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10 Ways to Retain Quality Employees

Dec 19, 2005
Author: Tom Perkins - Business Solutions Coach and Certified Personal Trainer

There is no question that employee turnover has a significant impact on the financial performance of an organization.  It is estimated that, on average, a company will spend up to one-third of a new employee's salary to replace a departing employee.  There are experts who believe the costs for membership-based businesses such as health clubs could even be higher.  In the fitness industry, employee turnover has a recognizable impact on a club member's decision to renew or discontinue a membership. 

Here are ten things fitness professionals and health clubs can do to retain their quality employees:

  • Provide employees with a clear set of standards before the employee sets foot on the floor.  Do not make and employee 'guess' or speculate about what you expect them to do.   This wastes valuable time and increases their frustration level.

  • Provide a comprehensive on-the-job training program.  Take the time to train the employee on each aspect of your business.  It may take time, but this investment will elevate the employee's comfort level and provide you with a well cross-trained employee.

  • Provide employees with a genuine role model.  As a manager/business owner, you have a responsibility to set the tone and expectation for your organization.  If you want your employees to follow it, make sure you are not just paying lip service.

  • Provide opportunities for professional development.  Consider sending employees to training seminars or providing them with other types of educational incentives.  This provides for individual growth and brings added benefit to the organization. 

  • Provide ongoing feedback.  Do not wait until review time to praise an employee or to point out potential areas of concern.

  • Provide employees with appropriate forums to express their ideas and to voice their concerns.  Consider setting aside a portion of your staff meetings to brainstorm new ideas or to address concerns.  Make sure the forums are non-threatening and conducive to constructive discussion.

  • Provide recognition and reward.  If an employee is doing a great job, let them know it!  Reward it.  The reward does not have to be monetary.  Consider providing small tokens of appreciation such as cards, flowers, certificates of accomplishments, gift certificates, tickets to movies, concerts, or sporting events.   It's the little things that tell an employee you recognize and appreciate their efforts.

  • Provide employees with an organizational culture that is open, trusting, and fun.  Celebrate your successes and milestones with the people who helped make them happen.   Let them know they are an integral part of the team.

  • Provide open lines of communication.  Whether your organization is doing well or experiencing growing pains, keep your staff in the loop.  By keeping your staff informed, you are communicating to them that they are a valuable part of the team.  In return, most employees will go the extra mile for you.   

  • Provide your employees with respect.  Show your employees that you care about them, not only as workers, but as people.  Practice the golden rule:  do onto others as you would have others do onto you.

If you follow these simple ideas you will start to see an improvement in employee moral, productivity, and retention. 

Tom Perkins is eFitnessTracker's Business Coach, a business solutions coach and a certified personal trainer who leads fitness professionals to profitability.