Two-Brain Radio: When You Have to Let a Staff Member Go

Greg Strauch-BLOG

13:21 – Stay neutral with your remaining staff: Don’t bash the former employee.

15:22 – Have more questions? We’re here to help.

Greg: 00:02 – Hey, it’s Greg Strauch with Two-Brain Media, and on this week’s episode I talk to you about letting a staff member or coach go: the steps that you need to take, making sure that you’re communicating effectively and you are transparent where it needs to be, but making sure that you follow the checklist and go through every single step to make the break clean and the coach goes in the direction or staff member needs to go in the direction they do and the business goes in the direction it needs to. So listen up and make sure you guys subscribe to Two-Brain Radio to hear the very best ideas, tips, and topics to move you and your business closer to wealth. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

Chris: 01:02 – One of my favorite finds has been I linked up with Matt several months ago at Forever Fierce and he had some fantastic ideas, and so he and I have put together a couple of packages that we think are really gonna help CrossFit affiliates everywhere. Two-Brain mentoring clients use Matt almost exclusively. He’s got fantastic designs and he takes all the work out of it. All that time that you spend searching the internet and Pinterest and junk like that for great CrossFit T-shirts? You don’t have to do that anymore. Matt has fixed that for you. You can put your logo on one of his templates, which are fantastic, and your clients will never know the difference. It saves you so much time that you could be using on other things like real marketing. He’ll also go so far as to remind you when it’s time to reorder. He’ll give you suggested order sizes, he’ll help you set up pre-orders so you’re not even fronting the cash from the inventory. It’s all amazing stuff built to help affiliates, and that’s why I love this guy and this company, They do all of Catalyst’s shirts, all the Two-Brain shirts, all the Ignite Gym shirts. They do everything for every business that I own.

Greg: 02:03 – When letting go of a coach or staff member, it can never be an easy task. There’s so many questions that run through your mind of how I could have helped this person. But really what it’s going to boil down to is the fact that they don’t line up with your vision or the values that you guys have set forth for the gym, whether that’s just you and having one or two staff members or your entire team helping you guide through that. And there’s been some questions that we’ve gotten throughout Two-Brain that are really great questions, and it’s probably the same questions that you guys are dealing with when trying to let go of a coach or a staff member. So questions that you guys may have is when letting go of a coach or a staff member, do I tell my staff, do I tell my members, what are the things I need to tell them?

Greg: 02:47 – What shouldn’t I tell them? Should I just worry about my members coming up with rumors of what’s happening? Should I create a class announcements or a post or a video or an email? What exactly should I say? And to answer that question, really what it comes down to is you want to tell your staff. You don’t need to concern yourself with your members unless it’s on a PT one-on-one basis with that staff member if they’re leaving. We don’t want to go into detail with what exactly happened always, but we do want them to know that when we had this person come on board, we loved having them and things can change. Time changes things, and for the best part of the business to move on in the right direction, it’s best if we split ways. And you’re going to talk to your staff about this and make sure you answer any questions.

Greg: 03:41 – You can let them answer any members that have questions if that person played a pivotal role in the classes as in if it’s a head coach or it’s a GM or something like that, or even a customer success manager, make sure your staff can come to you with questions on what you have to say. Make sure that they understand that we’re doing this for the betterment of the business. We’re moving in the right direction when we do this. Make sure that you sit down and have an exit either call or interview with said coach. Somebody that is leaving, we want to make sure that they understand a few things and one of those things is we want to make sure that they understand whatever classes that they have done, that they are getting paid for those classes, that we make sure that we collect all the things like maybe keys and those kinds of stuff.

Greg: 04:25 – But there’s a few other things and we have a full-on list that I’ll go through to make sure that you guys are executing on these things when removing somebody from your classes or basically your business. Now, the next question you may be asking yourself is what happens if this coach still wants to be part of the gym? They want to be a member at the gym. Can we do this? And the answer is yes and no. Yes, depending on what they were being let go for. If you have a problem with a coach because they were stealing from you, let’s say they were collecting everybody’s money for Kill Cliffs and FitAids and shirts and pocketing the cash and never recording it, probably not somebody that you want to have in the gym because they may take from other members and you don’t want to have somebody like that in your environment. But make sure that if you decide to keep them and have them become a member, that all of the processes and standards that you have set forth for other members are completely understood.

