When members go to health clubs, they want to improve and maintain their health, gain fitness, burn calories and build strength, but without proper due care and attention to cleaning protocols your membership could come home with more than they bargained for. SBFM explores five top tips for cultivating a culture of cleanliness in your facilities.
With restrictions fully lifted and the public appetite for exercise and healthier lifestyles at an all time high, the health and fitness club market is in a highly favourable position to exploit a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for growth. According to Mintel data, approximately 5.7 million Brits held a gym membership in 2017, and this is expected to rise to reach 7 million in 2022.
While an influx of new members is certainly good for business, it does not come without it challenges, and health clubs must be particularly aware of gym-goers changing attitudes towards hygiene.
With over half of Britons believing businesses could be doing more to improve the hygiene of their premises to keep people safe from Covid-19 – and 88 per cent wanting to see UK businesses and organisations implementing more stringent hygiene regimes on their premises – health clubs have been sent a clear message: cleanliness matters now more than ever.
Today’s clubs, therefore, have a heightened duty to protect customers and colleagues alike and ensure that members can exercise safely on their premises. Here is how that can be achieved.
A recent survey found that, when it comes to hygiene, the use of gym equipment makes 62% ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ uncomfortable. It is imperative then that cleaning regimes include the regular and thorough cleaning of all equipment. This must include the removal of build up of dust, the use of suitable cloths and disinfectant sprays to wipe sweat from high touch points and contact points, as well as considering of non-harmful chemicals.
With a specific focus on the highly traffic touchpoints such as machines and free weights, health clubs can effectively alleviate the impacts of harmful and contagious bacteria and keep members fighting fit.
Manage shared spaces
According to The Les Mills’ 2021 Global Report, over two-thirds of gym members preferred working out in groups, with live classes almost twice as popular as livestreams. And with the post-pandemic fitness trend towards gym-based group classes expected to continue into 2022 and beyond, maintaining shared spaces will be a priority for health clubs.
A commercial cleaning partner can create a detailed profile of group activities and plan cleaning regimes around class schedules to ensure shared spaces are clean and hygienic before the next group activity begins. Such an approach ensures cleaning practices are shaped to the health club’s needs, and delivered based upon need and level of use, occupancy rates, and areas identified as requiring cleaning due to high usage or levels of footfall, rather than by simply following standard, routine cleaning schedules.
Take onboard customer feedback
Asking for and acting upon member feedback is a straightforward way to ensure that your gym members are satisfied with the service they are receiving, as well as the facilities you are providing, and will continue to exercise at your fitness facility on a regular basis. Even if the feedback is negative, understanding where improvements can be made – particularly when it comes to cleanliness – can be highly beneficial.
Whether it comes from physical comment cards, an app or even just regularly conversing with members, asking for and acting on such feedback can aid improvements in the overall health club experience.
“The dawning of this new era for the fitness industry will be defined by the ability of fitness operators to rethink their business model and value proposition.”ClubIntel, COVID-19 special report
As we have outlined there are a number of actions that health club facility owners can do to try and foster a culture of cleanliness, but if members do not uphold exacting standards of hygiene, efforts and resources can be wasted.
Managers need to prompt members to take positive action with prominent signage and accessible cleaning materials throughout all areas of the gym. Staff members can lead by example and encourage members to cooperate to keep a clean environment.
Hire a trusted partner
Seeking the services of an experienced facilities management partner can optimise and enhance existing cleaning strategies. Not only can such an approach ensure a prominent and visible cleaning presence across all health club sites, but it can also help uphold excellent cleaning standards through regular audits and evaluation processes.
Our cleaning and soft FM experts and industry leading solutions help ensure premises remain hygienic, safe and attractive, allowing health clubs to deliver the best possible visitor experience. For more information, please visit: https://sb-fm.co.uk/leisure-and-hospitality-cleaning/