Staff Performance

Before you can deliver your products and services,you must first employ economic resources. Your facility’s most important pur- chase and asset is its staff. Performance is a precursor to profit, and higher margins allow greater reinvestment in quality (Figure 3). Though all staff members should have QM responsibilities, it’s the individuals on the front-line who deliver the products and services. Competence, character, responsibility and personality in their respective roles is crucial. Staff must be committed to providing exceptionally high levels of service for all withwhom they interact, in and outside the facility, on a consistent basis.

Personal trainers. Trainers are integral in the quality assurance and improvement functions. The eyes and ears of the facility, trainers are ideally positioned to assist in the collection of internal intelligence, or feedback provided by members. It’s amazing what trainers know about facility performance and member satisfaction; however, this information rarely gets to management because it’s not solicited. In fact, some trainers fear reporting complaints to management.

Trainer competence. Given the role of trainers in facilities, and the critical link between trainer competence and quality, it’s a prudent decision to set standards for trainers. Since the industry does not provide absolute quality standards for individual trainers, you must determine what the minimum and preferred qualifications should be.

First, address your current and futureneeds, taking into account your market demographics,health risks of current members and trends within the community. This provides a “snapshot” of what is required now and in the future. Second, define the criterion to be taken into consideration when determining minimum and preferred qualifications. Third, define qualifications specific to particular training roles, since trainers work with people of varying conditions and health risks. For example, a qualified trainer for “client A” is not necessarily qualified to work with “client B,” and may not be qualified to recommend strategies to certain members who may ask them a question. Fourth, determine the actual responsibilities and accountabilities of each trainer’s role.

This data should form the basis of the job description. Avoid generalities such as “qualification = degree and certification.”

Sales representatives. Sales professionals must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills above all else. Yourfacilitywillnot provide a perception of quality and be service-oriented if you pursue sales through aggressive,confrontational or intimidation methods.

Receptionists. Like sales reps, receptionists must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills, plus patience and empathy, especially if yourfacility serves an older adult market.


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