Greg: 05:24 – This can be done definitely in that exit interview or call. Also the thing you are going to want to do is make sure that in that exit interview or call that you review your NDA and any other agreements that you have set forth with them. You want to make sure that they understand exactly what is in there, what they’re basically allowed to do and not allowed to do, and you’re not doing this to bully them. Make sure you are explaining to them, listen, we want to make sure that you are set forth in the right direction, but we also want to make sure that they don’t turn around work for a competitive not knowing that they’re actually violating their NDA or if they had a compete at some time. Depending on who they are and the regulations within your country and state, that’s going to change from state by state and country by country. Make sure that you sit down, like I said earlier, and go over that final invoice with them. Make sure you get that final invoice paid. And then a few things that you’re going to want to make sure that you guys go over. Now, some of these may be things that you guys have within your business. Some of them you may not. But things like the gym-management software, make sure they’re removed access from it. We don’t want them to have any access to any of those things. Make sure if they have an email account that the password is changed and they’re logged out of anything that they had access to, especially if you had PT sessions that were documented in say like a Google Docs or Google Drive or your playbook is in there.

Greg: 06:48 – We don’t want them to have access to these things. So make sure that you guys are removing access to all of those things. You’re going to make sure that your CRM, if they have any type of contacts, say, let’s say they have PT clients that you had actually assigned to them, that they’re removed out of there. Make sure your CSM is knocking that out and making sure they’re removed from there. Make sure they don’t have a CRM account. Make sure that is removed. Depending on the communication that you have with your staff, if you use something like Slack, we want to make sure that that is removed as well. We don’t want them to be communicating back and forth, having staff saying, hey, sorry, that sucks or whatever it’s going to be, because we want to make sure that we have a clean break when we do this.

Greg: 07:32 – We want to make sure that if there are any Facebook groups or any kind of front-facing to clients or future clients, we remove them from there. Any private groups, remove them from there. Make sure that if they’re in Acuity and you’re scheduling appointments with them, we get rid of that stuff as well. Remove them from any email lists. Say we send out an email once a week to our coaching staff or just our staff in general, we want to make sure that they are removed from there. If they use any kind of online software such as like Zoom for recording, if they do online stuff, we want to make sure that’s gone. If they have any calendar appointments, we want to make sure those get rescheduled as well. Cause if you have coaches that are performing PT sessions or on-ramp sessions or whatever it’s going to be, we want to make sure that those are all rescheduled so the client doesn’t really see a big step from this one coach to the next coach that’s going to be taking over for them.

Greg: 08:24 – Now when that happens, that is definitely something by case by case that you may want to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with that member. Just letting them know, again, we’re not going to turn around and throw their dirt out there. We’re not going to turn around and say what exactly happened. Except for the fact of the facts, which is, hey, they’re moving on to new and better things, which is the same thing that we’re going to be putting in that email that we’re going to be communicating to our coaching staff. And make sure that the coaches that are still at the gym and the staff that’s still at the gym, they understand. If anyone has any hard questions that they don’t feel like they can answer or don’t really know and they’re going to speculate, make sure they don’t and they have those members come to you and talk to you because you’re going to do the same thing as what we’ve laid out before.

Greg: 09:07 – Communicate with them, but in a positive way that they’re moving in the right direction, the business is moving in the right direction. This was just better for everyone to go on to bigger and better things. Next we’re going to want to make sure communication again with the coaches with that staff member is removed out of that group, if there’s any kind of messaging, that kind of stuff, make sure that is removed. Make sure any messages one-on-one with clients is removed. Again, if you have some kind of non-compete in play and you’re authorized to be able to institute that still, make sure that in that exit interview or call or whatever, you want it to be, that they totally understand that that is still in play. Because the last thing you want is them to be reaching out to your members and trying to coax them into coming to another gym if you have a non-compete or anything like that in there.

Greg: 09:56 – The other part of that is too, let’s say they downloaded some of your documents, like your playbook or any of your information that is your business’. We want to make sure that they understand that that is still your business’ property and they’re not allowed to utilize it in any way. If they go to another gym or open up their own gym, whatever it’s going to be. So we want to make sure all that, and then anything else that you can possibly think of that they’d have access to, whether that’s your website, whether you have social media such as Instagram or YouTube or Twitter or whatever it’s going to be. Make sure that we remove access to all of them. And we want to make sure we go through this checklist to really knock all of that information out that I’ve said already.

