Build A Team Of A-Players Who Care About Your Fitness Business As Much As You Do

By Sean Greeley

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Many fitness business owners lose sleep because they’re disillusioned with their team. They lack confidence they can lead their team to do better. They end up stuck handling day-to-day operations while trying to turn C-players into A-players.

For example, one of our clients had built up their fitness business and kept making it better and better. But they eventually ran into their personal limits and couldn’t do any more themselves. So they hired a team.

But when they tried to hand over more responsibility to their team, they hit a wall. The team wasn’t handling their new day-to-day responsibilities and some of the some things they were doing was alarming.

The owners racked their brains to find out how to get their team motivated and excited about the business. But the staff members simply didn’t care about the business as much as the owners did.

The owners held staff meetings and talked about all the things that were happening in the studio to try and get their staff as excited as they were.

It didn’t work. The staff members didn’t take ownership of their actions, and didn’t support the mission of the business … they were even pushing back and complaining.

The owners offered bonuses to the staff for getting results, plus bonuses for supplement sales.

But the team was not performing as they hoped.

The problem with a staff not delivering the goods is a HUGE PROBLEM. The owners in this case couldn’t step out of business, and kept getting pulled in to put out fires and make the day-to-day decisions.

A lot of fitness business owners face this problem–and take months and even years to fix a problem. They blame themselves, they spend months trying to fix a broken employee … or try to “motivate” people. But it rarely works.   

How do you know if you’re in this position?

10 Signs That Your Team Needs Help

  1. Decreased productivity
  2. Conflicts or hostility among staff members
  3. Confusion about assignments, missed signals, and unclear relationships
  4. Decisions from YOU are misunderstood, or not carried through properly
  5. Lack of involvement or straight APATHY
  6. Lack of initiative, imagination, and innovation
  7. Complaints of favoritism or a feeling of separation between STAFF and MANAGEMENT
  8. Ineffective staff meetings, low participation, minimally effective decisions
  9. Negative reactions to the manager/owners
  10. Complaints about quality of service from customers

Key: Realize that your employees will not understand what you understand. What is obvious to you is not obvious to them. The standards you want things to be done by are not the same standards your employees are aiming for.

12 Steps to Get Your Team on Track …

What can you do to turn your team around and get them on the path to becoming A-players who care about the business as much as you do?

  1. Be clear with communication – leave nothing open for interpretation.
  2. Make sure they have a clear idea of what needs to be accomplished – that means who is involved, how they are involved, and any deadlines.
  3. Set the expectation of what results you want.
  4. Explain WHY it’s important to the team to address issues or hit goals.
  5. Explain WHY it’s important to them personally to address issues or hit goals.
  6. Get the team to hold each other accountable.
  7. Set some ground rules for the team – these are the norms you and your team live by. For example, all meetings are mandatory, and you are expected to be there 15 minutes early.
  8. Make sure team members interact during meeting – encourage brainstorming and listening. Give your team a problem and let them come up with the solution. Then you make it policy.
  9. Clarify common goals and purposes. Make the goals clear for the team.
  10. Clarify each person’s role in achieving that goal.
  11. Be attentive to conflict between team members (and you). This MUST lead to constructive, corrective actions. It’s not comfortable, but brushing problems under the rug, or “forgetting about them” only leads to breakdown and further frustrations.
  12. Give praise and reward to the team as a whole. Make public acknowledgment of a job well done and you MUST CITE WITH SPECIFIC EXAMPLES. If you just say, “Hey, nice job,” how much more could that mean to someone if you go into specific detail?

Key: If you do these things consistently create the team culture where people understand what is expected of them — specifically, that you expect great things from them and that they become A-players.

Create the team culture where people know what being an A-player means, and they will create the facility culture and support you and your business beyond your dreams.

The owners in the above case took the above steps and got that team that crushed goals, and now the owners sleep better at night.

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