If you want to grow to be bigger than a one man or one woman show you’re going to have to learn how to develop a team.
Too many fitness entrepreneurs just hire trainers and expect them to be rock stars, do everything you want them to do, and exceed every expectation.
Finding, keeping, and developing a team can be a business owners biggest headache if you don't go about it the right way.
Here are six keys to building and developing your team.
1. It’s not their baby
This took me a long time to learn, and it’s still a frustration I find myself in sometimes.
As much as we want to grow our team, develop them, and have them work hard when they are representing us, it is not their business, it is not their baby, so they will never care about it as much as you do…and that’s okay.
But you have to get past that mental block.
2. Have a really clear vision
How big do you want your business to be?
Who are you going to serve?
What’s your purpose?
It all starts with this, as you need to have a really clear goal of how many team members you’re going to have to hire, otherwise you’ll just catch yourself hiring more and more, and just building a bloated business, and you’re piece of the pie becomes smaller and smaller.
Get really clear on what you want to build.
3. Hire character, train skill
I always say that I can train you on anything that needs to be done in our business, but I can't train you to be nice.
It may seem smart to hire the guy or gal with 20 years experience and all the certifications in the world, but that can potentially mean 20 years of bad habits you have to change.
You have your way, your system of doing something. It's much easier to teach a nice person specific skills and protocols, then it is to teach a person that has a bunch of irrelevant skills to be nice.
Hire based on character, hire based on your core values, and then train the skill.
4. Clear Expectations & Systems
We have one way of doing things in our business. It's our system.
From day one, and every day after that it's important as the leader to set really clear expectations and have a system for everything you want to be done. Quite often I hear frustrations from business owners that their employees aren't up to snuff, and I ask them about their systems.
If the standard isn't set, if the expectations aren't clear, if they don't know what right looks like, how can you get mad at them?
Set clear expectations by having systems for everything in your business.
How are people greeted?
How is the phone answered?
What happens when someone inquires?
What does the client journey look like?
What happens when someone leaves your business?
What do the service standards look like?
These and more are all things that should be clearly documented for all to see.
We have ours stored on a cloud that everyone can access at any time from anywhere.
You create them, get their feedback, tweak, and then hold them accountable to it.
If you want the business to run without you, to run smoothly and consistently, every single thing in your business needs to have a system.
5. Hold Them Accountable & Train Relentlessly.
So you've brought on the right people and you set clear expectations through systems.
Great, you're just getting started.
The hardest part is the daily, yes daily, training of your team.
Just like the famous Ziglar motivation quote, staff training is like bathing, it's required daily.
Every day is an opportunity for a learning experience or a moment for positive reinforcement.
We set up our formal training and accountability through daily meetings.
Bad meetings suck.
They're boring time wasters, and people hate them.
A good meeting can be a game changer.
Get good at holding valuable and engaging meetings.
Read the book Death By Meeting and everything else by Patrick Lencioni.
Our meeting flow looks like this:
Daily Huddle: Each morning a preview of the day and what people are working on.
Weekly Individual Meeting: Each week every employee meets with their supervisor to discuss their specific role, responsibilities, tasks they're working on, and how they're developing.
Weekly Team Meeting: Each week we meet as a team to dive deep into one particular topic.
Weekly Coach’s Meeting: This is specific on the training side, programming, etc.
Weekly Marketing & Membership Meeting: This is specific to what we’re planning for marketing, membership role playing, and other issues and training under the umbrella.
Quarterly War Room: Each quarter we recap the previous quarter and set 2-3 big rocks we're going to accomplish for the coming quarter. This is blocked off as a half day each quarter.
Annual Vision Meeting: Each year we map out the coming year, set goals, and everything above (quarterly, weekly, and daily meetings) is a breakdown of the goals we set at this meeting.
It was not like that in the beginning, so don’t just try to copy and paste these.
Start with one.
Start with a daily huddle or a weekly team meeting.
Get good at that and build from there.
It may seem like a lot but these meetings alone will change your business.
It allows you to build team rapport, hold them accountable, and keep communication clear.
6. Build Autonomy and Lead From The Back
This is where the magic is made but you can't do this until you have the first four keys down pat.
Once you've found the right people, set clear expectations, have concrete systems, and have a cadence of accountability, it's time to let them do what they do best.
Your job as a leader is to make them better people.
I don't lead from the back with a whip like you see in those cheesy leadership photos, I lead from the back by challenging and inspiring my team to be 1% better every single day.
I push them to get better at their craft, to develop as better spouses, friends, and just better people in general.
Involve them in decisions, get to know them outside of work, let their personalities shine, and treat them the way you want to be treated, not as a dollar sign.
It’s amazing what happens when you actually treat them as people, listen to them, and care about them.
I meet with each member of the team quarterly for a “personal development meeting” where we grab lunch and talk about how they’re doing, how life is going, and what they have for personal goals.
I’ll do everything I can to help them get closer to those goals, everything I can without putting the business at risk.
If you're in the service based business your team is your biggest asset.
Your clients will stay not because of the service you give them, but because of the people behind that service.
Running a business is hard, trust me, I know, but you can't do it alone. Follow these five keys as you look to develop your team.
Dedicated to Your Success,