Greg: 10:37 – We want to make sure that everybody understands exactly what’s going on and we want to make sure that everyone understands that we need to get past this and just keep moving forward. OK. The one thing you can do is make sure that the coach—if the coach does want to communicate with the staff, we can get one final communication with them. This is on behalf of them, but what they’re going to write is something that you as the owner is going to have to approve and then pass on. We’re not going to have them write to the staff members that this sucks and everyone come with me, that the owner or the GM, whoever’s firing them is doing a poor job and everyone needs to come with me, because we know that that probably isn’t true.

Greg: 11:18 – I mean, you aren’t firing them because they’re great and they’re doing everything right and they’re doing everything perfect and they’ve never made a mistake and they bring more members always. All those things is not the reason why you are letting them go. So if they do want to communicate, you can definitely have them send that to you and then you can clarify it and then send that out to the coaching team and the members. But make sure you are overlooking everything that goes on. But that’s the only way they should be communicating. They should not be reaching out to them personally. If you are sending something out to the clients, it is only really those one-on-one personal-training clients that we’re going to do that with. The other part of this is we are having a letter that I would definitely send an email which Two-Brain has a template for this.

Greg: 11:57 – So if you’re a Two-Brain client, you definitely have that email. And if you look through blog posts from the past, I know we have this blog post out there as well, but it’s basically a firing blog post and it’s going to basically just state, hey, things have been going great. The path that you’ve decided to do and the coach has decided to take on new things. And that we’re happy to announce that they’re able to do that and everyone’s moving in the right direction. And then of course at the end, making sure you say thank you for your trust, we won’t let you down or some version of that to remind them, hey, we’re here for you and here for the clients. And that’s really the reason why we had to let go of that staff member was we are moving in a different direction than they are and that’s OK.

Greg: 12:43 – They’re moving in the direction they need to and we are in the way we need to and it’s perfect. So I wanted to come on here, give you guys a little bit of information, action items that you guys can take forth and actually put into play. Because this is a question that we get a lot. Even though we’ve created content for it, it still comes up because every scenario could be a little different. And we’ve created a checklist. If you’re within the Two-Brain family, there are the modules that you can jump on and use the fire escape plan that we’ve created along with the different templates and stuff like that. If you guys have questions, as always, please reach out to us. You can reach out to me,, I’m happy to answer any questions, especially when letting go staff you, never know what can happen.

Greg: 13:21 – Every scenario can be a little different. And if you’re interested in making sure that hey, we want to handle this 100%, always booked that call, that free help call with us, at and we can get you set up with a mentor and get you started in Incubation where you have a mentor one-on-one and you can work on these things. But really when it comes down to this, make sure that you guys are being as transparent as it allows for both parties to stay neutral, if that makes sense. So you’re not going to go to your staff and remind them, hey, this person’s leaving cause they suck and they do all this stuff wrong and they’re awful. You’re just going to remind them that this is best for the business and best for the coaches and the best for the members and it’s best for them as well, the person that is leaving. We want to make sure that we create that sense of teamwork, that it’s not the business against the coaches, each coach separately or this one coach. Because at the end of the day, if another coach does get released from the gym or from your staff, you want to make sure that they understand if this ever happened to them, they would be left with their dignity as well. You’re not going to single them out within the group and ostracize them in any sort of way. We want them to know we truly do care, that they are human, they’re going in the right direction for them. And that’s what we need to have happen. This also means that sometimes they’re just not a perfect fit for you. I’ve had coaches and staff members that are not perfect fits for the gym.

Greg: 14:46 – They don’t follow what our vision is and where we’re going. They don’t align with our values and we have a quick conversation and then we follow this process to make sure that they’re moving on to better things. We want, again, to make sure that all staff members feel safe and understand that this is a team and we’re always going to protect the team and move in the direction of where the vision of the gym is going and the business is going. So again, if you guys got any questions out there, this is a little bit shorter episode than we normally have or having a guest on. It’s just me because I want to make sure I address this cause if people are having this issue, I want to make sure that you guys have some kind of resource out there to really talk about it.

Greg: 15:22 – Not too often do we talk about how do we let go of a coach. Usually it’s on the other side of it, how do I hire more coaches? How do I get more people in? Which is awesome. You’re bettering more people’s lives, which is amazing and phenomenal. But sometimes staff members that get in aren’t always perfect for where we’re going, or they were perfect at one point, but they’re not anymore. So I hope this helps you guys. I hope you guys understand to make sure to take care of all of your staff members, whether you’re bringing staff members in or letting staff members go. And of course, if you’ve got questions for me,, I’m happy to answer any questions.

Greg: 15:54 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

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