How To Create A Positive Gym Culture and Community
Most Gym Owners open their businesses because of their love for the fitness industry. Many have stories of how a gym and its community changed their life for the better, so they set out to create their own.
Once the doors are open, and the members are piling in, how do you create an environment that feels like a community, where members enjoy being around each other and push each other to be better?
In this article we will explore some of the actionable steps you can take in your gym to make sure everyone feels welcomed, and create a strong gym community..
#1 MEMBER EVENTS
The more profitable your gym is, the more extravagant you can get with your member events. (Which is another reason you should be learning as much as you can about how to grow your business) However, even if you don’t have a massive budget, or any budget at all you can still be holding member events, and in fact you should.
Allowing your members to get to know each other outside of a fitness class or from across the gym will create much more comradery and even more reason to stay at your facility. If it becomes more than a gym to them. They are more likely to be long term members by giving them something they can’t find anywhere else.
Some examples of low/no budget member events include: kickball/softball games, potluck at the gym, meet up at a local happy hour, a group hike or walk. If you have the budget, a group dinner, open bar hangout, or holiday party are all great options as well.
If you run internal challenges to your members, an end of challenge party is a great way to celebrate their hard work as well.
#2 SESSION SCHEDULE
The truth is no one likes an empty workout class. In group sessions it’s all about the energy that you create in the room. Having upbeat instructors, a motivating playlist, and members cheering each other is how you create a positive gym culture and community.
The optimal session schedule to create a motivating environment is to have 4-5 sessions per day. Most gyms offer 7 or 8 sessions per day because they think more options will mean more members. However, by keeping only the most popular times you can condense your classes so that they are more energetic as well as be able to decrease your payroll.
#3 NURTURE SHOULD NEVER STOP
Most Gym Owners understand the importance of nurturing their leads in order to make a sale, but communication with members should last the entire length of their membership. If your members feel like you care about them and their goals, they are much more likely to see your gym as a positive environment with a great culture.
There’s never a bad time to reach out and check on your members but we recommend taking daily attendance and checking in on Wednesday with each member who hasn’t been in yet that week. Check in, make sure they are okay, and get them scheduled for a workout before the week is over. Checking in will keep them accountable to their goals, get them better results, and in turn create a more positive gym culture.
We also recommend sending handwritten cards. Adding a personal touch shows your members that they are more than just a number. They are a valued part of a community. An easy way to do this is to have you and your trainers rotate who writes cards each month. Things you could include in your message include: congratulations on reaching goals, props for their dedication, birthday shoutouts, congratulating them on a PR, and anything else you’re proud of them for.
#4 EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
Every business should be striving for this,
but many fail, so what do you need to do to have exceptional customer service? The first thing you’ll need to do is be open to feedback from members.
The best way to do this is to hear feedback from members who choose to leave your gym. Holding exit interviews allows you to hear what could have been better in your service, and possibly even keep the member from leaving.
If a member wasn’t happy with their service, a great offer that works well is offering to train them for free until they reach their goal.
BEFORE YOU GO…
If you own a gym you know how crucial it is to track and understand your data. Check out Gym Dash to see how you can grow your gym with a dashboard designed specifically for you to know the health of your business.