WHICH SOFTWARE PLATFORM IS BEST FOR TEAM MANAGEMENT AND EDUCATION?

Digitalising team management and education creates efficiencies for operators.

Operators can spend less time on manual administration and can streamline their processes by managing both documentation and education centrally via an online platform. Here we look at the key factors you should consider when choosing the correct platform for managing your fitness team and their education. It’s important to choose a flexible product that will be the right fit for your business and give your operations team the information they need, when they need it.

DOES YOUR PRESENT OFFERING ALLOW YOU TO HAVE MULTIPLE USER ROLES AND CAN YOU GRANT SPECIFIC PERMISSIONS TO EACH ROLE INDIVIDUALLY?

Being able to manage multiple roles with different permissions on one platform is essential and something that most software providers fail to deliver efficiently. Whether it be the reception team, PT managers, Group-ex managers, trainers or the administration team, it is essential that each team member has access to the information that they need when they need it, allow you the operator, full control over what specific roles can do or see.

We see that different countries have different requirements when it comes to roles. For example in Spain the law is very tight over what information team members should have access to. So it is important that you have the ability to turn ON / OFF access to features or even data on a by role basis, to make sure you comply with specific legal requirements.

IS YOUR PRESENT SOFTWARE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ALLOW YOU TO HAVE BOTH EMPLOYED AND SELF-EMPLOYED TRAINERS WORKING IN YOUR FACILITIES?

Providing the ability to cater for a variety of different models is important when choosing a software solution. Can the software cater for an employed trainer model, self employed or a hybrid model…

Health club operators during COVID-19 have had to adapt to a variety of changing business models in order for them to stay in business. We have seen many operators have to shift from an employed PT model to a self-employed PT model, where trainers pay rent and then take all the payment directly from customers. Having a system that allows you to have both models in one place gives you an advantage over other businesses - so you have the flexibility to adapt your offering whenever you need.

Another good use of having both of these roles in one place, is when you have specific specialists that such as Physio therapists. In the UK such specialists have a different Value Added Tax (VAT) amounts and as a result, lots of operators offer these services but allow these specialists to be paid directly by their customers. This allows them to keep all the revenue coming into their business on the same VAT code, keeping their accounts team happy.

DOES YOUR OFFERING ALLOW YOU TO OFFER BOTH IN-CLUB & ONLINE PRODUCT OFFERINGS?

During the pandemic, we saw all health clubs around the world close their doors and have to quickly adapt to finding a way to keep their customers active, whilst not losing all of their monthly membership revenue. Once doors were allowed to re-open we saw a steady return to members coming back into the clubs.

Not all members have come back to work in full and with the winter approaching, we are being warned that staff may have to work part-time or may have to work remotely. Having such restrictions in place again, coupled with the fact that people are working from home more than they ever did before, means that not as many members are entering clubs as they did before.

Health clubs need to make ensure they have some sort of “hybrid” offering in place, so that members that want to come in - get the full service they expect, whilst members who want to work remotely - can still benefit from an online or virtual offering. Having a software that allows members to select to book in-club, book virtually or just engage with an on-demand workout, through a club branded experience, is what we think all operators need to remain relevant in a quick changing market.

IS TEAM SHIFT MANAGEMENT EASY IN YOUR PRESENT SOFTWARE & CAN YOU SCHEDULE SPECIFIC TYPES OF SHIFTS SO THAT YOU CAN RESTRICT WHAT SERVICES YOUR TEAM CAN DELIVER?

Shift management is a big part of any software and administration process. Operators invest an enormous amount of time balancing when team members should be working, holidays and other capacity requirements. Having a software that makes this process easy is key.

With a variety of different employment models, having a solution that caters for them all is essential. Some clubs have employed trainers and as a result, they are happy for their members to book them for any service at any time. Some clubs have rent paying trainers, so they are also happy for their PT clients to book trainers for any service at any time. Other clubs may have a “time in leu of rent” agreement, so trainers will have to deliver specific services while they are on shift.

I remember when I first started as a trainer in a club, I wasn’t qualified to deliver PT sessions yet. I had done a course that allowed me to deliver assessments so I could be booked for that as well as other duties such as cleaning the equipment and talking to members. As I progressed my professional development, I was qualified to deliver more and more services which members could book me for. Back then, everything was paper-based and the concept of making an online booking was not even a possibility. All the knowledge around who could be booked for different services was held by the reception team and some sort of colour coding against a trainers name on a diary.

Now wind forwards a few decades, that reception knowledge can easily be programmed into a shift type, so that trainers can be booked only for services that they are allowed to be book for. This allows members to quickly scan availability and present the relevant trainers that are available and can deliver the service they are looking for. A software solution must be able to cater for this requirement as customers don’t have much time, they want to make a quick booking decision and then move onto the next thing.

DOES YOUR SOFTWARE ALLOW YOU TO VISUALISE TEAM AVAILABILITY AND TRACK THAT AGAINST KPIS?

