Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Staff High Five: Kayla Hill

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • KHillName: Kayla Hill
  • City, State: Towson, Maryland
  • Years with NIFS: 1 year
  • Position: Wellness Director
  • What brought you to NIFS: The work matters! We have the power to direct our attention to the things that truly express and support what we believe as an organization and on an individual level. The potential is limitless.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: One of our members loved to dance but was losing functionality of her limbs due to Parkinson’s. It became clear that she was sinking into a depressive state. I invited her to come down to the fitness center one afternoon and dance with me. While hesitant, she agreed. With the help of her aid, we got her up on her feet and shaking her tailfeather. She expressed sincere gratitude and said that she couldn’t remember the last time she had that much fun.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: NIFS is an inspiring community of adaptable and courageous people who show up with full hands and hearts on deck. The Fitness Management staff put passion into everything they do. There is a clear sense of gratitude and joy. 
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: My site is a true haven of warmth, positivity and love. Our community is filled with big-hearted individuals who continue to show up for one another. We are family.
  • What motivates you: 1. The opportunity to develop human potential. 2. Exploring possibilities for innovation. The more creativity I can bring into the mix, the more motivated I am to achieve a goal or complete a task.
  • What is your favorite hobby: I enjoy producing comedy skits and editing videos.

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.

ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing staffing

Staff High Five: Christy Monday

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Christy MondayCMonday-1
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 12 years
  • Position: Fitness Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: After completing my college education I became certified as an exercise physiologist with ACSM. I started at the NIFS commercial fitness center in downtown Indianapolis. After five years, I transitioned to corporate fitness coordinating the internship program, and coverage staff while also managing a fitness center in downtown Indianapolis. I currently am working at a corporate fitness center in Indianapolis.   
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member:  I have worked with many members with different health and fitness goals over the years, and one of the most impactful moments is when a member could not longer play basketball due to pain he experienced in his knee joints after playing. It was determined after checking with his physician, he did not have any structural damage to the knee. I worked with him for several weeks on improving his flexibility. By week six he had greater range-of-motion in his hips, calves, hamstrings and quads. He was able to participate in playing basketball again with no pain.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: I like that staff are encouraged and have the freedom to provide new services or programs for a site, in regards to what he or she thinks is best, that will engage members to obtain their best health. It is great to have management support and trust staff in this process.   
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: I enjoy walking along side members to support them on their journey of better health and fitness.
  • What motivates you: When members share their health and fitness success stories! It motivates me to do my best to impact the next member who needs support to reach their health and fitness potential.     
  • What is your favorite hobby: Cycling is a great activity I like to do that takes me outside to see different country roads, bike trails, and city and state parks.   

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.

ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing staffing

Staff High Five: Lauren Kelsheimer

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Lauren KelsheimerL.Kelsheimer
  • City, State: Terre Haute, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 4.5 years
  • Position: Fitness Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I happened upon a message on LinkedIn from our previous Director. I thought it was an ad, but took my chances and reached back out to her to see what potential there was in a position like this. I am glad that I did!
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member:
    A member’s husband passed and she really became a recluse. I decided to reach out to her and see if she wanted to start participating in exercise classes or exercise in the fitness center. She was very hesitant, but agreed to come down to the fitness center and see what it was all about. After a few sessions, she really broke out of her shell and now is exercising daily, visiting friends she met from classes or programs, and is living life to the fullest! These moments are the reason I chose this career.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: NIFS fitness professionals strive to create moments of magic for our members. We are passionate and care deeply about what we do. Also, we know the importance of creating experiences for our members that stand out from the rest. NIFS fitness professionals truly work together as a team to produce great programs, events, and fitness offerings and continue to perform at a level above.
  • What is your favorite thing about working at your client site: I truly enjoy my residents. They have become family. The team members at Westminster Village are amazing as well. They are always willing to lend a hand and help me with any program or event that I have for the residents to help impact their lives. I enjoy that we all have a common goal and that’s to engage our community and provide fun, exciting programs for them.
  • What motivates you: The smiles! I feed off of resident’s energy. If they are enjoying themselves and really feel like they are getting something out of my classes, programs, or events, then I have done my job. They constantly make me want to be better.
  • What is your favorite hobby: I enjoy being with my family and jogging.

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.

ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing staffing

Staff High Five: Megan McQuade

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

  • Name: Megan McQuadeMMcQuade
  • City, State: Indianapolis, IN
  • Years with NIFS: 9 months 
  • Position: Health Fitness Specialist
  • What brought you to NIFS: I started working for NIFS following graduation from college in December of 2019.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: The most impactful moment that I have had with a member was during an assessment with a client.  She was unable to touch her toes and struggled with flexibility.  We set a goal to work on it and after incorporating some yoga and stretching into her weekly routine her results were amazing.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: Every NIFS Staff member is passionate about helping others achieve their goals, whether that be their co-workers or members at their client sites.  We are all one big support system even though we are spread across the country.
  • What is your fave thing about working at your client site: My favorite thing about working at NIFS is the wide range of members I get to work with. I love the variety and being able to apply my skill set to best assist where each person is at in their health and fitness journey! Watching members set and achieve their goals is a reason why I love working for NIFS!
  • What motivates you: I am a big goal setter so achieving goals that I have been working towards is what helps me push myself to continue working hard!
  • What is your favorite hobby: Baking and cooking!!

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.

ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing staffing

Staff High Five: Rachel Leszczynski

We say it with pride quite regularly, our amazing staff in corporate and senior living fitness centers are what help us serve our clients so well. Their strong educational background in health and fitness helps us set the bar high while their exceptional creativity and relationship building skills allows them to keep their members engaged and asking what’s coming next. Since we have the privilege of getting to know our staff across the country, we thought our followers might like to as well. Join us monthly as we throw a different NIFS team member a High Five.

HIGH5_R.Leszczynski

  • Name: Rachel Leszczynski
  • City, State: Issaquah, WA
  • Years with NIFS:
  • Position: Fitness Manager
  • What brought you to NIFS: I started with NIFS as a Health Fitness Specialist in Lincolnshire, IL. It was my first “real job” in the fitness industry.
  • What is the most impactful moment you have shared with a member: I think the most impactful moment has been with one of my regular PT clients. When we first started she wasn’t able to stand up from a chair without pushing off. While we’ve had a few setbacks, she is able to stand from a chair without pushing off.
  • What separates a NIFS fitness pro from the rest: Not only do NIFS staff take good care of their clients, our network of managers is a great support system and was very helpful in my first couple of years as a fitness manager, specifically with programming. So I guess you could say a NIFS pro is best because of the team as a whole.
  • What is your fave thing about working at your client site: My fav thing is being able to access all the hiking trails of the beautiful pacific northwest. Taking members out on a guided hikes once a month is a total treat.
  • What motivates you: I’m an active person and being able to stay healthy and do the things I love keeps me motivated.
  • What is your favorite hobby: Playing soccer!

Interested in learning more about our staffing services? Click below for what best fits your needs.

ACTIVE AGING   |   CORPORATE FITNESS

 

 

Topics: nifs fitness management staffing staffing

Using Wellness to Decrease Employee Turnover in Senior Living

NIFS | Employee Turnover | Employee WellnessTurnover in senior living is notoriously high for a number of reasons. One of the tools leadership can use to increase tenure for employees in community settings is offering balanced and thoughtful wellness programs. What follows are suggestions for how to elevate wellness in your corporate strategy so that your workforce understands you care about them beyond the day-to-day work they provide to keep the community running.

Employee wellness is about much more than a walking program.

How you position wellness in the organization can determine whether it sinks or swims. Physical health is only part of the picture. That's not to say you shouldn't offer a walking program. It can be a very simple way to help employees be more aware of how much they're moving during the day. But keep in mind that much of your community's staff members are on their feet most of the day serving the residents; a walking program for them may feel like "one more thing to do" in an already busy, service-oriented day. And giving everyone a wearable fitness tracker doesn't always communicate a "we care about you" message, either. The CNA scraping by on $12.50 an hour might rather have a small raise than a fancy wristband.

[Read More: Why Employee Purpose Could Be the Heart of Corporate Wellness]

Consider the health challenges across your workforce.

Your administrative/leadership team will have different obstacles in achieving good health compared to what you might see for your physical plant staff and nursing aides, and the community's approach to wellness needs and what it will take to address that range. The wearable/walking program I mentioned above is a good example of a well-intentioned offering that often falls flat for hourly staff. But, if you provide compensated exercise time for employees, you might be onto something in terms of a message that truly says, "We want to make it easy for you to live well."

