Owning a fitness facility is very different to being a self-employed Personal Trainer. When you’re responsible for a brick-and-mortar facility, you’ve got to think about staffing.
There’s no way you can run a gym or studio by yourself. And extra people mean extra challenges.
Multi-staff management for gym owners
Let’s look at the most common staffing issues facing fitness facility owners, so you can maintain a happy team atmosphere.
What type of fitness staff do you need to hire?
Depending on the size of your facility, you could need a team of back-office staff as well as instructors. The list might include a General Manager, Operations Manager and Social Media Manager. You’ll need cleaning staff (unless you want to do that yourself in your non-existent spare time).
If your gym is large enough, you might have Reception or Front Desk staff, Sales staff, and Membership Managers.
In this article, we'll focus on your fitness professionals staff - full-time or part-time, freelance PTs, and class instructors.
Hiring gym staff for your fitness facility
When you’re hiring PTs, class instructors or coaches, make your expectations clear. The job description should include daily and ad-hoc duties (do you need them to maintain equipment or sell memberships?)
Industry qualifications and experience are a given, but think about the other qualities you want your staff to have. You should strive to hire a range of skillsets and backgrounds, not just for the sake of diversity but to appeal to more members.
Consider writing up a formal hiring policy and interview process as a blueprint for your business as it scales. You should also think about how to deal with staff leaving, especially if they are approached by a local competitor.
Managing fitness staff across group classes and sessions
Creating a class timetable that suits everyone is enough of a challenge. But now you’ve got to assign instructors, manage freelancers, and cope with finding cover.
It should be simple enough to populate your basic timetable with regular instructors. The challenges start when they’re away, cancel at short notice due to illness, or hand in their notice. This last one can be a particular problem for gym owners, because members build a bond with favourite coaches and class instructors. When the staff member leaves, members might leave with them (especially if they’re going to teach at local facility).
Assigning fitness staff to a gym timetable
Take stock of the hours each staff member works and which classes they can teach. Use this information to assign fitness staff to slots, or add sessions to your skeleton timetable.
How to manage staff cover for fitness sessions
One of the biggest challenges facing gym owners is the issue of getting cover for classes and sessions. People get ill and cars breakdown – you need to anticipate last-minute need for staff cover. The question is what do you do about it?
You might have other fitness staff with the right qualifications who are available to cover the class. If not, you will either have to cancel or ask members to move their booking and merge with another class.
Easy ways to get staff cover for fitness classes
Make life easier by using a system that automatically messages available staff members so you don’t have to do it manually. Choose a system that can organise bookings and payments as well!
Managing fitness staff conflicts in your gym or studio
Hopefully your team is trouble-free most of the time. But there will be periods when you face conflicts between staff members or even staff and members.
Multi-staff logistics for a small gym
If your gym is open plan (or you only have one studio), you’ll need to make sure your PTs and instructors can carry out classes and sessions without clashing. Good gym management software will streamline the process so you avoid double-booking.
Resolving conflict between fitness staff and clients
Be prepared for the occasional issue to arise between staff and members. Whilst it’s rare for a member to have an outright complaint about a coach, you might have to deal with delicate issues. Like allocating a client to a new PT (permanently or for a few weeks). And if a member joins your gym and requests a specific PT, you’ll need to juggle staff timetables to fulfil the request.
There’s no need to try and do all these things using Excel spreadsheets or office whiteboards. Good gym management software will streamline everything and automate it for you.
Take a look at Striive – which now has a whole host of multi-staff management features to help you manage staff at your gym or studio.