Issue Date: September 2010 Web Features, Posted On: 9/10/2010

Games at the Workplace

Summer has nearly come to an end, people are returning from their vacations, the big rush to get into shape for the beach has just about drizzled out. So, we need to shake things up a bit. We want to make sure we don't lose any of the momentum our clients may have gained over the summer or make up for the "other" kind of gains they may have found do to travel and inability to make it to the gym regularly.

It is my experience in the past that just like changing up a workout to shock the muscles into growing, we have to sometimes shock the client into a rejuvenated reason for training and training hard for results. Finding a way to re-motivate, alter-motivate or create a sense of urgency has to be creative, fund and rewarding.

One of the things I have done with all of my clients in the past is contacted all of them via email and told them that we were going to have a "Biggest Loser" contest. The contest was strictly limited to actively training clients. I spelled out the rules, the system of measurement and the start to finish dates of the contest. I always set this up as a friendly competition but with a promise of great results and obviously a prize to the winner.

I encouraged each person to contact me. If they wanted to add a session or two a week to gain an edge of their competition, I would encourage them to do so before the time slot filled up. If they needed me to tweak their diet or place them on a nutrition plan, I made myself available. Ultimately, I provided all of the tools (upon availability) to succeed. At the end I offered prizes to first-, second- and third-place finishers, such as a month of free training, a spa package, massage, etc.

The idea of the contest was to accommodate several things:

1. Create a sense of competition. I believe competition is healthy if done the right way. This can become the source of motivation for clients to push a little harder or reestablish a goal.

2. Create a sense of urgency. By setting a start and finish date, we established a timeline in which to operate and have an end in site.

3. Keep clients accountable. I have always said, where there is accountability, there is responsibility. If all of the results are sent via email, it holds the clients accountable to each other for pushing forward.

4. Add new business to my week. I always found that clients would add one to two sessions a week to try to win the competition. And the schedule booked up fast. I made more money!

5. TO HAVE FUN! My emails would always praise and encourage my clients to press ahead. While this is a business, we do what we do because we love it. Our clients don’t necessarily feel the same way we feel about exercise, so we have to make it fun for them so they will continue.

You can come up with your own contest, recipe or event that will spark a change in "why" your clients are training and "why" they are training with you! I would love to hear your creative ideas on how to motivate your clients, create a sense of urgency. We want to be successful, so share your successful ideas!

Mike McDaniel is an authority of leadership, goal-setting disciplines, sales strategies and corporate physical fitness. He has been a professional trainer for over 18 years and owned two health clubs, employing over 75 personal trainers. Mike can be booked for speaking engagements, sales training or consultant at www.askthewhyguy.com.

Topic: Career Builder Web Column

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