Making sure your business is operating as efficiently as possible is more important now than ever before. Operators need to ensure that they carefully plan their team shifts, so that they have just enough team members available for premium bookings and coverage on the gym floor.

Having a software that allows you to set KPIs and track actual data against these, helps operators stay focused on making the right decisions based on how their members are actually booking and showing up for services. Key dashboards can make this whole process easier ,so operators can quickly make a decision on whether they run a specific promotion with the certainty that they have enough people to deliver the service.

STAFF CHURN IS AN INEVITABILITY IN ANY BUSINESS, DOES YOUR SOFTWARE MAKE THIS PROCESS EASY TO DEAL WITH, OR IS IT A PAINFUL EXPERIENCE?

A new survey out in England has just illustrated how much the workforce and job culture has changed over the past few decades. The average millennial has already worked as many jobs as most people in their 50s have over the course of their entire career.

Having an enterprise level software will make the difference between - manually removing a team member from all the products and services that they have been associated to one-by-one or being able to do this within a couple of clicks. Multiply this process by the number of team changes in an average year and you will find that there this is a significant process that takes up a lot of operational time.

A simple task such as changing the name of the instructor that is teaching a class, in lots of software is either difficult or not possible without deleting the class and recreating it. Having a software that takes this all into consideration within its feature set, is essential going forwards.

DOES YOUR PRESENT SOFTWARE ALLOW YOU TO COMMUNICATE EFFICIENTLY WITH YOUR TEAM?

Change is a constant, we see this every day in business. Operators need ensure that whatever business solutions they have in place allows them to react and respond to change in an efficient way.

Let's take a scenario where a GX instructor calls in sick last minute. You have 3 hours to find another trainer that can cover the class. In the old days you would look through a list of trainers and call them all individually or ask anyone in club right now that can help. Having a system where you can simply send out a broadcast to a group of specific trainers that can deliver this class, allows you to streamline class cover and then wait for the replies to roll in.

Once that cover trainer has been confirmed, you also need to make sure that you can swap out the trainer’s name on the schedule, so that the members can be informed and the trainer can be paid for the session!

WHAT TOOLS DO YOU GIVE YOUR TRAINERS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM TO DELIVER SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS?

Gone are the days when trainers walked around with a clip board creating a paper based training programme for their client to interact with - when they remembered to pick it up from the filing station on the gym floor. Now trainers are programming members through a variety of app-based tools that are not connected to the clubs brand.

Having a software that enables you to give trainers a club-branded programming app, makes sure that your members continue to be associated with your brand at every turn is crucial. This same app should give trainers access to all the feature sets they need in order to deliver service to members in-club and online.

Having a trainer app or web-based solution, will make it easy for trainers to digitally manage their time, bookings, programming and capturing assessments as efficiently as possible. These should all be done through a club-branded environment to ensure that the trainer also engages with your brand at every turn. Remember that your team are just internal customers, we need to make sure we take care of them - they are the people actually delivering the service.

DO YOU HAVE A SEPARATE TEAM EDUCATION SOFTWARE OR DOES YOUR MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE INCLUDE THIS AS WELL?

We all know how important it is for trainers to continue their education and grow professionally. This helps clubs offer a great customer experience with a knowledgable and experienced trainer team. Having an online education portal for team members to engage with, is often something that the trainer has to do on their own and often at their own cost.

Having a software solution that allows you to upload content centrally and then associate it to a specific team group, enables you to create your own professional development journey that your team can engage with, within your own branded environment.

Team members should be able to access this information via their branded portal or through a trainer app where they are managing their bookings, programming and other client management tasks. Having this separated will only reduce the interactions with the content.

Having a software that enables operators to send a PUSH notification to guide team members to specific content and watch how they engage with it, will give all the flexibility operators need to support their teams through their professional development.

DO YOU HAVE ONE PLACE THAT ALL OF YOUR STAFF QUALIFICATION AND INSURANCE DOCUMENTATION IS KEPT? IS THIS ALL DONE DIRECTLY IN ONE SYSTEM OR DO YOU HAVE SEPARATE SYSTEMS FOR SEPARATE BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS?

Making sure that your team’s qualifications and insurance documentation is all up to date, is a task that HR departments all over the world are constantly challenged with. Imagine that you have 400 trainers in your organisation and it is your job to make sure that all trainers have an up-to-date insurance policy and qualification documentation - this is a big task and not one that I would like to try to manage without an online system.

Having a digital solution will make this process much easier and will save hours of team member chasing and frustration. Being able to view if a trainer has uploaded their own documentation and being able to communicate with them via the same solution will save lots of time. You might also be able to create a business dashboard that just presents information on team members that have not yet been compliant with your uploading requirements.

Team member management is a big part of any club's day-to-day processes and is one that is essential to get right. Having a software partner that has really thought through these processes and created streamlined solutions to deliver these, is something you should consider as an important feature set when you are next looking at changing your business management software.

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