Be Prepared – Bad Weather Is Coming!

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For many of us fitness business owners and managers……we are not only entering one of our busiest times of year, we are also entering a time of year where bad weather is inevitable. Whether it be ice, snow or fog. Make sure you and your staff are aware of your bad weather protocol. Don’t have a bad weather protocol? Take a look at ours and modify it for your needs!

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“NWPT staff are expected to report to work during poor weather conditions unless an emergency closing is declared or conditions are unsafeStaff who are unable to report to work because of weather conditions will take unpaid time off.

At NWPT, we would never want any employee to drive if they didn’t feel comfortable and safe or didn’t have the right vehicle. In addition, it’s okay to operate at a lower staff level than normal because usage will be lower than normal.  But we really do appreciate employees who can make it in safely to do so because we always have clients who will make it in no matter what. And we so appreciate the great team work and communication (i.e. calling clients to confirm they are coming in, calling to determine which team members will be able to make it in and which won’t and ensuring adequate coverage).

Regarding PT sessions, if a trainer cannot make it in or we close the studio due to poor weather, the client will not be charged. However, if a trainer can make it in during bad weather but a client cancels, that client is still charged a late notice cancellation. We don’t want anyone driving if they don’t feel safe (staff or clients), however, our trainers’ income and the business revenues are significantly affected during poor weather days so we’ve got to have a policy that we all agree on and that is fair to the clients.

If a trainer opts not to charge a client because the client is upset, the trainer must sign themselves out during that time and take a break or go home.  As a business, we cannot afford to lose client revenues and still pay out trainers’ fees.

When we do charge, it is mandatory that the trainer works on the clients’ program during that time.  It is also protocol for the trainer to call the client during their time slot to soften the ‘blow’ – ask them a few questions to help with upgrading their program, setting new goals etc. so then they would know for sure their trainer is working for them.”

Gather this information from your team BEFORE bad weather hits:

  • Who could actually get to work?
  • Whose vehicle is capable of driving in the snow and whose is not? Who feels comfortable driving in the snow and who does not?
  • Who has chains – and knows how to use them?
  • Who lives close to the studio with no major hills or obstacles en route?  Who lives close to a bus route and could easily take a bus into work?

Hopefully none of us will have to use this protocol this winter, but it is good to be proactive and ready just in case!

Yours in health, fitness & business,
Sherri McMillan



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