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corporate fi tness


Born to run Running clubs, such as those offered by LGN Wellbeing, might be a way for health clubs to venture into corporate fi tness


the instructor, who gives training tips and answers any questions the members may have. While running clubs are at the core of LGN Wellbeing,


its portfolio of services has expanded to include corporate seminars on the entire spectrum of running-related areas, from training and nutrition to mental preparation and injury prevention. It also organises running events. More than 600 people took part in its Inter Advertising Industry 5km Challenge in 2008, which pitted creative agencies against media agencies in London’s Regents Park. The advertising industry charity patron, NABS, subsequently added the LGN 5km run as an annual event to the industry calendar.


MISSING SKILLS? Pochee believes health clubs could also deliver corporate running programmes, but says there are issues to consider. “The hard bit is finding very qualified personal trainers who have a real passion for running and can empathise with clients. We’re not about punishing people; we take a slow and steady approach. Everyone should finish our sessions wanting more, and that comes down to the skill of the trainer,” he explains. The success of any corporate health programme is


Creating customised programmes to suit each client


also helps, he says. “We avoid a ‘one size fi ts all’ approach. Contracts can then last for years as we develop ongoing wellbeing initiatives as part of a business’s long-term strategy.” Gray, however, questions whether many health clubs would


have either the skills or the time needed to offer the range of services required for corporate health. “It’s a business within itself, so would require far more time and attention than club managers have spare,” he explains. “Not only that, but many clubs also still struggle to get


“Corporate health is a


the basics right: ensuring clients are greeted on arrival and acknowledged by instructors on the gym fl oor, for example, and ensuring members use the club regularly and achieve their goals. “I thought setting up energiseYou


business within itself, so could require far more time and attention than club managers have spare”


would be simple, but it’s actually a far more complex business than that of health club operation; running 14 health clubs was easy compared to what I’m doing now. The sales timeline is much longer and more complex, for example, while the design and delivery of health and wellbeing services and workshops requires specifi c skills that most


operators would struggle to fi nd within their clubs.” Specifi c skills are defi nitely required to deliver corporate


the ability to develop lasting relationships with clients, adds Pochee: “It’s all about retention. If we get churn, the club just dies. It has to be about keeping people and chasing them up if they don’t attend. The instructor has to build real rapport with the clients.” Like LGN Wellbeing, The Tonic and energiseYou also rely


on repeat business. Archer credits The Tonic’s success in retaining clients to his team, who are not only experts in fi tness, nutrition, lifestyle coaching, relaxation and stress management, but who are also skilled in coaching and who have a background in the corporate world, so they understand the challenges faced by their clients. “This helps us focus on achieving quick behaviour changes and lasting results for every individual and group we work with,” he adds.


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health programmes, agrees Archer. “Companies look for our ability to understand their people, the experience to design and deliver programmes that will get fast and ongoing results, and the depth of knowledge across all areas of wellbeing to help staff make improvements to their health, wellbeing and personal performance – no matter what their individual situation,” he says. That’s certainly a tall order for any health and fi tness


provider, and health club operators will have to take a long, hard look at their skills and expertise before considering a move into corporate wellness.


healthclub@leisuremedia.com vicky kiernander


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital july 2010 © cybertrek 2010


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