As your gym or fitness business grows and expands, the process of finding, hiring and training new staff becomes a significant cost, both in terms of time and money. In order to make the most of your efforts, follow these simple tips, to make the training process productive, and to get the most out of your new staff members.
Take your time
If fitness training teaches us anything, it’s that patience is absolutely integral to any valuable personal development. The same is true for training new staff members! Lay a solid foundation based on shared knowledge, communication and personal accountability. Spell out exactly what your expectations and needs are, and show your new staff members how to meet these criteria. Don’t assume that people are going to see things the same way that you do!
One of the most important things to consider when working in a physically demanding work environment like the fitness industry is the potential for injury. As an employer, you are obliged to provide a safe working environment for your employees, an obligation which extends to provide adequate training in OH&S practices. In addition, there are a number of fire, first aid and evacuation procedures which need to be addressed with new employees – this can amount to quite a lot of information, so make sure to set aside adequate time to work through the material. Failing to train staff in these areas adequately could be a costly mistake down the track, so don’t cut corners!
Train your trainers
Without cooperation within your team, getting new staff members up to speed can be a daunting prospect. Leveraging the skills of your existing team saves a lot of time, and adds value to your staff. If you have staff members that demonstrate a particular aptitude for team member training, consider enrolling them in training courses or seminars to further improve on their talents. As you hire more staff, investment here can save you a lot of money in the long term.
Sometimes, even the most experienced staff members can benefit from refresher courses, particularly on important areas like customer service, or evacuation procedures. When you take on new staff members, this can be a great opportunity for a staff development day! Learning as a team is more enjoyable, and events like these also serve to foster the team spirit that keeps your fitness business running smoothly.
The quickest way to learn is by being ready to ask questions. Sadly, many employers fail to encourage this process, instead fostering an environment where questions are seen as a mark of ignorance. Take the time to emphasise the importance of asking questions to your new employees, and always be ready to provide useful answers. Try not to be dismissive, even if a question appears to be silly or self-evident. Remember, everybody starts somewhere!
Use the internet
The past decade has seen an absolute explosion in the number of training courses available online. From Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificates, all the way up to a Masters degree, there are just so many options out there. Depending on your training needs, online courses may be an affordable, flexible way to train and upskill your staff.
In order to start your new staff off on the right foot, it is important that you demonstrate to them the attitude that you expect. Fitness establishments are by their very nature open and positive places. Your staff should reflect this reality in their work. As the owner and team leader, you should take every opportunity to show your staff how to behave. Lead by example! To further emphasise this point, it is useful to draw up a code of ethics. This document should detail the values and goals of your business, and provide a reference for employees as they learn how to work in their new environment.
Prepare in advance
Before new staff arrive for their first day at work, they should be provided with any necessary documentation. Things like the employee handbook, evacuation plans, manuals or instructions for equipment, and other necessary information should be made available as soon as possible. Most importantly, prepare a training schedule, both for the benefit of the employee, and yourself. This document will outline key training milestones, and provide a rough schedule for training completion.
Working in the fitness industry is fun and rewarding. The process of showing a new employee the ropes can be a great learning experience for all parties involved, so try and make sure you make it enjoyable and memorable. If you’re passionate about bringing new people into the fitness industry, we want to meet you! Fitstop are all about creating futures in gym ownership, so enquire today – https://www.fsfitness.com.au/franchising