7 Tips for Better Team Communication in Fitness Centers
Posted on September 8, 2017 by Kristin Proctor
Smooth team communication in fitness centers could make the difference between an establishment that thrives and one that fails. Group texts sent to employees are convenient, but limitations in message length and group size could prove frustrating. Plus, sharing employee phone numbers raises privacy concerns. These realities exist whether you’re managing the team of a bigger franchise location or a smaller gym. Keep reading to discover several ways to encourage effective team communication in your facility.
1. Be Transparent
Building an environment where team members trust each other and trust you is crucial for avoiding communication breakdowns. You can facilitate a greater level of transparency in any establishment by instituting an open-door policy and making sure employees know what that means for them.
Transparency is an essential ingredient that lets people know you mean what you say and aren’t speaking merely to pacify them. Honesty and clear communications are key parts of transparency. Make words and actions match, whether you’re trying to encourage the team before a busy night shift or you are one on one with a new hire during the onboarding process.
2. Discuss Things in Direct Ways
It’s a lot easier to enforce rules and expectations that are both written down and verbally communicated to team members. Being direct in the way you communicate is useful because it helps avoid ambiguity. You may even want to publish team-wide announcements to make sure everyone’s on the same page for all fitness center team communication matters. Doing that is easy if you have a centralized tool like the Crew app.
3. Realize Some Team Members May Not Use Email
Some people depend on email or phone calls for their communication, but most people nowadays simply don’t. The main downside to emails is potentially long delays depending on how often people check their email. That makes it super slow to distribute information plus you never know whether someone reads the email or not. Younger generations are gravitating towards texting or chatting on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. While these communication methods are simple and responsive, they have similar drawbacks to texting. Regardless, the best way to streamline communications throughout your fitness center is to choose a team-wide communication method. After picking it, assist workers in getting acquainted with its various features.
The Crew app has a user-friendly interface that’s compatible with iOs and Android. It’s a wise choice for building a high-performing team and making sure important communications don’t get buried in inboxes that are rarely or never used.
4. Treat All Employees Equally During Communications
While managing your fitness center staff, you should identify some standards that define your practices. Make sure to uphold those standards during all communications with staff. For example, if there are two people who violate a fitness center policy in the same way, speak to both of them promptly and deal with the issue identically. Otherwise, those people might speak to each other and find out you didn’t treat the problem in a uniform way. Depending on the specifics, this kind of shortcoming could lead to lawsuits that make accusations of discriminatory practices.
5. Talk to Team Members Individually
Team huddles help encourage a collaborative spirit among fitness center employees, especially at the start of busy shifts. However, you also need to set aside time for one-on-one chats with team members. There may be specific things about particular team members that dictate how you facilitate communication at the business. If a person has hearing loss in one ear, you need to get in the habit of always approaching that individual to talk to him or her from the unaffected side, and encourage colleagues to follow suit.
During these personalized team communication efforts, you may also be told about things that could make it harder than usual for some team members to show up to their scheduled shifts. Perhaps a team member lives on a farm at the top of a long driveway and knows it is often difficult to maneuver a car out after a heavy snowfall. Or, maybe one of your fitness center workers has a child with a rare medical condition that requires frequent, spontaneous trips for emergency treatments.
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Both of these examples could cause problems if you don’t think about how to handle them in advance or aren’t even made aware of them. However, once team members disclose things like this, you can then start planning what to do if they aren’t able to show up for shifts at the last minute. Fortunately, a dedicated team communication and scheduling app like Crew spreads information to all team members at once, so it’s easier to fill shifts without delay.
6. Be Aware of Your Nonverbal Communications
Poor nonverbal communication could derail all your efforts to discuss things with team members, especially if your body language does not match up with what you say. Think of how odd it would look if a team leader said, “Come on, everyone, let’s get ready for an exciting night shift!” but uttered that statement with slumped shoulders and a downcast gaze. Even the most dedicated employees would probably raise their eyebrows dubiously after hearing such a command and noticing the associated body language.
7. Distribute Information in a Uniform Manner
Keep your fitness center team as informed as possible by making timely announcements in a dedicated place, such as the Crew app. This method is also useful for coping with anticipated team scheduling difficulties related to sick team members, or other situations that make people not show up for work. You might say something like, “Can anyone help me cover two shifts this Saturday? We’ll probably be extra busy because of John being sick, so I’m preparing beforehand.”
By trying these tips, you’ll be on a path to team success. Don’t forget to also download the free Crew app and let it help you have clearer, swifter communications.