Develop Your People (Slowly)

We’ve all been there. You hire a new, hungry staff member, ready to put in work and help you grow your business.
You, being the tired, overworked gym owner you are, dream of freedom. It’s a win-win for both of you.
At first, things go great. They take on many of the roles you once had to shoulder yourself. Revenue is up and it seems they can do no wrong. So you offer them more things to do, and they, being young and hungry, say yes.
A few months later, things change. Members are complaining, some are leaving, revenue is down and your young, hungry staff member is showing up late.
You broke them.
Well, you helped break them.
The point is, you both came into this relationship with good intentions, but took poor action.
Don’t worry—you are not alone. I have done this many times in my business. You would think I would have learned by the fifth time. You would think I would have realized that I was doing something wrong, not them.
Well, I’ve finally learned the crucial lesson: Move slowly. Like, really slowly. Avoid the temptation to dump everything on new staff when they start. I know it’s hard, but trust me.
The Plan
When a new person starts, give them one role. Set clear expectations, give them a contract and an evaluation form. Our Incubator and Growth clients go through this process with mentors.
Give them one month to work in this role. Then evaluate them. How did they do? How do they feel? Happy? Comfortable? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? Don’t just gauge performance, gauge how they feel.
If they do a good job AND are not feeling overwhelmed, extend their contract to three months and CONSIDER giving them one more opportunity. This could be additional tasks or one additional role. Then re-evaluate at the end of three months.
Slowly but surely they will develop into an awesome employee with a promising career. And slowly but surely you will find more and more time to work on your business instead of in it. Or spend more time with your family.
Avoid the trap of unloading on them, because they will just implode—and you will have to start over again. This way is slow, but not as slow as causing multiple employees to fail and having to restart over and over again.
Do it right the first time.
If you need more help, we are here for you.


Jeff Burlingame
Two-Brain Business Mentor
Owner – Friction CrossFit



One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.