My phone pinged with a Facebook notification at 4:47pm on Saturday afternoon:
John O'Neil tagged you in a post.
I opened up the notification to find an image of four full-time CSP staff members and a pair of fall interns circled around a table eating what appeared to be ice cream cake. The right side of the image featured a (clearly fake) picture of the cake.
"Happy Birthday, Pete! Here's the crew celebrating with a micro-creamery ice cream cake for you.”
I was being trolled.
If I had to pick my favorite part of this post, it would be the fact that John & Co. intentionally chose not to remove the HappyBirthdayCakePic.com graphic from the top corner of the photo as they attempted to pass it off as a real cake purchased to celebrate my birthday at an event I wasn't even invited to.
Why did I love it?
Well, for starters, I have a sense of humor. You can't own and operate a gym without being open to some good old fashioned ball-busting. After all, I tolerated my Office Manager Stacie’s “Happy 51st, Pete” sign that sat at the front desk the entire day before, so why not laugh at this one? (I’m 36, for the record.)
Secondly, I loved it because it illustrated the fact that I have a team that genuinely enjoys each other’s company. 4:47pm on a Saturday happens to be close to three hours after we close up shop at the end of an exhausting six-day work week. These guys could have raced home and enjoyed their 36-hour work-free window. Instead, they chose to get a lift in as a group following client hours, and then hit the road for ice cream.
There is nothing that positively impacts a training environment more than employing a collection of individuals who love working together to facilitate it.
When your coaches share a bond, the positive vibes bleed into the client experience. Camaraderie on the training floor between staff members can be contagious, and clients begin to feel at home in this setting. If you train athletes for a living, the connection that your team shares will closely simulate the clubhouse vibe that they have acclimated to during their competitive seasons.
Begin the process of cultivating a cohesive team today by focusing as much (or more) on “fit” as you do on “competency” during the hiring process. If you’re considering adding a coach to your staff, get all of your employees involved in the decision. Your coaches want to feel that they have an ownership stake in the team that they work with, not just the programming they design.