Have you ever walked into a place where the vibe just feels right? All the staff are happy, the atmosphere is inviting and exciting. You leave feeling good! This may have been a fitness business or another type of establishment but these all have one thing in common, their team is strong!
Creating a strong team is essential for many different reasons, of which we will explore throughout this article. From customer satisfaction, word of mouth marketing and client retention, these are just a few of the factors to consider when developing a team to work with.
Successful workplaces do not just happen. There are key processes that play into the formation of strong teams and outcomes. At the core of the business are key values that every team member is aware of and plays to each and every day they put on their uniform. These key values are one goal that the team work towards. There is passion, excitement and a real drive to make a difference. Not to mention that everyone wants to succeed in this journey.
So let’s start with the team. Why is it important to select the right people for your team and how does this impact your business?
Think about the time you have worked with a family member or friend. This may have been an easy or convenient option at the time, but what was the work ethic like?
Oftentimes, the easy option is not the right one. And when it comes to selecting the right people for your team, time and care should be taken to make sure they are the right fit. The interview process is just one important step in setting up your team for success. Before you go out selecting the next legend for your team, first we need to determine what the role is and what qualities and skills this person is going to need.
Take time here to know exactly what you are looking for in the role and then the qualities in the person to fill the position. Are you looking for a personal trainer, a potential manager, someone to promote over time? What skills do they need? Advanced programming and screening? Outstanding communication skills? What level of qualification are you looking for? All of these are questions that need to be answered before even advertising the role.
In her blog, 10 tips for choosing effective team members, Alexandra Hayes  gives ways in which to choose the best candidates to join your team. Tip number four is ‘hire the best fit for the role’. She notes that there should be never an exception to this clause. And I agree. Over the years I have interviewed many individuals for varying roles, always knowing exactly what hard and soft skills this person needs to have in order to fill the position and be a part of the team. This is where it can get tricky however. At times, interview and applicant fatigue can set in. With a lot of resumes to sort through, often we just need the position filled now…only leading to this person not meeting the needs of the business or being the right fit for the team.
Take time in the interview process to ensure you get the exact person you are looking for the role and the team. Time taken here will save hours of your time in the future in training and potentially refilling the role.
Every single team member is as important as each other. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In order for a strong team, we need to ensure every individual brings their own strengths and is working cohesively to the common business goal. Some ways to ensure we provide this environment is through culture.
Culture in the workplace sets the tone at the foundation of the business, allowing this to flow through your team and into the services you provide and hence the customers/clients. Forbes (cited in ) defines culture as “the shared values, belief systems, attitudes, and the set of assumptions that people in a workplace share”. These values and belief systems allow employees or team members to feel connected to the workplace and that they are creating a difference with the work that they do. A positive culture allows a business to thrive, but why? I am glad you asked! Sarah Bloznalis (2022) identifies two main reasons in her blog “Workplace Culture: What is it and why is it important in 2022” .
On this last point, it has been identified that there are six main drivers for employee engagement, all to wo with a positive workplace culture:
[Source: Workplace Culture: What is it and why is it important in 2022 (2)]
This positive culture within your strong team will only lead to a positive and strong experience for customers/clients. This in turn can lead to a strong community feeling making people come back for more from your business. So let’s explore how we can establish this strong culture.
Imagine you are constructing a building. Prior to even laying the foundation plenty of planning needs to go into the building to ensure its stability. Business is exactly the same. Strategy planning and creating strong systems allow the team to establish set ways to act, work and complete tasks to the highest quality. Not to mention with a high level of work ethic. Creating structure allows for expectations to be set, voices to be heard and development to be created.
Regular Team Meetings
These should be completed on a regular basis that is relevant to your business and team. They can run weekly, fortnightly or monthly, as long as the consistency is there. However, do not hold meetings for meetings sake. What does this mean? No one likes sitting in on meetings that could have been an email. Team meetings should have a set agenda, be purposeful and grow your team. Some suggestions for team meetings can include:
Regular 1 on 1 Meetings
Employees want to be heard! Having 1 on 1 meetings with all line reports allows this to happen. It is a great opportunity to set expectations, goals and tasks for each team member to work towards. This is also an opportunity for the team members to have an honest conversation and talk through any challenges they may have.
Being heard in the business is a really strong way to create inclusivity into the workplace. Knowing that you are being heard and what outcomes may come from it brings the sense of belonging to the team. Ensure that these are confidential and that they are times to lift the team member up and work to their strengths.
Open and Honest Communication
Communication will make or break any relationship, including in business. Be clear in what you are saying, clear in the expectations and don’t be afraid to have the tough conversations when they need to be had. Sometimes setting boundaries can do wonders for a team as it allows them to know what can and can not be done at that time.
Ensure all communication is done in a timely fashion. This will avoid a deal breaker in business, gossip. Gossip is a sign that there is a level of a negative culture in the business. Avoid this at all costs.
Remember at the end of the day the workplace is just that, a place of work. We spend a lot of hours of our life in these places so we want to make it as enjoyable yet professional as possible.
Creating a strong team is a crucial component to the success of any business or establishment. When the team is united with a shared vision and values, the atmosphere becomes inviting and exciting, leaving customers feeling good. To achieve this, it is essential to select the right individuals for the team, taking time to assess their skills and qualities to ensure the best fit for the role. Cultivating a positive workplace culture through shared values, beliefs, and attitudes, creates a strong foundation for the team to work cohesively towards a common goal. Regular team meetings, communication, and feedback are essential to maintain a strong team, leading to greater employee engagement and customer satisfaction. Building a strong team takes effort and time, but it outweighs the need to constantly find staff and a negative customer experience.
Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.