VASA Fitness, which boasts 50 locations nationwide, announced it received a 2022 Great Place to Work Certification.
According to Rich Nelsen, the CEO of VASA, the certification produces a report called the Trust Index that measures a brand’s culture for things like trust, pride, fairness, camaraderie, respect and credibility with a series of open-ended questions answered anonymously by employees.
This year, 81% of VASA employees said the company was a great place to work. These results were 24 percentage points higher than the average U.S. company that pursues the certification.
“People are VASA’s most valuable asset and while we work hard to create a safe, inclusive, fun environment and meaningful work for our employees, we wanted to hear directly from them about their experiences with our culture,” said Nelsen. “Listening to our employees has been something we’ve really focused on in the past year. We make a concerted effort to engage with them regularly so we are aware of challenges and how we can lead better. It was important to truly understand how these efforts are impacting our employees’ everyday experiences with the Great Place to Work survey.”
Nelsen attributed the successful certification to several factors but namely the brand’s culture.
“We believe VASA has a culture that is unique in the fitness industry,” said Nelsen. “We are in the business of positively impacting people’s lives — our members and our employees — and we’ve created some amazing and extremely successful benefits programs that are unlike any others out there, including flexible time off for full-time employees as well as a parental leave program.”
In addition, Nelsen is proud of the emphasis VASA has placed on leadership development for team members — in particular, women.
“We put a lot of effort into leadership and career development for our employees and are especially proud to say that in the historically male-dominated fitness industry, VASA is leading the way with women accounting for 65% of leadership in its corporate offices and 45% of its field leadership — general managers, district managers, regional directors. Overall, 55% of VASA leadership is female which is a testament to the career development opportunities, support and benefits provided to VASA’s female employees.”
According to Mindi Bridges, the chief brand and marketing officer of VASA, a positive workplace environment is also a key factor.
“At VASA there is a true sense of belonging, acceptance and a welcoming atmosphere,” said Bridges. “VASA is also fun, and employees enjoy the work they do and the positive impact they can have on the lives of others. Collaboration and camaraderie are strong at VASA. Employees realize when we work together, we learn from each other and feel more connected to our results.”
For other fitness businesses seeking a Great Place to Work Certification, Troy Peterson, the COO of VASA, shared the following.
“My advice for other fitness businesses would be to know who you are and who you want to be as a brand in the future — then develop a culture around that,” said Peterson. “Make sure the leadership team lives and breathes this culture and models those behaviors for employees so they understand what is expected.”
Ultimately, VASA is delighted by the Great Place to Work Certification and what it represents.
“We are so proud of these results, but we know our work as leaders never stops,” added Peterson. “We will need to keep listening, learning and putting the work in to continue to be one of the best places to work in the country.”