17 July 2020
Before lockdown the fitness market was worth £5.5bn and it was growing quickly.
It was a devastating blow to the fitness industry when gyms, leisure centres and yoga studios were forced to close indefinitely as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Companies innovated to stay afloat – livestreaming yoga classes and hosting zoom PT sessions – but getting back to business couldn’t come soon enough. As July 4th crept nearer more dismay flooded the industry with the realisation that they would not be open for some time.
Thankfully gym groups, yoga studios and leisure centres have now been given the green light to open on Saturday 25th July.
But reopening these facilities will be no easy feat. If gyms are going to allow members to return, then they’ll need to implement new measures to ensure their safety. Whether it’s decreasing class capacity, re-spacing equipment or providing personal trainers with protective visors – there are countless new regulations to uphold.
However, with the right tools it’s possible to successfully manage the reopening process, as we’ve seen with many retailers in recent weeks. Here are some tips to make your reopening strategy a success.
To make sure your reopening plans are successful, it’s vital that you communicate clearly and effectively with all your teams on-site.
However with changing government guidelines, new ways of working and team members returning after months away from their jobs – you need to be nimble and reactive with your communications strategy.
In our previous blog, “Implementing an agile communication strategy”, we explored new ways of working for retail teams to manage store reopenings. We can implement the same strategy in gym groups.
So what exactly do we mean by an agile communication strategy?
To put it simply, an agile approach is one that can respond, adapt, and change reactively while still working towards the same goal.
The great thing about this approach is that it isn’t hard to implement. There are a few key areas that you should focus on to communicate clearly and effectively with your teams on-site, in an agile way.
Create a single source of truth for you store teams.
You need to be able to disseminate new ways of working to your on-site teams quickly and easily. But receiving information through multiple channels can be confusing. Championing one platform to send all your information means that no matter the problem, your teams will know where to go to find their latest actions, updated company policies and Covid-19 advice.
Inspire your teams with engaging content.
While teams are returning to the same job they had in March, their day to day activity is going to look very different. There will be a lot of new information for these teams to absorb. That’s why it’s important that you deliver this content to them in an engaging way.
You need be sharing content in multiple formats, whether that’s a video announcement from senior management, links to Ted Talks on motivation and wellbeing or the NHS video on how to wash your hands.
Understand what’s going on in every gym
As well as knowing the information you send to teams on site is easy to access, you also need to know whether your communications are actioned.
If you are sending a key communication to your teams – for example sending a new equipment layout – you need to send that message quickly and know that it’s been seen by everyone and actioned. Even better than that, you can request a photo from your stores to see if they’ve executed your guidelines correctly. You need access to compliance reporting that will flag any stores that are having issues so you can support them to fix the problem.
It’s not enough to simply let your gym teams know your new procedures and hope they implement them. If your health and safety measures are implemented incorrectly or haphazardly this could negatively affect your brand image.
If equipment isn’t cleaned regularly, staff don’t stick to distancing regulations or the gym seems overcrowded, you’ll loose members. They’ll associate your group with lower health and safety standards.
In order to ensure consistent standards in every gyms, you need to get a handle on your health and safety metrics. The best way to do this is by digitising your health and safety procedures.
With digital health and safety procedures you can track:
Daily health and safety form completion to get an instant snapshot of your stores cleanliness levels, so you can pinpoint any areas of non-compliance.
Task completion and response rate to know how long it takes store teams to complete a task you’ve set – or if they’ve completed it at all.
Time to compliance to see how long it’s taken teams to implement your latest procedure.
Compliance to photo requests to have visual proof that your new health and safety measures are implemented
If you need help or advice managing your gym reopening strategy, then please get in touch – we’ll be happy to help!