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Jetts Fitness – Brilliant Basics, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Net Promoter Score®

Written by James Charles with Elaine Jobson

We caught up with TRP customer, Customer Engagement Academy Honorary Vice-President and Jetts Fitness CEO, Elaine Jobson to talk about the company culture she has created across the award-winning chain’s 250+ franchise sites.

 

Introduction to Elaine and Jetts

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts  Jetts Logo

A senior figure with a vast amount of experience gained across the global health and fitness industry, Elaine has spent the past 20+ years in executive roles in Asia, Europe, South Africa and now Australia; where she is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jetts. Having led Virgin Active to the honour of Deloitte ‘Best Company to Work for in South Africa’ during her time with the organisation, Elaine is a passionate advocate of company culture as a source of competitive advantage. Outside of her day-to-day role at Jetts, Elaine runs her own blog (culturehacker.com.au) and is an accomplished educational speaker.

We are incredibly grateful to Elaine for sharing her time and expertise with us to produce this blog post for the Customer Engagement Academy.

Jetts is a 24/7 franchise gym operator with over 250 locations across Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Thailand. Founded in 2007 by Brendon and Cristy Levenson, Jetts’ mission is to deliver accessible, contract-free fitness to the masses, so they can ‘Workout on Your Terms’.

With 24/7 openings no longer a unique selling point, Jetts focus on differentiation through people – with passionate, fitness qualified teams delivering exceptional member experiences.

 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The inspiration for writing this blog post with Elaine was an interview she did with Julian Carle of Synergen Group as part of his Synergen Leadership Podcast. A great listen which I would highly recommend, I was particularly intrigued by Elaine’s explanation of her use of Abraham Harold Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of Needs with her staff and members – it really struck a chord and was something I thought would be valuable to share with you.

Before her move to Jetts, Elaine worked at Virgin Active in South Africa; starting as National Operations Manager in 2008 before becoming Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2009. The company had just taken over a failing chain of gyms in the country, run into the ground by the previous owners. Poor leadership had had a significant impact on employee morale and there was a culture of distrust in management stemming from the way they had previously been treated. Elaine was brought in to turn this around and would go on to help the organisation win the Deloitte ‘Best Company to Work for in South Africa’ award mentioned earlier in this article.

In the very early days after the takeover, one of Elaine’s maintenance team was working with a screwdriver to fix a piece of equipment, when he slipped and gave himself a cut to the arm which would require stitches. Unaware of the workings of the South African health system, and hailing from a country with quality free healthcare for all, Elaine sent the injured party off to the nearest hospital to be patched up. With no medical insurance, an incredible 2 days waiting in the hospital passed before he was seen and by that time septicemia had developed, resulting in below the elbow amputation. When she heard the news, Elaine was understandably shocked. How had this been allowed to happen?

Speaking to the man’s colleagues, Elaine discovered that this was commonplace in the country and they lived in fear of illness and injury as they too didn’t have access to medical assistance. Unlike many other companies in South Africa, the previous owners had not implemented ‘Medical Aid’ – a South-African medical insurance scheme. They had failed to even provide for their employees at the very basic level. This was astonishing to Elaine; something she had never witnessed before. She immediately called the Board of Directors in the UK who signed off the funds to implement Medical Aid for all employees. Something had to change, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was the model to help Elaine achieve it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is a widely applied model in the field of human psychology. Represented visually as a pyramid figure, it aims to show the layers of human needs in the order they are required – one building on top of the foundation created by the other below it. The idea is that the base of the pyramid, ‘Physiological Needs’ (food, water, shelter etc), must be in place before we can move on to the next level and so on and so on until we reach the pinnacle of ‘Self Actualisation’ (achieving your full potential).[i]

Elaine has adapted and simplified the original model to better fit Jetts, condensing Maslow’s 5 stages into 3 – built on a foundation of company vision, purpose, and values; which Elaine believes should permeate through everything Jetts does.

Let’s take a look at each stage in turn.

Jetts Hierarchy of Needs

 

Product – Meet Expectations

While Elaine’s example from her time in South Africa is extreme, the point it makes is relevant across the globe. Your employees and your members need to feel safe, comfortable and secure. At Jetts, Elaine calls this the Brilliant Basics, and, as per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, if you aren’t nailing these nothing else you do matters.

Employees

Employees need to feel secure in their job so that they know they are going to get paid on time at the end of the month, so they can, in turn, feed themselves, maintain a roof over their head and pay their bills.

All new starters at Jetts go through a comprehensive orientation and induction designed to make them feel comfortable in their surroundings and equip them with everything they need to succeed in their role. Fully understanding their job description helps employees know what is of expected of them so that they can confidently go about their work with a clear sense of direction and purpose, knowing what they need to do to continue being employed in that role. Basics such as where to find kit and who to ask if you have a question help newbies feel at ease. Being given a uniform that matches those of their colleagues from day one helps with integration into the team and instils a sense of belonging.

Members

Members have a very similar process. A comprehensive induction covers as much as possible that they might need to know about their new club. The classic how to work equipment and group exercise schedule will be covered, but also things such as how to make a complaint should something not be quite right, where fire exits are located, and who to ask if you have a question about something.

The club environment itself should be safe and welcoming so, for example, general cleanliness and ensuring that equipment is in full working order are absolutely integral checklist items.