Be careful if you intend to use biometric screenings and health risk assessments as the pillars of your wellness program. They have become hallmarks of a good "outcomes-based" wellness program in recent years, but that title may be misplaced. If you're just getting started on a wellness program for your community employees, it could be tempting to latch onto such screening tools as the place to begin. But there are challenges with these offerings that should not be glossed over.

Also keep in mind how important social determinants of health are for your workforce. The health habits that your crew practice at work are only part of the picture of how well they live. Where employees live can have a profound effect on their well-being. Access to healthy foods, reliable and convenient transportation, safe living environments, cultural norms and other issues have a strong influence for all of us on how they engage with healthy choices, and your workplace wellness program may be butting heads with those strong social factors. Maintaining realistic expectations about the ways your workforce can engage at work will help set your program on the right path.

Align your wellness strategy with the rest of your business strategy.

If your organization is already built on a model of caring for employees, infusing a message that you want to help employees live well should resonate positively. But if employees feel that the culture is punitive and as if their every move is being watched, "wellness" is quite likely going to sound like one more management hack designed purely to cut costs. Here are some suggestions for improving retention through a supportive relationship-based approach. You'll need to get the overarching company culture in place first before you add in a wellness component if you want your message about employee health to resonate with the staff.

Where to look next.

If you're more confused than ever about how to get an employee-centered wellness program off the ground for your workforce, you're not alone. The variable shifts, the wide range in roles (many of which are quite physical in nature), and the simultaneously gratifying and exhausting nature of the work you do, complicate how to both establish and deliver a wellness message and programming. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  1. If you don't know what makes your employees tick, start by getting to know them a little better. They may have interests they could share with colleagues that would buoy the whole department or organization.
  2. Connect with employees working in a variety of settings across the community to find out what would help them feel supported to live well. You probably won't be able to execute on all of the ideas, but you will likely get suggestions you couldn't have imagined on your own.
  3. Start small and with the right messaging. (Hint: You can craft the right messaging when you have information from tip #1.) Always lead with words and actions that communicate a desire to help employees live well. If you say it in words and your actions don't align, employees won't engage.
  4. Learn from other similarly situated organizations. There are communities out there doing this work with their employees, and they can help you avoid some of the pitfalls they've already climbed out of.

It's not easy work, but don't let that stop you. Doing well for your employees helps them do right by your residents, and that's a community where everyone benefits. Need a little more information to get your wellness program started in the right direction? Check out the blog below.

Blog: doing corporate wellness for employees

Topics: corporate wellness senior living staffing wellness programs employee turnover

When It's Time to Expect More from Your Corporate Fitness Program

GettyImages-873616226 (1).jpgCorporate fitness centers are pretty low on the totem pole for most organizations. And that's how they end up just "existing" with the rest of the benefit items; they're on the list of nice things to have, but there's nothing about the corporate fitness program itself that tells leadership it's really thriving or performing well for the employees. If that resonates with you and what you're seeing in your worksite fitness program, it might be time to change things up.

Here are three signs that indicate it's time to take a fresh look at what's possible in your corporate fitness program.


#1: If You Haven't Seen Your Fitness Center Staff Out and About...

...its time to check in on how the staff are serving all of the employees (not just the corporate fitness center members). While it's likely that your fitness center staff are well degreed and credentialed for exercise, they also probably have some skills for promoting other areas of health. If they're not leaving the fitness center to provide additional worksite wellness programming, it's possible they were told that their domain is the fitness center and they should not be doing other health-related programming in the building. That's an easy one to correct; have the conversation with them and see what they can start offering across your campus to support employee health.

One of the beyond-the-fitness-center initiatives our staff members provide allows the employees to put up a signal at their desks that they'd like a quick consultation with the fitness staff. In one case, it was fun stress balls that were the signal; in another case, it was little green army men. Employees picked them up at a promotional table along with a flyer describing the at-your-desk exercise service. Then at designated times, NIFS staff walked the work areas looking for employees who had left out their signals. They provided brief consultations and exercise/stretch recommendations for employees at their desks, and they dropped off a membership application for the fitness center. In just one offering of this program, our staff interacted with an average of 40 new employees each week and picked up 15 new fitness center members directly from their consultation conversations with employees at their desks.

