Show Thanks to Improve Staff Retention
Posted by Katie Zacharkiw

The holidays are a stressful time for a client-facing business, as I’m sure you and your staff know. During this time it’s more important than ever for a business owner to show appreciation to their staff. You can improve staff retention by making sure your staff know that, no matter how crazy things might get, they always have your support. 

Here are a few things you can do to show thanks to your staff and improve retention: 

Tell Them 

Every employee wants to know if they’re doing a good job. So when they are, let them know that you see it. Saying thank you or recognizing extra effort really go a long way in improving staff morale. And the more specific you are about what you’re praising, the more genuine it will seem. 

Tell Your Clients

At a class-based business like a small gym or fitness studio, it’s common for staff members and clients to get to know each other. When you’re recognizing your staff’s success you should feel free to encourage your clients to celebrate them too. This could take many forms, including: 

  • An employee-of-the-month style of recognition, celebrating staff members who have gone above and beyond for their clients

  • A staff appreciation wall, celebrating all your staff and their relationships with your clients

  • Staff recognition in your client newsletters, social media posts, and other communication channels

The important thing is to make the recognition public, so that clients have the opportunity to get involved. In addition to improving staff retention, this type of supportive community improves client retention too. 

Improve staff retention by letting clients show appreciation too

Reward Good Performance

Motivate staff by offering performance-based incentives. This helps with retention throughout the year, but during the holidays when stress is high, it’s especially helpful for staff to know that hard work will reap a tangible reward. The two main types of staff incentives are: 

  • Target-based bonuses. Tied to selling retail, plans and passes, memberships–anything you sell at your gym. Offer employees a bonus if they meet a set quota.
  • Attendance-based bonuses. Offer a bonus if a staff member is able to book 20 clients for their class (or whatever makes sense for your business). 

If you can afford it, a holiday bonus is a morale-boosting gesture for your staff. It shows them that you recognize their hard work, and your appreciation goes a long way during a stressful time. 

Encourage Professional Development

Fitness instruction is constantly evolving, and it benefits everyone if your staff stays on top of current knowledge and trends. It also makes staff feel that you’re invested in their development.

  • Support continuing education. Always encourage your staff to expand their skills and seek out new certifications, and help fund the classes if your able to.

  • Be transparent about internal job openings. Let your staff know when a job opens up at your gym. An employee might be interested in pursuing a promotion, or they might know someone else who would be great for the role. 

No business has 100% retention rate. People move, change careers, etc. But by putting extra effort into staff retention strategies, you can ensure that no one ever leaves your business because they weren’t happy. Making your facility a supportive, encouraging place to work makes the day less stressful for you, your staff, and your clients.


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