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BY SCOTT WILDEMAN


Take steps to avoid a generational gap between employees and staff.


loved to exercise. Fitness clubs were a niche and people felt they needed to get in shape before they joined. Fast forward to present day, and


T


people from all walks of life – from the de-conditioned to Olympic athletes – are club members. Fitness has moved to the forefront of the public con- science. We now have members from 13 to 90 years of age and everyone in between. However, for the most part, employ-


ees are still generally young people who love fitness. They are Gen Y, and they have their own value systems and beliefs regarding how the world works and how best to communicate. (As a club operator, you have likely had a Gen Y employee resign by text or Facebook.) When club owners don’t understand


this difference in values and beliefs be- tween employees and members, they risk creating create a generational gap between the two groups. It is important to point out that ev-


ery employee is a unique person, and typecasting everyone of this age with Gen Y characteristics would be unfair. Ensure you get to know each employee and understand their value and com- munication systems. But it is possible to make some gen-


eralizations about the Gen Y genera- tion: Many of them are technological- ly and social media savvy. They value family and community over hierarchy and corporations. They are not afraid to challenge authority. Some club operators (who are usu-


ally Gen X or Baby Boomers) feel a dis- connect between their Gen Y hires and themselves and members of their gen- eration. Here are some practical sug- gestions for bridging the gap:


  


» Tel: 905-266-0106, E-mail: info@idealfit.ca Web-site: www.idealfit.ca November/December 2012 Fitness Business Canada 25


hirty years ago, the em- ployees hired to work in our fitness clubs mirrored members: they were young and athletic people who


 


Understand your Gen Y employees: • technologically savvy • proficient with social media • value family and community over hierarchy and corporations


• not afraid to challenge authority


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