One of the questions that health club owners ask me regularly is, “How do I hire the right front desk person?” While that is a great question, interestingly enough I have never been asked by a front desk person “How do I know which health club to work for?” I’m hoping my answer to that question might help you be that employer of choice!
My answer starts with a club that provides its employees with a proper job description along with clear and concise expectations of performance. Additionally, I would suggest they look for clubs that support their development with initial and ongoing training. Unfortunately in most clubs, these three key components exist in a limited form at best. Far too often, however, the expectation of the employee is as if they existed and are implemented as they should be. It continues to amaze me when I see young front desk staff put into critical, member facing positions without crystal clear understanding of what is expected and no training on how they are expected to act and treat members.
It is possible as a club owner or manager to have a good, maybe even a great, employee without these three key elements but the odds are against you. In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever that your front line people are properly prepared to service your member. A well prepared employee is your best chance to separate your club from your competition. It is not only up to you to hire an employee that brings the right social skills for the position, but also to make sure they are clear about their jobs, your expectations for them, and receive the necessary training to be successful.
So the next time you see a front desk employee not interacting with a member in the way you want them to, ask yourself if you have set them up for success OR failure? It’s critical for you to realize that training and preparation are ongoing processes that don’t come with an end date. Remember, if you aren’t prepared someone else in your market might be.