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investment in training will reap rewards
In the current economic climate, many
employers are coming under pressure
to keep a tight rein on their budget.
Slashing investment in staff training can
seem like an obvious and quick way

of trimming costs, but I would advise
employers to think again, and to actually
take advantage of some of the free
training opportunities on offer.
Now is precisely the time that we
should be investing in the skills and
talents of our staff. When markets
are shrinking and membership
numbers falling, it is the commitment,
productivity and ability of our employees
to add value that will keep leisure Research shows that 79 per cent of frontline staff lack customer service skills
facilities competitive.
Peter Mandelson, Secretary of State sector’s ‘worrying’ skills gap fi ndings. It reports that 69 per cent of
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory As an industry responsible for delivering managers lack relevant skills, and that a
Reform, says: “Evidence shows that the government’s target to see half the massive 79 per cent of frontline staff lack
those [companies] that invest in nation active by 2020, it’s alarming that customer service skills.
training are less likely to fail. And fi rst- a large number of health club operators If we are to succeed in encouraging
class workplace skills will be key to are failing to invest in their staff. individuals to get active and continue
prospering when the economy turns A recent report from Leisure-net to lead a healthy lifestyle, employers
up. I know people face tough decisions, Solutions highlights a huge skills gap in must train their workforce. This is true
but I would urge businesses to invest in managerial positions, as well as the fact for all positions: whether an instructor,
skills and training to ensure that they that a worrying number of operators are receptionist or GM, each employee should
are well placed to take advantage of the not providing their duty managers with hold the qualifi cations and skills necessary
opportunities when global economic suffi cient training to effectively manage to motivate and support people as they
conditions improve.” incidents. Research from the Sector Skills train towards a more active lifestyle.
mike beeney Agreement, conducted by the SkillsActive fl orence orban
business development director, lifetime Group, reinforces these disappointing interim ceo, national skills academy
the letter
Taking early legal advice can often prevent
a problem becoming a dispute. The team at
e printed a story last month
about Robert Cappuccio and
of the law
Croner Consulting answers readers’ questions
the background that contributed to
making him a successful personal
I k

now we have to include our full name and geographical address on our trainer, manager and public speaker.
business website, but do we have to include our telephone number? We do want to clarify that, while
he came from a dysfunctional and
The E-Commerce Regulations require business websites to include details disruptive home and childhood, he
that enable customers to contact the business rapidly and to communicate did not spend any time in prison.
in a direct and effective manner. The European Court of Justice has recently His change in lifestyle came in 1993,
considered an appeal of a German case as to whether anything more than an at the hands of a gym owner who
email and postal address are needed. They have decided that the business does saw more in Cappuccio than his
have to provide a quick and effective means of communication as well as an life had demonstrated to that point
email address. Generally this will mean a telephone number, but it could mean and eventually led Cappuccio to see
an electronic enquiry form emailed to the business that has to be more and therefore expect more
answered rapidly by email. from himself.
6 Read Health Club Management online january 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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