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organizational theory

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3 Things On Hiring Your Next Coach

Hiring and more importantly, knowing when to hire, has been something I admittedly struggled with early on as a Manager. Over the last 18 months and two hires later, I’ve gone 2 for 2 with both Coaches exceeding all my expectations and both have asked for, and successfully taken on, more responsibilities within the health club.

I wanted to highlight three of the common factors that I think have lead to the hiring process being a (smooth) success…

1) Have your entire staff interview all hiring prospects

Like many gyms, we aim to hire exclusively from our internship pool. Well, one Coach came from our internship program, and one coach didn’t…what did they both have to do?

For each hire, we sat as a staff and talked pros/cons and assessed if we NEEDED to hire a Coach. We sifted through scenarios, our personal schedules, and ultimately came to a conclusion that yes, we did need someone. During this process with our existing staff, I think it helped everyone realize the ROLE of the new hire, what they would be doing, and how it would POSITIVELY effect the current staff.

The next thing we did was a group interview. The entire staff interviews all prospects. We then meet as a group after and discuss. If the person is worthy of the next round, great.

What I’m getting at is this. Make sure your existing staff is involved, this is a how the melting pot of gym culture starts to unfold. Both new Coaches blended right in and built up what we currently had.

2) Hire for need, not for luxury

Similar along the points made in the first thing, make sure you, the manager, knows exactly WHO you are trying to hire. I don’t mean WHO as in the person, rather, the type or kind of person you need. For example, we hired our first Coach because we were looking for an Athletic Trainer to improve on an emerging sports medicine role. We hired our second Coach because we needed a personality to mesh with our youngest development program. By knowing what and where your NEEDS are, you’re able to add complimentary pieces, know how those pieces fit, and start them immediately.

Bonus tip- this process also empowers the new hire. New hires’s are the new kid in school. If the new kid knows exactly what and why they are there, they now can take on ownership of that role OR if they don’t have an interest in that role, you can fizzle them out during the hiring process.

3) The first 30 days are the most important

I can not stress this enough. When you pull the trigger on expanding your staff, YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT COACH!

Seriously.

Make sure before you even think about expanding your staff, you have your on-boarding systems outlined and ready to go.

Things to consider…

  • Facility walk through- highlight the flow of traffic as they come in and out of the facility

  • How to greet clients, how to close out a session

  • Training systems- break it up- training, customer relations, etc. and how much TIME is devoted to this learning process.

  • Teaching your programming system - do they need to have a baseline understanding of anything?

Most important thing- ASK your Coach what a successful first 30 days looks like- this will give you the road map!


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7 Lessons in 7 Years: Part 2- Leadership & Management

One of the first things I was told after graduating from college was 'Don't blink, time will go faster than you want it too". Boy oh boy has that been true more than ever. 

7 years bringing much more than 7 lessons. Part one talked about coaching, part two is up next with all things leadership and management.

Enjoy!

4) A well conducted meeting schedule can change your business

At the end of 2017 I would have openly told you that meetings where the worst part of my job. I absolutely couldn't stand them. Trying to be productive on this negative aspect in my day to day, I bought the book "Death by Meeting" by Patrick Lenccioni and figured out how to conduct and participate in these meetings better. 

By being prepared, issuing agendas, gathering minutes, implementing timely follow up with objectives (set by the agenda or spoken of at the meeting itself) it made these meetings that I once hated so much a true necessity to a successful organization. 

Earlier this year (check it out here) I  wrote about how our facility spent over $1000 in staff development. 100% of that expenditure was in meetings and coaching in-services. Through quarter one we were at 137% of our revenue projections. We met on Monday's to talk operations and correct and adjust our systems and we would meet again on Friday mornings to talk all things Coaching Development. 

Why?

Because well placed, timed, and directed meetings is how an organization speaks to itself internally. Meetings are like the voice inside your head...but instead of it being YOUR head, it's inside the living, breathing walls of business. 

5) What do you want 'work' to be for you?

I've started asking this question in the last two reviews I've done with our staff. Quite frankly, I'm pissed I never asked sooner. Most people spend the bulk of their day at work with the other bulk of their day sleeping and resting to go back to work. If you're going to spend a considerable amount of time at work (for fit-pro's this can be north of 10-12 hours per day) it is managements job to ensure that the culture and environment in place meets the expectations of the staff. 

Everyone wants different things. Some people want to collect their check and go home. Some want to spend every available minute soaking up the coaching and training environment. Some head home only to open their laptop and pick up where they left off at the office. 

From a leadership perspective, I want to know what each of my Coaches want out of their place of employment so I can better establish a culture that meets their needs. 

6) Know how your employee's want feedback

This is another piece that the crew at Strength Faction showed me. The crew at BSP Nova use this question in their client intake form (great question) and I use it with my Coaches in our coaching meetings. 

Why? 

As a leader I want to be able to put my staff in their greatest positions for success- feedback (critical and positive) included. Knowing who wants to be told their feedback face to face, who wants to get coffee and talk more in depth, and who wants direct, in the moment, feedback is critical to my ability to mange and direct not only the development of staff, but the quality of service we provide to our clients. 

Part three of this blog series comes with the biggest lesson I've learned to date...it's coming REAL soon!

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