Rachel Young is the Director of Business Development at Myzone EMEA & the Vice-chair of Europe Active’s advisory group for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. With over 30 years of experience in the fitness industry, Rachel has built & sold a successful PT & group training business, and has worked for many successful brands including Fitness First, JJB Sports (now DW Sports), Gym4less & Xercise4Less. As an innovative motivator & passionate fitness professional, it was a pleasure to catch up with Rachel for a quick Q&A.
RACHEL, AS A SPECIALIST IN MEMBER EXPERIENCE, DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS ON HOW HEALTH CLUBS CAN TAILOR THEIR OFFERINGS WITHIN THE NEW ‘COVID’ LANDSCAPE?
Put people first starting with your staff and team. Ensure they feel valued, supported and informed. These guys are at the coal face and need to be fully trained, know what is expected of them and have the tools they need to succeed. If your team are trained and happy then this will ensure they are authentic in their roles and this will in turn be reflected in the experience they deliver to not only members but everyone they come in to contact with.
Operators need to embrace remote training and integrate this into their business model by viewing this as an extension of the traditional offering. This will ultimately drive participation across the sector and truly support to make people healthier.
YOU ARE AN AVID DRIVER OF DIGITAL PLATFORMS TO ENHANCE THE OPERATIONAL MODEL & MEMBER EXPERIENCE WITHIN A HEALTH CLUB. WHICH PLATFORMS WOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR YOU & WHY?
That’s got to be Myzone all day long and I would be saying that irrespective of where I work. It rewards effort, builds communities and just makes people feel good about exercise. All people, irrespective of fitness levels or modality of an activity. The ability to connect, engage and support Myzone movers, broadens a club reach way beyond the walls of the facility. Geography is no longer a limitation and an operators reach has become far wider.
AT THE GROUND LEVEL, WHAT CAN HEALTH CLUB OPERATORS DO TO PROMOTE INCLUSION WITHIN THEIR FACILITIES?
This has to be addressed from the inside out, internally within the business, to build a solid infrastructure that puts people first, everyone. That promotes inclusions across all departments in the business, before looking to action externally.
They have to be authentic and know ‘why’ they are driving inclusion. When they know this then it has to be a focus on promoting this in all aspects of the business. Aside from the moral reason behind this, there are an abundance of commercial improvements that will be gained by a diverse workforce, with diverse experiences and diversity of thinking. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, and that starts with the workforce.
Employers must cultivate a culture that encourages their team members to question, to speak up and out and call out bad attitudes or behaviours. This is all about awareness, learning and education. We all make mistakes and should use these mistakes to learn from.
Having open lines of communication can only be positive, to encourage people to think and act differently. Consideration also needs to be given to the internal processes that they follow, are they inclusive and accessible to all? Finally there is plenty to do in relation to marketing campaigns, the images and language that we use to become more inclusive and be really taken seriously as health professionals who put people first.