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families and are generally very busy. Occupations and Family dominate their lives, but they may still be week- end warriors and still take time to en- joy Recreation activities. They use so- cial media but not to the same extent as younger generations.

Focus conversations on Family and

Occupations, and make sure their workouts are time efficient. They may feel guilty attending the club (instead of working or going to a child’s soccer game), so praise them for showing up.

Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) These members are well-entrenched

in their careers, often holding manage- ment roles. Occupation is important, but so is Family. Rank and title is im- portant. Be respectful to this group as they have worked hard to get where they are. They are getting ready to retire

and may have grandchildren. Popular Recreation activities include golf and hiking, and their primary rea- son for joining your club is to fix their

Traditionalists (pre-1944) This group has mostly retired from

the workforce. They are in your club to ensure they are healthy enough to en- joy Family time (especially with their grandkids) and Recreation (for exam- ple, golf, hiking and gardening). They are not inclined to use social media. Think of Betty White hosting Saturday Night Live: “Facebook? In my day we had phonebook, but you wouldn’t waste an afternoon reading it.” Face to face conversation is key with

this group. Teach your employees how to ask questions about Family and Recreation. Suggest that employees speak to this group as they would their grandparents. Be respectful since hier- archy and rank are important.

ailments and to continue living a good quality of life as they enter retirement. They are not really into social media, so face-to-face conversation is a must. Teaching your staff how to ask ques- tions (around Family, Occupation and Recreation) to create meaningful con- versations will serve this group well.

In my experience training new em-

ployees, most Gen Y new hires want to do a great job for you, but lack the understanding in how and why we need to communicate with our mem- bers. New employees often tell me that they don’t want to be interrupted while they exercise. I explain to them that they are a fully committed exer- cise goer, while many of our members (especially new members) are not. We need to reach out to them to build a community. Once they understand the why, then

teach the how. This is how you ap- proach a 45-year-old man. This is how you approach a 70-year-old woman. This is how you approach a 14-year- old kid who looks like he would rather be anywhere but here. FBC

Scott Wildeman is the senior vice-president of operations for International Fitness Holdings (owners of World Health, Spa Lady and Bankers Hall Club). His philosophy is that great employ- ees create great relationships that drive mem- ber usage.

November/December 2012 Fitness Business Canada 27

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