6 Mistakes to Avoid when Hiring Gym Staff

by | Apr 4, 2022 | Business, Business Planning, Fitness Business Owner, Management | 0 comments

(Last Updated On: September 21, 2022)

Hiring the right staff members is the key to being able to grow your fitness business. When you fill your team with people you can trust and that are willing to be trained for exactly what you need then you can focus more on overall business strategy and leadership. You’ll take yourself out of the day-to-day type tasks and be able to fulfill your bigger business goals. These are the 6 mistakes that I want you to be aware of when hiring gym staff.

Reactionary Decision Making

The worst hires are made when you’re stressed, burnt out, and overwhelmed. You’re in a reactionary state where you feel like you just need someone’s help or you’re going to give up. It’s just a recipe for disaster. You want to be proactive when it comes to hiring. If you follow the Fitness Business Alignment System™ then you’re going to be doing your annual and quarterly business reviews and planning. So that you’re constantly keeping tabs on where you and your business are at. 

If you’re being proactive then you’ll see that maybe you’re doing some activities that aren’t producing a lot of revenue but still need to get done. When you know, as the owner you should be focused on revenue-generating activities. Then you can say “Yes, I need to hire someone to do these specific activities.” You want to be strategic about hiring, always be looking ahead, and never hire out of desperation. It’s only going to make your situation more challenging. So first, get clear, analyze the situation, create a plan and then act. 

No Organizational Chart

The second mistake is that there is no organizational chart. There are no clear positions. Even if you’re a one-person show, you need to start creating an organizational chart. First, so that you know how each position fits into the overall business and your goals. Second, so that you can create clear position descriptions and the new staff members know how they fit into the business. This is going to create a lot of clarity for you and your team as you grow. You’re going to have departments, positions, who reports to who, and where all the resources are coming from and going to. This leads to the third biggest mistake that stops gym owners from making great hires—not having position descriptions. 

No Position Descriptions

Without a position description then there aren’t any expectations being set for your new hire. This is simply creating clarity for you, your team, and your new hire. This also sets out the rules of engagement for each position. Meaning that staff members will know how to interact with your business and each other. They will know who is responsible for what and it allows them to succeed in their role. If you don’t have position descriptions you’re setting the groundwork for chaos and a lot of missed expectations. Also, you have no way to keep your staff members accountable. They can easily say “I didn’t know that was my job.” And they will be right, no matter how many times you’ve told them! Having your position descriptions in writing is the first step in creating accountability.

Plus, your position description will be the first stage of vetting your new hires. You will weed out people that aren’t fit for the position, and invite in the people that will be a great fit for your business. So, if you haven’t created position descriptions then you absolutely need to create them as soon as possible. It’s going to make running your fitness business a lot easier.

Hire People vs Positions

This goes along with reactionary hiring and not having a position description. A big mistake I see gym owners make is that they hire a person without a position description and then create a position around that person’s talents. The first issue is that the business may not even need what that person has to offer. This means they end up doing activities in your business that aren’t moving it forward. The second issue is that if this person leaves, then you have a very specified position that may not be able to be filled by someone else.

For example, you may not want to hire someone to work your front desk and do social media. What are the chances that you will find someone that can do both of those activities in the future? 

You need to create positions that fit what your business needs to grow then find people who can fulfill those roles. Essentially, those roles and the people in them serve the businesses’ best interests. It’s not to say that those people can’t also grow personally and professionally within those positions.

Make it easy on yourself and hire for positions, not specific people. 

Hire on HOPE

Sometimes fitness business owners hire on hope. They hire someone they know that has all these skills and abilities. They think they’re going to help with social media and marketing and maybe have a great network they can draw from to bring in new clients. There is a lot of hoping and wishing in that type of situation. And most of the time, those things do not come true. I like to think… “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” And not to be pessimistic, but you have to think that way to protect your fitness business and your customers. You want to be strategic about everything you do, and even then some things don’t end up panning out the way you planned.

It’s very normal to want to believe in something especially when we’re searching for a solution to a pressing problem. But you want to stay clear-headed. This goes back to doing those yearly and quarterly reviews and planning sessions. So you always have a bird’s eye view of your fitness business and know what it needs from a strategic point of view. This will keep you grounded and help you make good hiring decisions.

Hire the Wrong Position

Oftentimes fitness business owners make this mistake on their first hire. It’s their first time so it’s bound to happen, but it’s a good learning lesson! You want to hire for the right position. Doing those reviews and planning sessions will help you make the right hire at the right time. If you’re looking at your growth, and it’s increasing, you may need to hire another trainer. The mistake would be hiring someone to work in marketing which may leave your new customers without the best service. A great way to get tapped into what’s needed is by talking to your current staff members. Where do they see there is a piece missing? Compare this feedback with the hard data and make a clear decision on your next hire using both.

Everything you Need for Making a Successful Hire for your Fitness Business

If you want the complete training on making successful hires and the tools and templates to create an organization chart, position descriptions, and job descriptions then sign up for the Academy. You will get that and similar training and templates for every aspect of your business. No more collecting free resources from around the internet that aren’t proven to work for your business. No more trying to reinvent the wheel every time you want to add a new system to your business. Simply, login to the Academy, find the training, and put the system to work in your business.

Click here to sign up for the Academy. 

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