Preparing your staff is probably the most crucial part of converting to a new gym management software. There are many considerations to be mindful of so members can be happier than ever under the new system. Learn how to properly train your staff to answer member questions and concerns while simultaneously mastering new software.
Start with a training strategy.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The best first step is to create an outline of your training plan. Think about your staff and how they learn. Since everyone learns differently, you may need to pursue a variety of approaches. Some thrive under pressure and will do great when it comes time to roll out the new software, while others need to build confidence through extensive studying before venturing out in front of members. Consider all these angles, then put together a step-by-step, day-by-day plan. You can also reach out to your vendor for ideas that have worked successfully in past conversions with a similar gym model to yours.
Set tangible goals.
What are you hoping to accomplish from this training plan? Do you want your team to simply learn the new software, or are your goals deeper than that? This could be a time to improve camaraderie among the team, grow professionally together, and spot potential future leaders. Whatever you desire to get out of this transition with your team, write it down and keep those at the forefront of your mind during the switch.
Create a test.
Learn the most important components of the software. Create a test of the top 10 things to know about it. Then quiz the team until everyone has passed off on these crucial components.
Create and train on a script revolving around questions members may ask.
It is easy to get flustered or frustrated with disgruntled members. While most members will have no problem and be excited about the change, some may show some concerns. They simply need to be reassured that the only changes are positive ones. Having practiced the answers beforehand will give your team more confidence to explain them to members.
Highlight the positives to your team.
Let’s call it like it is. Sometimes employees are not thrilled about changes of any kind. Some people don’t gleefully embrace change or fear that their workload may increase. Your staff needs to truly understand what the benefits of the changes are in order to get on board with them. They are the main point of contact with members, and if they are positively embracing the change, this will percolate throughout the gym.
Get regular feedback from your staff, and make continuous seamless changes as needed.
Keeping a constant stream of connection with your staff is crucial throughout a conversion. They can provide you invaluable feedback and member perception. Listen to their feedback carefully, and be prepared to make tweaks as needed. However, try to weed out suggestions that are stemming from resistance to change. Tune into those team members who are embracing the new system with open arms, and who truly want to see it succeed. These are the ones who will provide the best feedback.
If any tweaks of training are made, make sure that they are all effectively communicated.
Whether it be a group email chain, group text, or a notepad behind the front desk, some channel of ongoing communication needs to be in place. Every single staff member should be tuned into any updates during a transition in order to make it as seamless as possible. Prep your staff for this in advance. If you explain that this is our strategy, but we all need to be fluid and flexible as we approach it, you will avoid frustration later on.
What you don’t want is for your team to perceive the changes as constant, overwhelming and abrupt. The best way to avoid this is through a strong communication channel. Set the expectations that they will need to respond to each and every update to confirm everyone is on the same page at all times. This will keep them tuned in, and more comfortable asking questions.
When it comes to training your staff to prepare for a gym management software switch, the overall approach should be to keep your goals rigid and your plan flexible!