Gym Owners’ Guide To Running Team Meetings That Don’t Suck

Gym owners, does your team look forward to meetings? Check out these five tips for running team meetings that are effective, efficient and fun!

Emily Beers
February 6, 2023
Gym Owners’ Guide To Running Team Meetings That Don’t Suck
Gym owners, does your team look forward to meetings? Check out these five tips for running team meetings that are effective, efficient and fun!

We’ve all been to that one meeting that could’ve been an email. Or the one where no one could agree on anything. And don’t get us started on the one that was so long it should’ve included a snack break. The truth is, team meetings can sometimes suck.

But as a gym owner, you’re in control of it all: The content, the timeline, the engagement. So it’s on you to make it effective, efficient and fun.

We get it: You probably have a lot to discuss with your team and everyone’s time is valuable. Disregarding respect for that leads to diminished trust and a lack of cohesion within the group.

Running fun and effective team meetings

So how do you run effective team meetings that cover all the info, maximize productivity and engage the whole group? We’ll give you some tips, plus show you how to keep it all within a reasonable time frame.

Five Tips For Rockin’ Your Team Meetings

1. Create A Clear Agenda.

“I’m just going to wing it” has been the lead-in to many sucky team meetings.

Every time you gather your team, make sure you have a clear agenda in writing. The group doesn’t necessarily need to see the written agenda. But it’s important to have on hand for preparation and reference.

First, creating an agenda gives you a complete overview of the meeting. It will probably be apparent if there’s too much information to fit within the time frame. Or if there’s not enough info to warrant pulling the team together.

Once you have your list, prioritize the topics in order of importance. For example, the first three bullet points might be non-negotiable (you absolutely have to cover them). But maybe the next two are less of a priority (you hope to get to them). And the final two points would be a bonus if you get to them.

Another idea to stay within the time frame is to include a time budget for each topic. For example, if your meeting is schedule for one hour, your top topics get 10 minutes each. Secondary topics get a combined 20 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for general discussion.

2. Communicate What You Can Outside the Meeting.

Depending on the length of time between team meetings, it’s easy to build up a lengthy discussion list. Having your coaches together can be great for brainstorming or going through the next programming cycle.

However, many topics don’t necessarily warrant a meeting. Use communication tools like a gym CRM to make your life easier and keep your team in the loop about quick updates. Consider options like Slack or the PushPress Staff App.

Update coaches through communication tools

For example, your landlord alerts you that they’ll be testing the building fire alarms from 7-9am on Friday. Your team meeting doesn’t need a laundry list of updates like this, so simply update your coaches as things come up.

Pro Tip: Want to learn more about how the PushPress Staff App can help you communicate with your team quickly (and with gifs?!) Book a demo with our team today for more information!

It also helps to share the team meetings’ agenda beforehand with your coaches. This allows them to follow along during the meeting. And more importantly, they’re prepared to provide well-thought-out feedback or answers to the topics you want to over.

3. Less Is More.

Because every gym is unique, there’s no right way to set the cadence of your team meetings. For some gyms, once per quarter will do. For others, it might be a weekly gathering.

Having coaches make a special trip to the gym for a ten-minute meeting once per week could cause some frustration. On the other hand, if quarterly meetings take three hours because there’s so much to cover, your team might start dreading them.

The key is to match the amount of information to the timeline that it’s relevant. Again, creating an agenda of what you want to discuss will help to relay this info. Look at your list and figure out how much time each item will take to cover. Then look at any associated dates or deadlines.

For example, if you run a four-week programming cycle, a monthly meeting might be best. Your training info and feedback can be the pillar of each meeting, followed by any other updates your team needs to know.

4. Implement A One Hour Rule.

No matter how engaging and entertaining you are as a leader, veteran gym owners recommend capping meetings at an hour. Anything longer generally leads to restlessness and less engagement.

And even more important: When you say one hour, stick to that promise. Your members wouldn’t appreciate a 60-minute class running for 80 minutes. The same applies to your coaches.

Naturally, there will sometimes be a need for team meetings that last longer than an hour. Several hours might be needed for annual marketing planning or ironing out the details of hosting a gym competition. In that case, schedule in a couple breaks and provide some healthy snacks. Your team will be appreciative and it will help to keep them engaged.

5. Allow Time For Coach Feedback.

The most effective meetings make people feel like they're part of the team and their feedback is valuable. Active discussions - versus just broadcasting information - can be great to generate new ideas for growth, revenue and gym retention.

Allow coaches to provide feedback and ideas

Your team is actively involved in your gym community and cares about your members so their feedback and insight can be extremely valuable. They can provide a “heads up” about potential issues or ideas for new community events.

Consider leaving 10-15 minutes free at the end of a meeting for coaches to bring up any topics they’d like to discuss. Or ask them to provide a list ahead of time for you to add to the meeting agenda.

In Summary: Are You Meeting Expectations?

As the person running the ship, it’s up to you to make sure team meetings are effective, efficient and fun. Start by creating an agenda so you have a clear perspective on the amount of information that needs to be discussed. Use communication tools to relay any “housekeeping” items outside the meeting.

Aim to keep meetings to one hour or less, and use that goal to determine how often you need to gather. Finally, give coaches a platform to ask questions, provide insight and share ideas. Make meetings a team sport to reap the benefits, increase coach cohesion and have some fun!

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

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