While it seems like no industry has dodged the big resignation, it’s safe to say that current businesses that can’t operate without on-site employees have been hit the hardest. Restaurants, hotels, doctors’ offices, retail businesses and fitness clubs all became less attractive to employees because working from home (WFH) was not an option. Yet some brands in these industries have been less impacted by the labor exodus. Why? Because long before the pandemic, they were obsessed with creating the kind of culture employees wanted to be part of, even if it meant not having the WFH option.

There’s a reason Self Esteem Brands, the parent company of brands like Anytime Fitness, Waxing the City, The Bar Method and Basecamp Fitness, is repeatedly ranked among the best places to work. It starts in the DNA of their founders Chuck Runyon and David Mortensen and their obsession with building a work culture that employees truly love, a culture that goes far beyond work-life balance and translates into a healthier workforce.

Create the best culture to attract and retain top talent

Most business leaders, panicked over the past two years, have made the two biggest mistakes companies make when trying to fight the Great Resignation: 1) just go out there and fill jobs fast with anyone they can find, and 2) continue to employ underperforming performers – those who just take up space, draining a team’s collective energy and frustrating their valuable “A” level talent.

The first priority for companies today must be to focus on retaining their best talent by improving their internal culture. Stop trying to find great employees. Instead, focus on becoming the type of company that good employees find.

Self-esteem brands have responded to the talent crisis by doubling down on their culture, allowing them to leapfrog their competitors. “Most business leaders hate the Great Resignation. I love it,” Runyon said. “People should have leverage and work where they want to work.” Runyon believes that since employees can choose their jobs, they should love them and that employers are responsible for creating jobs that their employees will love.

Runyon doesn’t buy what many leaders use as a crutch, that our workforce is lazy or doesn’t want to work anymore. “The big misinterpretation of the Great Resignation is that people have unrealistic expectations. Contrary to what bad bosses think, employees want to work hard. Purpose and connection are important for quality talent, which is what current employers and those looking for new employees should keep in mind for better staff retention.

The two co-founders, Runyon and Mortensen wrote the book love workwhich rests on the pillars around which they have built their incredible culture, the 4 Ps: People, Purpose, Profits and Game. Their obsession with building a world-class internal culture has more than paid off.

“As employers, we have a golden opportunity to turn the Great Resignation into the Great Inspiration. Especially after the past two years, people don’t just want to be paid, they want to be inspired. So let’s inspire them,” Runyon preaches.

Greater focus on staff well-being

Self Esteem Brands is offering to pay for their employees and families to access mental health experts through Modern Health. Every Friday in the summer is a nonworking Friday of well-being. They encourage non-meeting Wednesdays, which free up time for their team members to focus and immerse themselves in their roles. They offer unlimited power grip. Talk about a relationship builder! Such staff resources can only bring better emotional health to company employees.

A great survey question to ask your employees is, “On average, are you excited to get to work each day?” Do your employees jump out of bed in the morning and look forward to work, or do they have to hit the snooze button five times and drink a 20-ounce latte just to get through the day? The sad truth is that most people live in category two, default mode. When it comes to work, 70% of Americans are disengaged from their professional lives.

Runyon and Mortensen are on a mission to change that. Anytime Fitness is now the largest co-ed fitness club franchise in the world, achieving greater international market penetration faster than any franchise in history. Most impressively, the Anytime Fitness logo has been tattooed on the bodies of more than 5,000 employees, franchisees and gym members – a symbol of passion that most brands can only dream of.

“Our goal is to improve the self-esteem of the world – something we can only achieve through a work culture that empowers our employees to put their own health and well-being first” , says Runyon.

The best employees are those who feel the most valued

This employee-centric mindset is a growing trend in business. What elements of your own employer brand positioning speak to your ideal candidate? By working for you, will they feel as fully valued as you expect your customers to feel? When hiring and training customer service representatives, you should keep in mind the direct correlation between their level of satisfaction as employees and the satisfaction of your customers. Why just offer them a series of trainings, when you can guide and help them become brand evangelists and make you a leader in customer service?

John R. Di Julius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution, is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestlé, PwC, Lexus and more. others. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or [email protected]