Best Practices for Staffing a Fitness Center

Written by:
Tu Le
October 31, 2023
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While clients are undoubtedly the lifeblood of your fitness center, it is your gym’s staff that makes up the foundational glue that holds everything together. A well-trained, friendly, and professional team will represent your studio in a positive light whenever you are unavailable, helping customers obtain the services they need and turning quality leads into new clients.

That said, developing a great team is far from easy, especially if your business is growing quickly, as opening new locations or expanding the hours and services of an existing facility requires skilled employees. Hiring more staff, though, is only part of the equation. If you want your fitness studio to thrive, you must also retain your team.

With that said, below are some tips on how to retain staff and recruit top talent, as well as an exploration of the role of technology in balancing workloads, avoiding burnout, and creating a frictionless studio experience for everyone.

Identifying Staffing Needs

Before you start your recruitment efforts by advertising positions on job search platforms, you first need to identify the needs of your fitness center staffing model. Start by defining each role and assigning a title to each set of responsibilities. Include the qualifications for each position so that potential applicants know what roles they could be a good fit for, and determine your staff-to-member ratio (perhaps one employee per 100 members, for instance).

You will also need to determine your gross revenue per full-time equivalent (FTE), which compares an employee’s scheduled hours to your full-time workweek. In other words, if someone works 40 hours per week, the FTE would be 1.0, but if they only work 20 hours per week, the FTE would be 0.5.

After you have calculated your total FTEs, divide your gross revenue by your FTEs to determine the ratio between them. For instance, if you have 20 FTEs and a gross annual revenue of $1M, your total revenue per FTE is $50,000. That calculation will help you determine how many FTEs you can take on while still covering operating expenses and generating a profit.

If your staffing needs appear to push the limits of your payroll budget, identify tools that you can use to reduce the need for redundant administrative work. A membership management software like MyStudio, for example, will significantly decrease the amount of administrative work that needs to be performed each week, thereby reducing your staffing requirements.

How to Recruit Qualified Fitness Staff

There are plenty of ways to recruit qualified fitness staff, such as::

  • Listing vacancies on sites like LinkedIn or Indeed
  • Using fitness industry platforms to post positions
  • Attending industry events
  • Partnering with local instructors
  • Leveraging social media accounts

When evaluating potential new hires, focus on the three C’s: Character, Culture, and Competence. A competent candidate with good character and who aligns with your gym’s culture will likely be a valuable addition to the team.

How to Retain Your Gym Staff

Hiring great employees is an excellent first step, but to build loyalty that keeps your top talent around, you will need to do the following:

  • Offer development and advancement opportunities
  • Provide recognition
  • Ensure tasks are aligned with employees’ interests and skills
  • Align business goals with compensation incentives
  • Help staff reach their true potential
  • Exhibit good character

If you want to create a business that people are excited to work with, you must be someone that others want to be around, and to do that, you must exhibit good emotional intelligence, strive to uphold the values of your business, and always invest in your team.

How to Balance Workload and Avoid Burnout

Learning how to retain gym staff is a challenge for many gyms, and though several factors play a role in employee burnout and turnover, overloading top talent is one of the most common. Just because someone can take on more work or handle a broad range of responsibilities does not mean you should overwork and overwhelm them.

Instead, strive to balance each team member’s workload. If someone excels, consider promoting them or giving them a different and more challenging set of responsibilities. Don’t pile on task after task; replace rudimentary work with more dynamic assignments.

Most importantly, however, you must work to provide your team with proper health and mental wellness benefits. Check in with them every now and then to see how they are holding up, and if they have concerns, listen and do whatever you can to resolve them.

How to Use Technology to Optimize Fitness Staff

Combining passionate gym staff with innovative technologies is a recipe for fitness studio success, and fitness studio management software — like MyStudio — provides your team with an entire suite of user-friendly tools.

With its powerful gym automation tools, MyStudio membership management software is designed to support your fitness center's growth and streamline communication with your team.

They can automate redundant tasks, reduce the amount of admin work they have to complete, and better serve your customers. You can also use our platform to communicate with your team, disseminate information, and keep everyone on the same page.

Build a Winning Fitness Center Staffing Model With MyStudio

With MyStudio’s gym POS system, you can reduce the workload on your team, improve morale, and stay connected with your staff whether you are on-site or on the go. Whether you manage one studio or several, powering your business with MyStudio is an easy way to fuel your growth.

To learn more about MyStudio and how it can help support your fitness center staffing model, book a demo or connect with our team today. We look forward to helping you realize your fitness studio growth goals.

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Written By
Tu Le

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