From attracting and retaining new members to staffing solutions, as a gym or studio owner you have a lot on your plate when it comes to the day to day running of your business. Taking a look at some of the obstacles facing fitness business owners, one of the biggest challenges boils down to team management. Rather than succumb to stress and frustration, learn how to tackle these issues head-on and avoid them in the future with the help of gym management software.
Managing your team and solving staffing issues
Managing your team efficiently takes work, and when you’re running a gym or fitness studio, it’s the core of your business. Your trainers and instructors are why your members come back week after week. Their sessions and classes reflect your brand so it’s important to make sure your team are all pulling in the same direction and share your vision. But when you don’t have all your ducks in a row and certain coaches and trainers are moving in their own direction, challenges such as these can occur:
- Lack of motivation. It’s your job to motivate your coaches and team and get them excited for the day ahead. As the leader of your team, not only do you have to have a clear understanding of your team members’ attitudes but how that reflects on your business and customers.
- Miscommunication and overlap. Who is on the schedule? Who is supposed to be meeting with this customer or that customer? Where are you meeting? Easy mistakes can occur when you don’t have the proper system in place to organise your team and have full transparency for who needs to be where, when. A poorly managed schedule can lead to missed sessions, a bad customer experience, and messy refunds. No one wants that.
- Uneven payments and compensation. Whether you pay each of your trainers a fixed amount or pay per the number of sessions and classes they have scheduled, without a strong understanding of how to best compensate your staff and team for their work, not only will they feel a lack in value, but they’ll be frustrated by not being adequately paid for the work they do.
- Customers want to train with certain coaches, but don’t know when they are scheduled. Not only is poor scheduling a problem for you and your coaches, but it’s a big problem for your customers. They come to your business because of you and your team, and it’s not unlikely they’ll have favourites. The inability to see when they can meet with the coaches or trainers they know to give them their best results can further result in not wanting to come at all.
- Bad reputation. Your coaches and staff are a reflection of your business and if word gets around that your team is unhappy, stressed, and overworked, there is a potential that will get back to your customers too. Customers don’t want to choose a business that is under poor management because at some point or another that will begin to affect their experience as your customer. The horrifying fear of a bad review by a member of your staff for a customer to find is something you want to avoid at all costs.
While the obstacles with poor team management extend further than this list, don’t let it grow any longer by turning things around with a better system in place to manage your team.
Why gym management software can help with team management
Before you go searching for complex solutions to get your staffing in order and team under control, here’s a suggestion…give gym management software a try. Gym management software not only serves for a great customer experience but also an excellent team management organisational tool. With features for scheduling, class calendars, reporting, and more, your coaches will be able to avoid any major mishaps and you’ll be able to continue with your day to day without any disruptions between team members and their responsibilities. To see the big picture, here are a few stand out areas where software can solve the problems discussed above.
Simplify your team’s schedule
Fitness instructors and trainers have to be pretty flexible with their hours, and it can be easy to mix up times and dates when you teach a variety of classes and sessions during the day. The last thing you as a business owner need is for one of your instructors to get the time of a class wrong or confused with another day. It makes you look disorganised and you’ll lose memberships.
Gym software management providers are able to offer you and your staff a simple and streamlined solution to this with features for both class and appointment scheduling. Assigning times and dates, venue locations, and which coach will teach each class is a simple process that takes away the confusion of class times for you and your staff. Being able to quickly double-check via their mobile device is an added bonus for coaches on the go, and having automated notifications and reminders about upcoming classes, along with integration to their mobile calendar takes streamlined scheduling to a whole new level.
Assign a space for all your team’s classes
Knowing where a session or class is located isn’t just important for your customers, it’s essential for you and your trainers. Sending a trainer to location A when class is at location B or to the wrong room, doesn’t bode well for simplicity. You want your trainers and their customers to know exactly where their class is going to be. In some instances, the space they will use is entirely dependant on the size of their class and the size of another class running at the same time. There is also the dreaded double booking. With basic spreadsheets or handwritten schedules and diaries, you run the risk of double booking a room or workout space.
Scheduling software can fix this problem with the click of a button. Having an appointment and calendar feature that notifies your teachers of the location of every session, down to the room where it will be held ensures they know where they have to be and you do too. It’s even better when the software comes with a double-booking blocker that prevents coaches to assign the same space to a class at a time. Talk about a system that works for you.
Guarantee your clients get their favourite trainer
Your customers return week after week because they love the sessions they’re attending. There’s no escaping the fact that a big part of that is because they like their trainer. For many gyms and studios, if they offer group sessions, who leads the session depends on that week’s rota. While you want to be confident that each of your coaches and trainers is giving every class their all, there is bound to be a favourite or someone outperforming others.
And while this might be something you want to address internally, as long as your customers can see who they want to book with and view their availability from your website or their booking app, that bodes very well for their customer experience and desired trainer.
Keep track of the most popular trainers and classes
Software reporting tools give you the opportunity to see which of your coaches is performing best based on how often and by how many clients are attending their sessions. You want to know who your highest performing team members are, and you definitely want to see who is struggling. With a system in place that allows you to see which instructors are getting the most attendees to their sessions, you can see where any problems need addressing with your team. It goes back to being open with your staff and building a rapport. Once you know who is getting fewer attendees, you can work with them to address the issue.
It may be that the trainer isn’t the issue at all. If you’re instructors lead a number of different class types, and the rest have high attendance, with reporting about class sizes and attendance records through your management software, you can see which class types and sessions aren’t resonating with your customers and members. It means you’re able to make decisions about whether to change the format of the class or even to cut it from the schedule so you can free up that slot to accommodate more customers for a more popular class type.
Store all of your reports and records in place
Class attendance is one way of keeping track of the popularity of classes but what about all your other key information? Keeping track of all the information you need to successfully run your business without the necessary software is a recipe for endless folders on your computer, or even worse, piles of paperwork. Your reports aren’t just to track attendance.
You need them to track memberships, payments, and invoices. It’s also how you keep track of waivers and customer information forms. This valuable information that coaches can access to make sure they are delivering the best and most personalised service to your customers enhances their experience, builds loyalty, and reflects well for your business. You can’t build this type of quality service without a system that makes it so seamless to organise and manage.
How to manage your staff and team well
Alongside gym management software, there are several ways you can not only boast a successful and positive work environment but ensure your team members are motivated and happy to be a part of your business.
- Good communication — keep your staff in the loop. Let them know about upcoming promotions so they can help you market them to your members. Give your staff regular, constructive feedback. It’s a good way to make sure that you’re all on the same page.
- Foster positive working relationships — ensuring you have a rapport with your staff as individuals and as a group really builds a team’s mentality towards an “in it together” attitude. It also helps to build a rapport among your staff.
- Keep the team happy — a part of fostering a good team mentality is nipping disagreements in the bud. This doesn’t necessarily mean telling people off, but you do have to make sure that everyone gets along on a professional level, so on the odd occasion, you may find you need to resolve disagreements in the workplace.
- Delegate — you work hard and probably want to oversee as much as possible in your business, but you’re not a superhuman (no one is). Handing over certain responsibilities to your team shares the load. Make sure you’re delegating the right tasks to the right staff. They will all have different strengths, so utilise that as much as possible.
- Lead by example — it’s an obvious but important point. If you expect your staff to present themselves and act in a certain way, then you should too. Show them how you expect them to act with clients and members and how they should present themselves at work by doing exactly what you’d expect them to do.
Team management is more than building a staff of hard-working people. In order to keep everything shipshape, you have to be an overseer of sorts. The day to day admin of organising team schedules, salaries, and responsibilities can be a daunting task, but by investing in the right software for your company you’ll be able to streamline all of your team processes with a clear, transparent organisation that will benefit you, your team, customers, and business.
Author Bio: Fred Jéquier works in marketing and partnerships at TeamUp. He has a background working as a content writer and SEO content editor in the travel and fitness industries. Connect with him on Linkedin.