How Do You Improve Member Experience? – 10 Cost-Free Ways to Improve Your Staff

Anna Welsh

10 Cost-Free Ways to Motivate Your Staff and Solidify the Member Experience 
A Motivated Staff Doesn’t Require a Budget

We’ve all seen it.

Employee Steve strolls into work late, uniform wrinkled, forgot his nametag, isn’t greeting members, and is actively avoiding eye contact. Understandably, it’s a cause of dissapointment. The customer experience and the level of service your employees must strive for are often what makes the difference betweeen a failed club or successful club.

In these situations, I find that a bit of introspection is the best way to get to the root of the problem. How often do we ask ourselves, “How and when did this employee begin to behave in this way?” or “Am I doing everything in my power to create a motivating work environment?”

Truth is, hiring stellar employees isn’t always an exact science. It’s a little bit of luck with a decent amount of discernment. But what we CAN do is consistently strive to elevate and foster a desire in them to be better.

Here are 10 cost-free, and easy to implement, ways to motivate your staff – every day:

1. Your Attitude Sets Their Altitude. 

Enthusiasm is contagious! Be sure to check your emotional baggage before     entering the gym. If you address your staff with a sincere, energetic smile and greeting every time you walk in, it will set the tone for them to respond to you and, in kind, greet others in a similar manner.

2. Barter for Food.

Every gym is close enough to a deli, restaurant, or coffee shop whose owner or manager would gladly barter a few morsels for a membership. Happy stomachs, happy people! Make a random day a pizza day!

3. Make Them Feel Appreciated.

A top motivator in any work environment is feeling appreciated. Set a goal to thank your employees, every day. Be specific in your acknowledgement so they know you pay attention to their efforts. Be personal, be direct – it is important for your staff to know their value.

4. Get to Know Who is Working for You.

Be setting aside a few minutes every week to learn about your employees, you will better understand who they are and what motivates them. By developing a solid rapport with your staff, your employee retention will increase.

5. Hold Contests.

Competitions in a friendly environment strengthen bonds between employees. Post stats, results, photos that emphasize the fun and celebration of the victories. Everyone likes to win, in a gym setting the odds are greater that you employ even more competitive individuals! When done right, competition is healthy. It helps your staff make each other better.

6. Cross Train.

Employees will be more valuable to your organization, supportive, and willing to help each other if they truly grasp the roles and responsibilities of others. Just a couple of hours in someone else’s shoes can make a huge impact in how they relate to one another.

7. Constantly Educate.

Explain why things are done in certain ways so employees understand and respect protocol and processes. There’s no reason for an employee to not know how to do one thing or another. Regardless of how minimal a task may be, it’s always important to push the knowledge of your business unto your staff.

8. Create Themes and Mantras.

Motivational quotes, fund raising, dressing and decorating for seasons and holidays help to create cheer and set expectations for employees and members to participate. Things like these motivate people to show up the next day. Having a place that allows your staff to feel at home in, is vital for your success.

9. Smile When You Dial.

Place small mirrors by your phones so employees can see their expressions when on the phone. A person who is smiling has a warmer intonation than someone who is not. 

10. Give Up the Wheel.

Allow employees to lead a staff meeting – giving them an opportunity observe, think about and enact ways to rally a team. This is incredibly important. Just like letting your child go when he pedals a bike… it is important to understand that letting go of the “wheel” is necessary for your staff to grow in their respective positions. It allows them the freedom to succeed and, even if they make a mistake, gives them a learning opportunity.

Invest in software training. Invest in your staff. Invest in yourself. If you want your business to grow, if you want to retain members, if you want to stay ahead of your competition, treat yourself like a doctor or a teacher and get back to school.