Staffing 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!