Three strategies to attract new gym members and retain staff

2 min read
Tuesday, 11 October 2022

It’s time to do something different if you want to reduce the gap between pre and post pandemic membership counts, says Terry Woods, VP Sales at Myzone.  

Right now, the health and wellness industry has several problems.

Returning members of a gym

Members have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. The latest IHRSA statistics show that US health club memberships has grown 3.8% in the last two years and 27% of the population (the highest ever) have used at least one facility. But total visits decreased from 6.7bn in 2019 to 4.5bn in 2021, while the average number of annual visits, per individual, dropped from 109 to 72.

Myzone’s own figures confirm this. Our exercise location study shows that in May-June 2022 only 43 - 45% of user workouts took place in a facility compared to 63% in February 2020.

Staff retention in your fitness facility

Another problem is staff. In May - June 2022 only 75% of training staff had returned meaning fewer PTs, coaches and instructors to attend to membership. And many of the staff that are coming in are new to the industry.

The good news is that we can solve these problems with the right strategies. Technology alone won’t do it; you need to align to a strategy and use technology as the means to the end.

To ensure success, you must first do the following:

  • Make sure you’ve got a champion who knows what you want to do with your solution and can apply pressure every day to make it successful.
  • Define the problem, brainstorm the opportunities and pitfalls to your business and prioritise the top solutions – ideally those which are low cost to implement and will deliver a high anticipated return, like technology.
  • Follow a successful change management formula (vision, skills, incentives, resources, action plan) to deliver effective change and drive engagement.

An engaged member is a happy member

A third party, MXM, sampled 63,000 members during 2022 across several locations and compared people utilising Myzone with those who don’t. Here’s what they found:

MXM Data-1

*Scores are Net points

What does this fitness data tell us?

That people who are using technology to support their workouts are more engaged, accountable, happier and therefore will stay for longer.

What can you take away from the above?

  1. Take action - It’s time to run some plays to gain members, you can’t just wait for them to walk in.
  2. Technology is just a tool - you need to apply initiative and pressure alongside the technology to solve the problems.
  3. Solutions need to fit strategies - Think through your strategy before you purchase a solution. What are you trying to accomplish?
  4. Fully embrace your technology - Make sure you provide the vision, skills, incentives and resources to do the job, and also set up an action plan to ensure successful change.

These strategies, aligned with the right technology, will deliver a huge impact on member engagement, will drive new members to your facility, and will help your staff train, educate and ensure your members are achieving results.

Read more on Terry's three top tips for a successful membership engagement strategy here: Creating connection, Accountability, and Challenges.

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