#2: If You're Not Getting Monthly Updates on How the Fitness Center and Related Programs Are Performing...

...it's time to at least ask for the data to see what the fitness management provider can produce. If the vendor isn't in the practice of tracking at least monthly visit and participation data, you may want to rethink the partnership because it will be a steep hurdle to get them thinking about data collection if that isn't already part of their business model. In truth, you should be able to count on at least two types of data from your corporate fitness center:

  • Monthly fitness center numbers: Total visits, unique users, frequent users (we track 5 or more and 8 or more visits per month), along with appointment volume and group fitness participation.
  • Program outcome data: Executive summary–style reporting that shows key outcomes from the initiative along with a program overview and plans for improvement in the next offering.

#3: If No One Has Really Raved in a While About the Staff or the Fitness Center Programs...

...it might be a good time to confirm how strong of a relationship the staff members have with your employees. We believe the foundation of our successful corporate fitness center partnerships is relationships. While it can take a while to build strong connections, once established, you should expect to hear periodically from your employees about how the fitness center staff are doing great work, helping to motivate them to do more than they would on their own, etc. If you're not getting those kinds of comments, your corporate fitness program might be in a rut and it's time to breathe some new life into what's possible for your employees' health through an exercise program.

***

Ready to dig a little deeper into what's possible for your corporate fitness center?  You're in luck - we have a whole guide on the topic designed to walk you through three key opportunities to build a more successful program.

Get Our Guide to Successful Fitness Programs

Topics: employee health corporate fitness data staffing worksite fitness

Three Tips for Improving Your Corporate Fitness Program

ThinkstockPhotos-186871442.jpgCorporate fitness programs in businesses all across the country have been doing pretty much the same thing, quite possibly for decades. The programs look very different, one from the next, but the basic premise is the same.

  • Employer: "We want you to be healthy. Here's [insert your corporate fitness answer here: a gym membership, group fitness classes, walking paths, an onsite corporate fitness center, etc.] for you to use. Go be active (when you're not working).
  • Employee: "I'd love to start exercising, but I don't know what's safest and most effective for me. Plus, I don't have much time, and clearly, I have work quotas to meet. It's great that the company offers these healthy options, but it doesn't seem like the right fit for me."

Read Now: Why Corporate Fitness Needs to Evolve

There's a real risk in corporate fitness that we only ever reach the folks who would be active regardless of whether there was a corporate fitness program. So the challenge for businesses becomes how to reach employees who are interested in exercising but who don't know where to begin. Get your organization started in the right direction with these three tips for improving your corporate fitness program.

Tip 1: Get the staffing right.

Finding the right staff to support your corporate fitness offerings is crucial to the success of the program. As an organization that provides this very service to businesses all over the country, we’ve written extensively on the topic. It’s no surprise that we think outsourcing your fitness staff is a great choice. However, if your fitness center staffing style is more of a DIY approach, definitely consider the tips in this blog, 3 Tips for Hiring an Active Aging or Corporate Fitness Professional.

Tip 2: Offer the right services.

There are core services that should be in place for a corporate fitness program to be successful:

  • Individual education through exercise prescriptions and fitness assessment and testing is essential. Both of these services, which can easily be provided by your qualified staff, provide a fantastic foundation to the employees who are fence-sitters about exercise—you know, the employees who want to try moving more but who aren't sure how to get started safely. Those are the very same employees you're trying to draw into the program; addressing their concerns and questions with tailored services is a great way to show them that the door to starting an exercise program at work is wide open.

Alternative to Personal Training -- Read More!

  • Incentive programs can help keep the fitness program interesting and are a fantastic way to help employees reach for better health beyond physical fitness. We've written about several of our successful incentives programs; click any of the titles below to find out more.

Employee Wellness Programming Beyond the Corporate Fitness Center

Making Fitness Fun in Corporate Wellness

Increasing Participation with SKELETONE

A Simple Way to Boost Participation in Your Corporate Fitness Center

How a Simple Squat Challenge Improved Corporate Fitness Metrics

Tip 3: Ask the right questions.