“You can do anything you want to try and delight your members, but if you don’t nail the basics it doesn’t count for me. There is no silver bullet – you need to work hard to ensure the operational aspects of the business are firing on all cylinders to meet expectations before you can start to think about exceeding them. At Jetts, we’ve gone down to the level of creating a specific process to ensure toilet roll doesn’t run out at 3 in the morning, because that is just the way it has to be.”

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts Fitness

Measure of Success

Jetts measure their success here by looking at the loyalty shift of members from Detractors to Passives in their Insight Net Promoter Score® customer feedback system.

 

Service – Exceed Expectations

Once you have got the basics right and are meeting expectations you can start to look at exceeding them. Jetts put a focus on personal relationships and a strong sense of community for both employees and members to achieve this.

Employees

“It is vital that we provide our teams with the same experience that we expect them to provide to our members. We have a strategy for exceeding our teams expectations that involves things such as giving them a day off on their birthday, allowing them to earn time off vouchers for great work, awarding a special shirt pin at 2 years, 5 years and 10 years of service, giving access to discounts on sportswear, assigning them an annual self-development budget, inviting everyone along to our annual national conference, giving them an annual ‘Jettsiversary’ gift and card and setting them up with a ‘Lovelife’ personal goal setting plan.

In addition to the above, there are also unexpected wow moments that are created to acknowledge special achievements or moments in their life. We have something called the ‘Lovelife’ award that is given to team members when they have a significant life event happen, like buying their first home or adopting a puppy!”

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts Fitness.

Members

Jetts have a W.A.R strategy to ensure they exceed members’ expectations! That’s Weapons, Anecdotes, and Relationships by the way!

Weapons

Jetts’ weapons are the tools they have at their disposal to engage members. Think PT, programming, social media etc.

Anecdotes

Anecdotes are the opportunities to create a story for the member – like remembering their birthday and presenting them with a cake at their following visit. Anything that creates a memorable moment that a member feels compelled to share with others.

Relationships

Relationships is about making sure Jetts know whereabouts on their journey with them a member currently is, so they can support them in a timely and relevant way.

For example, research conducted in partnership with TRP helped Jetts uncover the value that their membership base gained from staff giving them praise for their achievements, which motivated them to keep going to achieve more. Based on these findings, Jetts now provide all of their teams with training to approach members on the gym-floor and identify when they have improved their performance; whether that be an increase in the weight they are lifting or that they are attending the club more often, amongst other things.

“When a team member provides members with feedback that praises their improvements then the member is wowed.”

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts Fitness.

Measure of Success

Jetts measure success here by looking at the loyalty shift of members from Passives to Promoters in their Insight Net Promoter Score® customer feedback system, coupled with attendance rates.

 

Brand – Crazy in Love

At TRP we call them Raving Fans, Jetts call them ‘Crazy in Love’ – whatever you call your brand advocates, you want as many as possible and this is where they are made!

Across both employees and members, this level sees the pursuit of a deeper relationship with the company through participation and contribution.

Employees

The ultimate goal for every member of the team at Jetts is to reach ‘Loveland’.

“Loveland is a special place which only the very best teams can reach. To get them there we focus on the need to contribute and participate in making Jetts a great place to work. Twice a year we create a scorecard called a Health Check, this goes to our business owners and provides them with a ranking on how they are doing on the key metrics for our people; like average length of stay, internal Net Promoter Score®, engagement levels etc. The goal of each owner is to move their people into Loveland, this means that they have stayed with the company for 2 years or more and score highly in Net Promoter Score® and engagement.”

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts Fitness.

To achieve their goal of getting their staff into Loveland, Jetts’ business owners are encouraged to empower them with opportunities to contribute towards the wider picture of the club or company as a whole. They do this by facilitating their participation in new and challenging activities outside of their day-to-day such as learning more about the financial management of the club or perhaps mentoring new starters.

Members

Elaine’s goal is for Jetts to be the most loved gym in Australia. To achieve this, she knows she needs to create a tribe of ‘Super Promoters’ by delivering exceptional experiences across over 250 clubs.

“When a member has been with a gym for a long time, they are in danger of being taken for granted. To ensure that we don’t do this at Jetts we constantly monitor our members’ usage levels and ensure they are still engaging with us and visiting the gym on a regular basis.”

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts Fitness.

Jetts recognise that many members at this stage of their journey with them are looking for a deeper connection. They want to participate and have their say in the running of their club. Consulting long-standing members on aspects such as group exercise programming or the new design of a club when going through refurbishment really cements their place as a valued part of the Jetts community whilst also giving the company invaluable feedback which enables them to make more effective decisions. Jetts are able to scale this and extend it to their full membership base through the utilisation of TRP’s customer feedback software, Insight – which uses the user-friendly Net Promoter Score® approach to periodically engage with their members for them, gathering actionable feedback and identifying trends within this.

“Any activity that involves members in this stage and encourages them to challenge themselves with something new works well to retain engagement levels and move them into being Crazy in Love.”

Elaine Jobson – CEO, Jetts Fitness.

Measure of Success

To be considered ‘Crazy in Love’ a member needs to have been with their club for more than 12 months and give a Net Promoter Score® of 9 or 10 out of 10.

To enter Loveland, an employee needs to have been with Jetts for over 2 years and give a Net Promoter Score® of 8 out of 10 or above.

 

The most important lesson from talking with Elaine must be those Brilliant Basics. No matter how big or small your club is, whether you are a budget chain or premium full-service, wherever you are in the world – if your foundations aren’t solid, whatever you build on top of them doesn’t mean a thing.

Empower Your Members to Contribute to the Future Direction of Your Club

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Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.

[i] https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

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