To show gratitude to your front-line team during this holiday season, use these tips as new ways to thank them for their efforts.
Sorry to break it to you, but this year, a pizza party is not going to cut it. Your front-line team members are showing up despite massive changes in their job, and the weighty expectations we have to get our clubs back up and running weigh heavy on them daily. This year — more than ever before — it’s essential to thank them in word and deed.
Here are a few ways you can show your front-line team gratitude:
1. Be sure they feel safe and supported. Supply appropriate protections for their work environment. If your state or local government is requiring certain safety precautions — wearing masks, temperature checks, vaccination proof, etc. — be sure your team is supported by frequent member communication, clear signage, and up-to-date guidance on safely and confidently enforcing the rules. Be sure they trust upper management to have their back when doing so.
2. Allow adequate and flexible leave. Professional and personal schedules are still in flux; be understanding. As you can, provide flexibility to quarantine as needed, care for family members and, if possible, mental health days. Communicate and update team members as often as necessary and ensure they know your door is open to discuss any unique challenges they may be facing.
3. Treat your team with respect. Hopefully, this one isn’t a new concept. Be sure to consistently treat your staff in a way that portrays your gratitude and respect. Making your employees feel valued and respected each time they show up for their shifts will go further than any annual appreciation party. While this may be an expectation you place on their direct supervisors, it carries additional significance when it comes from the top.
4. A GrubHub or UberEats gift card. Employees like to order contactless, but it’s pricey. Forgo a group party and treat employees to a meal and drink that they can enjoy when and where they want. Dinner’s on the club. Such a small act of kindness will go a long way during our team members’ busiest time of the year.
5. Pay them more. While you may not be able to give raises at a time like this, if you have set aside a budget for holiday gifts of a party for the end of the year, consider foregoing it. Instead, redirect money allocated to small bonuses for your staff. Everyone will appreciate cash and a nice note.
Of course, if the holiday celebration is non-negotiable, think outside the box. Take the team to an escape room, plan an in-person wine tasting at the club or do a scavenger hunt. You might even organize a white elephant gift swap, which can double as a fun ice-breaker for new team members without breaking the bank. Give each employee as little as $15 on a cash card and an intended recipient’s name. Employees can write down what they want or provide an overall theme — like cookbooks or fitness attire — to help make it easier to pick a gift. Then, have everyone unwrap their presents as a group.
No matter how you decide to thank your gym employees, make November the month of gratitude and show them your appreciation. They will be a big part of your comeback story.