6 Ways to Re-Engage Your Team Before Opening
Jun 23, 2020
We are officially almost halfway through 2020, and like most of you our studio has been closed for more than half of that time. It’s crazy when we think of it.
Currently we are still closed as we await notice from our state authorities about moving to the next phase of re-opening, and sadly, we are seeing huge spikes in NC which makes us a bit worried about opening up right away – even if it is allowed.
And to top it off some of our team members are a bit worried about returning to the studio – some for health reasons and some because they have grown complacent and comfortable in the WFH gig.
Needless to say, there are a lot of decisions flooding our heads as studio owners and it’s important that we stay focused and do our best to continue to lead through this next phase of re-opening.
So….how do you re-engage your team as you start to re-open your studio?
- Communication and clarity – It is important that everyone on your team is on the same page which means overcommunicate every step of the way. Our strategy is that we have a weekly team meeting via Zoom and then individual check in meetings every few weeks with each individual to see how they are navigating their work flow and their readiness for return. We use this face time to communicate our plans, get buy-in, discuss roadblocks and make adjustments along the way.
We also know that clarity is KEY and in order to lead a team we must cast vision and show them where we are headed. We’re finding this especially hard to do right now because the tides are literally shifting every day, but we are keeping our eyes on the big picture - that we are here to serve and to help people and communities lead stronger, healthier, happier lives through personal fitness services. The way we do that may look a little different as we pull through the pandemic, but the vision is still the same.
- Safety – Ensuring safety within your studio is of paramount importance. Show your team the guidelines and protocols you have established and make sure they completely understand them and can follow through with maintaining safety in your studio.
For us, we have instilled many protocols – fewer clients in the studio, socially distanced workout areas, sneeze guard partitions, purchased additional equipment to minimize sharing, created a specific protocol to ensure high touch surfaces remain clean, updated liability forms….and more.
And… we’ve probably forgotten something along the way. Today we are meeting with our management team to walk through the studio and uncover other areas we may have overlooked.
The hive mind is powerful – engage your team to help you create, develop and instill your systems around safety.
- Create a hybrid model – For years we have been trying to get virtual training off the ground… then bam – our team pivots and makes it happen in less than a week when the pandemic hit. And, now that they have learned the ins and out of virtual training this service is here to stay.
Technically you have a new service offering if you are going to continue offering virtual training. This means you may need to evaluate your pricing, your compensation, and your process around virtual training.
Work it out internally and then start sharing with the masses.
- Adapt - This time of slow down has allowed many of us to reflect on what’s important in our lives. Personally, we have enjoyed more time at home with those we love and less rush and hustle and bustle. And our team has too! As you know trainers’ schedules can be complete craziness – working from sun up to sun down. Now that they have been working for home some prefer this slower pace.
Currently we are evaluating how we can help our trainers maintain better schedules – even once we re-open. We don’t have it all figured out yet, but some things are considering is a hybrid approach where they have some in studio days and some out of studio days doing virtual training. We’re hoping this reprieve from some of the long days in the studio will be a win/win for them as employees and the company as a whole as it will hopefully lessen fatigue, improve morale and help create an attractive work environment for world-class professionals.
- Look for new opportunities – Unfortunately many studios are closing down or downsizing which means there are many talented fitness professionals looking for new opportunities. And some wellness pros are looking to re-engage in new ways as the face of fitness changes.
In our situation we have decided to rent a portion of studio to another wellness business owner (massage therapist) who has decided to close her physical location. It’s a win/win because we have the space and the systems in place, and she is looking to downsize and streamline her organization.
Additionally, we are in talks with other allied health professionals who are interested in growing their businesses out of our location.
Keep the conversations going and look for new ways to bring your message to your community.
- Teach your team to market – It’s a fact, that many more people have become more physically active during the pandemic. And new clients are awaiting you when you re-open. Encourage your team to nurture their current relationships AND to get in the habit of asking for referrals and encouraging new clients to engage in your services.
Now that you have a hybrid model there really are no bounds to who they can serve. Continue to teach them and mentor them on how to grow their network and build rapport with new prospects.
Marketing is the job of every team member so make sure they know what services and changes you are making and they understand their role in helping engage new clients.
So…there you have it. We’d love to hear from some of you – studio owners who have already opened their studios. How are you re-engaging your team? What roadblocks are you facing? What wins can we help you celebrate!
Please comment below or email us at [email protected].
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