With the shift in in-person participation at fitness centers, the workforce has also shifted how it functions. For example, during the covid lockdown periods, the move to online classes meant that some fitness center team members worked from home. Building accountability in remote work immediately became a need.
For others, it meant not having work or not being able to work for a period. Now that the covid situation has stabilized a lot more, it is evident that some service offerings for some facilities could or will continue to be delivered online.
So, how do you keep your team accountable when this is the case? As a manager, you may no longer get to see your instructors daily. Their schedule may now dictate they spend only two of five days in the gym and other days at home providing online classes.
What does building accountability look like?
Time Doctor tells us that accountability is “the willingness of employees to take responsibility for their decisions, actions, behavior, and performance. In other words, if an employee says they’ll do something, they’ll follow through and get it done — no matter the circumstances.”
Examples of this for your team could be attending online or in-person fitness sessions with members, hosting an online or in-person class that is scheduled. Because part of their work has moved to a remote environment doesn’t shift the requirement for the team member to show up and deliver.
Discuss your expectations
There were likely many assumptions and understanding in place when your business functioned in an entirely in-person way. Now that that has changed to be a hybrid model, it is time to discuss as a group and individually with team members your expectations.
Flexibility in no way diminishes the need for building accountability in a hybrid work environment. Because you don’t’ see the team member in the fitness center doesn’t mean they are less accountable. It is essential to discuss this point.
There may be value in discussing how the team member feels about the online environment and the changes in them no longer engaging in-person with their other team members or fitness center members.
Trust they are delivering
The moment you no longer trust a team member due to believing they aren’t accountable; you are creating problems for you and your members. Your team may have a different motivation level when working remotely versus knowing they need to get up, get geared up, and be present in your gym. Believe that you will hear from members if team members are not showing up remotely. Until that happens, be trusting and know they are holding themselves accountable for the work they agreed to perform.
Building accountability means setting up regular team check-ins
Use technology to connect the team, whether they are in person in the facility or working remotely. It may not be possible with schedules to have an entire team check-in, so make time to do individual check-ins at least once a week or more could be helpful. Talk about any struggles with accountability and motivation.
Rather than you needing to personally do this, designate the job of checking in to your Senior team leaders. Ask them to check in with their fellow crew members and then report back to you on what they are noticing.
Have more communication, not less
During these times, communication to build accountability with hybrid work is even more critical than before. With teams no longer just working in the fitness center, it is essential that staff working remotely do not miss communication about weekly member numbers, trends you are noticing, information on schedule updates, etc.
Make a point of finding tools to open up communication channels. For example, tools such as Slack allow teams to communicate freely and easily with each other. Consider moving to one of these technology tools to shift communication to a different level.
By doing this, anyone struggling with motivation or accountability can seek support from other team members in a way they may not have previously. Interestingly team members may be more willing to ask for help in an online environment than in a person-to-person one. So, utilizing online tools and platforms may create more willingness to be held accountable than less.
Be open to sharing your struggles.
There is nothing like vulnerability to help a team feel more aligned and working as one. If you are struggling as a leader with your accountability at any time, share that with your team members. Work as a team to support each other during these changing times. Suggest accountability partners if necessary. A simple text check-in will do. Remember that every one of your team members will want to be using their skills to support those in your fitness center. Simply because they may no longer spend all of their time in the gym face to face with members does not change that.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section.