Total Fitness, the leading mid-market health club brand in the North of England and Wales, has successfully launched an internal leadership programme which has been designed to promote staff from within the business to support their career development.
The Elevate programme was launched following feedback from staff to offer Total Fitness employees more support and opportunities as part of their career progression within the health and fitness industry. Since the programme’s launch, it has been shortlisted in the UK Company Culture Awards 2023 Next Generation Initiative category, which identifies businesses that help to support and develop employees on their career journey towards becoming future leaders.
Head of People, Andrea Cook (pictured), said: “I am incredibly proud that Total Fitness has been shortlisted for this award, the support and effort from the team to get us here has been fantastic.
“While a relatively new initiative in our business, the results from the Elevate programme have been phenomenal proving what a worthwhile experience this is and we’re really looking forward to working with our second cohort in May.”
The aim of the programme is to organically grow teams and experience from within Total Fitness’ existing talent pool, providing employees with an increased network of contacts within the business and exposure to the requirements of a General Manager role.
The programme runs for 12 months, with 80% of delegates taking part in the current programme having already been appointed to General Manager positions prior to completion. This gives candidates the opportunity to progress further whilst they are still learning, enabling them to put their training into action.
To ensure participants achieve success, the programme focuses on topics from each area of the business, which are rotated each month including: HR, Training and Development, Finance, Brand and Member Services. This provides candidates with a wider understanding of how Total Fitness operates, whilst also exposing them to the different teams across the business, developing relationships with colleagues and broadening their knowledge and understanding of the different departments.
Delivery is supported by all members of the Senior Leadership Team including the CEO and Operations Director who launch the programme with a session designed to outline the pivotal nature of the General Manager role, drawing on their early experiences as club managers and now executives.
Leading voice within the leisure industry and CEO at Total Fitness, Sophie Lawler, said: “In the same way as we are committed to lifting our members through the power of fitness, we also want to lift our team members by unlocking their potential. The Elevate programme is one example of our promise to make more possible for our people and it’s one we’re really proud of.
“Our clubs are exciting places to be a General Manager, but it’s not without its challenges and so we owe it to our people and our members to create a best in class set of well-rounded leaders. I’m proud of each and every one of them and know that they’ll go on to inspire others too.”
Johnny, General Manager at Total Fitness Wakefield, added: “The programme is all about unlocking the future General Manager potential from within. Having worked at various Total Fitness clubs at many levels, the Elevate Programme has helped to contextualise the role of General Manager. Each module has helped me gather knowledge from my previous roles, while also providing me with the tools for future positions and truly understand the inner workings of a General Manger role from a different perspective.
“In previous roles, I’ve only focused on my own strengths and how I can apply them to my position each day. However, the Elevate Programme has refocused how I think. Now I recognise the team and their strengths and how we can work together to achieve our collective goals – and how we can support them to unlock their inner potential.”
Justina, General Manager at Total Fitness Walkden, said: “The General Manager buddy sessions have been invaluable to understanding the role in-depth. Spending a day each month at different Total Fitness clubs, shadowing the onsite General Manger and spending time with their teams, whilst understanding how they structure their club has provided me with valuable insights I know I’ll apply to my future roles.