in our clubs.

Value: COVID became a reality check to give many clubs and operators a chance to show their value. It also allowed us as individuals to show our personal values, whether it be staff or members. The best and worst of people was made clear.   

Integrate: We still have first impressions to make and create. Now more than ever having a solid, safe integration plan for new members is important for future retention. Make your club their third home. 

Develop: Throughout this process, we have done more developing of our staff. We understand members’ concerns and fears, and are developing safe ways to continue to operate. We are learning and growing as individuals and as an organization to develop our service to meet our community’s needs. 

I hope this acronym helps you think with a positive outlook during this period and will assist you in your continued retention efforts. 

Andrew Barranco

Andrew Barranco is the regional operations and aquatics manager for Merritt Clubs. He can be reached at abarranco@merrittclubs.com.

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