Why Mental Health Needs to Be Part of Your Gym’s Strategy

If you’re in the fitness industry, you’re in an industry largely focused on people.

“Behind every great customer experience lies an even greater group of people.”

So how do you take care of your people? You begin by listening to their unique stories, taking into account their individual perspectives and understanding their needs.

In order to provide amazing customer experiences to your gym members, you have to first get to know your team and what drives them to perform at their best.

When you expand your gym’s strategy to cover mental health on both a team level and a customer level, you unlock a new approach to member retention.

Understanding your Team

Whether you manage a single gym or run a multi-site business, you need to work with other people to deliver great customer service. From vendors and partners to staff members and freelance PTs, there’s bound to be a range of personalities you come into contact with.

The more you understand different points of view, the better your chances to get on the same page with your team, so that you can create a great environment at your gym.

When you consider the mental health of everyone you work with as well as their physical performance, you will not only increase your own empathy but also engage, motivate and support people on a deeper level.

But there are more benefits to adding a mental health “clause” in your strategy:

Understanding your Customers

People join the gym to change something about their lifestyle, from their appearance and habits to the type of individuals they spend time with.

Gym members who are visiting frequently, in particular, tend to be what is referred to as “high performers” in life. They have a mentality that prioritises wellbeing and looks for ways to decrease stress through the practice of movement. In doing so they are more likely to achieve their professional goals than those who sit behind their desk all day long.

New joiners are often attracted specifically to the idea of becoming those high performers, but have little to no knowledge of how to actually make the transition.

With the focus on physical gains in most gym memberships, an important element in the PT-to-client relationship is lost – the opportunity to support the mentality transition. This, of course, is directly connected to one’s mental health and how they perceive themselves.

Just like understanding your team brings many benefits, getting to know your gym members on a more personal level and offering them mental health support leads to a better customer service experience and increased chances for long-term retention.

People to People interactions

What happens when you’re running a gym that has both its staff members and customers looking after their physical and mental health simultaneously? You begin to bring a change on a community level.

It’s the simplest thing and the biggest game-changer to relationship management – when you start to treat others as “people” and not just as the roles they are performing in society (e.g. trainer, exerciser, receptionist, manager, etc).

Everybody craves to be seen and understood. When businesses start to acknowledge this and meet customers in the middle, they have the chance to really help them build new habits and the identity shift needed to stick with those habits.

Here’s what else you achieve when you begin to practise people-to-people interactions at your fitness club: