Can You Really, Really Motivate Anyone?

If you Google the word “motivation,” you will find two definitions:

1. As a noun, “The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a certain way.” 
2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

As a club owner or manager, can you motivate your staff and employees? The answer is NO. 

There are many things you can do to create an atmosphere for self-motivation. Can you see yourself approaching one of your employees on Monday morning and saying, “Hi Nancy, I’m here to motivate you. What do you think her response would be? As a club owner or manager it is your job to create the tone and atmosphere for self-motivation. 

Let’s examine the four (4) stages of any career or job.

Stage 1 - Excitement: Wow, I finally got a job, nice people work here, great company to work for, the best job I ever had, this is easy, I like it here, I can see this being my career,  my manager is very understanding and supportive, this is fun, and I am learning new skills every day. This Excitement Stage may last from 2 weeks to 10+ years, depending on the work environment.

Stage 2 - Questioning: After the Excitement Stage is over the Questions Stage begins: Do I need to be on time every day? Do I need to work with members that I do not like? Why do I need to give tours? Why is Amanda getting paid more than me? Why do I get stuck working Saturdays? While your employees go through this stage they are less productive and performance suffers. 

Stage 3 - Blaming: In this stage employees make statements such as: “My manager does not motivate me, I could have closed this sale if Susan did not interrupt me, I cannot sell the club because the janitors do not clean, I could sell more if visitors did not have any objections, I cannot sell because of bad training, people drop out because of bad classes, if I got paid more I would work harder, if I was the owner I would make many changes here.

Stage 4 - Looking: After an employee goes through the first three stages, they start looking for another job. While they are looking they are not productive.  

What should a club owner or manager do? The first step is to spend time with your employees and do an assessment to determine their stage. If only 10% of your employees are in Stage 1, there is room for improvement. Here are some ideas. 

Stage 1: Keep encouraging and supporting your employees, listen to them, continue to provide training sessions, have them be the mentor to new employees, and do not get in their way of success.

Stage 2:  Get to know them, ask them about their job, and explain the policies and what is expected of them. Spend time in answering their questions and concerns. Do everything possible to get them back to Stage 1. 

Stage 3: If 50% of your staff is in this stage you have a problem. It is just like disease, it will spread throughout your company and destroy morale and productivity. You will need to spend time and effort here to determine how many employees can be moved to Stage 1 with proper training and coaching. At the same time, determine which employees will need to be put on a Performance Improvement Plan. This is critical step for any club owner or manager that will test your management and leadership skills.

Stage 4: Determine which employees are worth keeping and which ones will help your company when they exit. If you are experiencing a high turnover rate amongst your best employees, something is wrong and will need your immediate attention. It is expensive to lose great employees, especially after spending your time training, coaching and have them earn the respect of your club members. 

A simple question for club owners and managers. . . What stage are you in?

For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at for more information. 

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