Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Worried About Retaining Staff in Your Senior Living Fitness Center?

AlyssaStaffing shortages and employee retention challenges: the headline every organization hopes to leave behind in 2022. Finding the right staff and providing them with the connection and resources to grow is a key focus for many as we charge ahead into 2023. The creativity and networking of ideas forging our current team of staff has NIFS Fitness Management on fire, and I can’t think of a better way to start the year! As your community evaluates employee satisfaction, retention, and recruiting efforts as well as the impact your fitness program is having on resident lives, here are a couple of scenarios to consider regarding your fitness staffing model.

Do You Have the Time to Manage Your Community's Fitness Center Staff?

We recently experienced a client change where a new executive director with a background in fitness decided quickly in his new role that he wanted to bring fitness staffing in-house and do all the hiring. He felt he had the vision and expertise to effectively lead the fitness staff. Though he knew the qualifications to look for in candidates and had some programming experience, what he did not recognize was the time and commitment it would take to run such a valuable part of their community.

Six months later, the community’s newly hired fitness manager was applying for positions with NIFS and said he felt like he was on an island with little support, collaboration, or resources to help him serve the residents. His executive director had a full plate and couldn’t be dialed into fitness, and his life enrichment director was also busy and had no expertise in fitness programming herself. Within a short period of employment, he was looking to leave the community and seeking an organization that would offer him the support and a team of like-minded peers to grow and develop his skills. The executive director’s intentions were in the right place, but with a full plate, he lacked the time to fully support his new employee.

Is Your Fitness Staff Getting the Support They Need?

On the flip-side, we have numerous clients who have had their own in-house fitness staff and they saw opportunity to do better for their residents. Their staff had the qualifications for NIFS to onboard them, creating a seamless transition for the community and residents. The one common theme these new team members tell us is that they are grateful that they will have resources, best practices, and a team of peers doing this work across the country to help them take their senior fitness center program from good to GREAT. This is a win-win because we were able to onboard someone who knows the community and the residents, and inspire them with the solutions to their daily challenges and networking of new ideas.

In other instances, the staff the community hired did not possess the qualifications or skills to enhance what they were doing and the community made a change altogether, allowing NIFS to recruit a qualified fitness manager. In both instances, we helped clients evaluate the fit of their personnel when looking to elevate their resident service model.

If your community is looking at employee retention strategies, consider the support, growth potential, and collaboration available to your fitness staff. Think about the limits of your fitness program without new ideas, resources, and innovation pouring in from a network of fitness professionals in a similar setting and how you might better support your fitness staff.

NIFS Fitness Center Management Is Ready to Go!

To say we are excited about our current team and the ideas being developed for 2023–2024 for our clients and their residents is an understatement! NIFS Fitness Center Management staff members are developing relationships, sharing ideas, and inspiring one another to serve their residents with a fresh focus in 2023. We are providing them with professional development funding for new certifications, an annual curriculum of staff enrichment trainings, and a leadership team with 50+ years of experience in fitness and senior living to guide and support them. Let’s go!

Staffing your fitness center with NIFS


Topics: senior fitness management nifs fitness center management staffing fitness center staffing staffing struggles

Tips from NIFS to Help Your Staffing Struggles

staffDaily headlines remind employers of what they are already feeling with the squeeze to find qualified candidates to fill the record-setting job openings across nearly every industry. And for HR professionals responsible for hiring in senior living or corporate fitness centers, it may already be challenging enough to recognize the necessary skills when hiring a fitness professional who can cultivate the engaging onsite fitness center you desire. In the past couple of months, I have heard from multiple fitness management clients that they are grateful that they are partnered with NIFS to manage their fitness center personnel as its one less department they have to worry about as time, resources and candidate pools are stretched thin with staffing struggles.

It isn’t through luck that NIFS is able to recruit some of the best in the fitness industry to manage our corporate and senior living client fitness centers. We have been recruiting, vetting, and welcoming talented fitness professionals to our team across the country for over three decades. That experience has helped us build a foundation and a reputation that attracts degreed and passionate staff. If you are struggling to hire the right talent to create an engaging fitness space, consider how you might apply these factors in your organization’s hiring practices that have elevated NIFS recruiting efforts:

  1. Create a following: we have a careers page on our website where hundreds of followers have opted in to receive notifications about vacancies NIFS has available across the country. We regularly update our website when a position becomes available and followers receive a notification right in their inbox. Even if they aren’t regularly visiting our website, our position announcements are delivered right to them! In addition, candidates can submit their resume to NIFS to house in our database so we regularly have qualified candidates to comb through as positions become available.
  2. Partner with local universities: doing business in 16 states across the US puts us in proximity to some of the best exercise science and kinesiology programs, many of which are the alma maters to our staff. This has created opportunities for us to attend job fairs and post on university job boards to recruit new grads and more experienced alum. I remember hearing about NIFS in one of my first undergrad classes in the exercise science program at Ball State University (chirp chirp) and NIFS was one of the first employers I looked into upon graduation…and I’ve been here ever since. We recently hired a candidate who told us about admiring the work NIFS does in fitness management from the strong reputation she heard it carry in her master’s program at her university in southern Indiana.
  3. Network of amazing staff: our staff come to us from a variety of backgrounds working in commercial gyms, rehab settings, athletic training, sports performance, nutrition, and health coaching. From that experience brings a broad network of connections to spread the word about NIFS vacancies with former peers, classmates, colleagues, etc… Talent attracts talent and we love when our team helps us find the right fit for a client!

If you are tired of the turnover, lack of coverage support during staff vacations, or simply need time freed in your busy schedule from staffing struggles, contact NIFS for a conversation about fitness management services and let us champion the fitness staffing piece for your employees’ onsite fitness center or for your senior living fitness center.

Finding the right fit may only be half the battle when staff retention also comes into play. We recently had an applicant who works for a senior living community. He shared with us that he’s looking for other work because he feels like he’s on his own and has little connection and support from community personnel. He likes his community and loves his residents, but feels like there is missed opportunity to elevate his program or his own professional growth. We’ve written about networking opportunities for fitness staff before – check out these ideas here! Don’t go through the pains of recruiting, hiring, and training a great candidate just for them to quickly be searching elsewhere. Even though NIFS team is geographically stretched from coast to coast, we are strongly connected. NIFS team member Candace in Virginia recently shared the following with me, “I truly love being a part of the NIFS community, it has absolutely been my favorite company to work for throughout my career. I always feel appreciated with this company.” That is truly music to a director’s ears as loyal and appreciated employees take exceptional care of our clients.

Click below to find out more about our staffing services

Staffing your fitness center with NIFS

Senior Fitness Management Corporate Fitness Management

Topics: nifs fitness center management staffing nifs staff staffing struggles