Anecdotal feedback and thank-you emails provide periodic indications of whether your fitness staff is on the right track with employees. But there's nothing like concrete bulk survey feedback to help steer a program in the right direction. Sure, there are problems with surveys, but in our decades of experience with managing corporate fitness centers, we increasingly find surveys to be a very helpful tool for setting our management strategy for each client. Here's how we use them:

  • We use them for specific programs to determine whether we're achieving goals with those programs. For more on our evaluation methods, check out this blog: 4 Keys to Getting Wellness Program Data You Can Actually Use.
  • From a program satisfaction standpoint, we've found surveys to be quite helpful as well. While the anonymity of them can sometimes leave our staff open to very negative feedback, the vast majority of responses are constructive and quite helpful for us in determining what our next year of program and service spotlights should be.

Want to learn more about how to make effective use of surveys to improve your corporate fitness program? Download our whitepaper.

Implement surveys to initiate change

Topics: corporate wellness corporate fitness participation data fitness assessment staffing incentives exercise prescriptions CORP Programs and Services surveys feedback

Avoid an Empty Corporate Fitness Center with These Ideas

B130001.jpgThere are a variety of reasons for you, as a business owner, to set up a corporate fitness center for your employees; employee recruitment and retention are certainly among them. Increasingly, access to some form of exercise at work is becoming an expectation. It’s also not unreasonable to build a corporate fitness center because you actually expect it will help your employees be more active, which can lead to a variety of individual health benefits and possibly some productivity and loyalty benefits for the business.

But establishing a corporate fitness center for your employees is not an “if you build it, they will come” phenomenon. After all, only about 15–17% of the U.S. population owns a gym membership. If you want your employees to have opportunities to exercise, dedicating some space on campus for exercise is a good first step, but it’s not the end of the story. Following is a checklist of steps you need to carefully consider to avoid an empty corporate fitness center and ensure your fitness center is set up for success, both for your business and for your employees.

Do you have the right collection of equipment and amenities in your fitness center?

I've seen corporate fitness centers that run the gamut from fairly bare-bones to spaces that would rival high-end clubs. Fancy matters much less than function. If you don't intend to provide expert staff in the space, you need to have equipment that your employees can use without instruction. Some of the newer functional training equipment isn't all that intuitive; be careful what you buy or only the most sophisticated exerciser will be able to put your equipment to effective use.

If you want to offer group fitness classes in your space, you'll need to have enough room to host the classes; consider 40–60SF per participant (don't forget to count the instructor!). Also keep in mind that your classes will increase volume in the fitness center and you'll want your locker room spaces to accommodate those peak-use times fairly well. With 28 years in the business, I can assure you that employees will stop coming if the locker room situation involves fighting for space.

Do you have the right leadership for the corporate fitness space/programs?

The single best way to maximize employee use of your corporate fitness center is to provide staff who manage the environment. Yes, there is a cost for that, but before you assume you don't want to pay it, consider the ramifications because here's how it plays out. Without staff to support and educate employees, the same 10% of your employees who exercise now are the ones who will use your fitness center. And the employees you're really trying to serve won't try something new in your corporate fitness space because they aren't sure what steps to take.

So committing to the fitness center space but not the fitness center staffing is building a gym for the employees who are exercising anyway. That's a pretty substantial investment for the employees who don't really stand to benefit from it.

Finding the right corporate fitness management partner doesn't have to be hard, and before you assume hiring out for that role is a horrible idea, check out this blog that addresses common misconceptions on outsourcing corporate fitness management. If you're still convinced your business is better off managing your fitness program in house, here are some suggestions for hiring your own corporate fitness manager.

Do you have a healthy culture that supports employees choosing to exercise during their time at work?

Employees spend more time commuting to and from work and actually at work than they spend anyplace else. Inviting them to exercise while they're already at the office may be our best hope for helping adults move more. But if taking a full 60-minute lunch break to work out is frowned upon by management, your corporate fitness center will stay mostly empty. If employees don't see their leadership making healthy choices a priority, your fitness center will remain a ghost town. It's not enough to have "break-time" policies written into your handbook. You have to lead by example and you have to make it okay for your management team to engage in the behaviors you want to see.

 Webinar Series: The Guide to Successful Corporate Fitness Centers

Topics: corporate fitness corporate fitness managment health culture nifs fitness center management equipment staffing corporate fitness center

Fitness Center Staffing, Hiring the Best

NIFS-staff-infographic-final.jpg
Topics: senior fitness management nifs fitness management staffing staffing corporate fitness management