The most effective way to satisfy member wants and needs is easier than you think. According to Laura Weymer, the health and wellness director at the JCC of Youngstown, it’s as simple as taking a survey and acting upon the results.
“We did a needs assessment in our facility and surveyed our members to ask them what they wanted to see happen in our facility,” said Weymer. “And the majority of them said they wanted functional fitness — they wanted TRX classes and they wanted the equipment.”
Weymer explained they used Google Forms to conduct a survey, and emailed it to all their members. “We actually had fitness staff with iPads going around the facility during the day and evenings, asking [members] to complete the survey on the tablet,” she said. “We got people in multiple ways, knowing some aren’t tech savvy and aren’t getting emails.”
Once the results were in and it was clear the JCC of Youngstown members wanted more functional fitness, staff got to work on making it happen. Their renovation started with removing restrooms, an office and a small fitness space with machines, and converting it into a new functional fitness room with TRX bands and equipment such as kettlebells and battle ropes.
With new space and equipment, the Youngstown JCC is also considering new classes. “We’re planning to offer small group training classes for TRX where a personal trainer will do training with the members,” described Weymer. “The trainer is going to be teaching and leading them through different exercises, and showing members how to use the TRX and functional equipment so they can do some on their own.”
After conducting a survey and making the requested changes, it’s important to gain feedback from members. This can be through a follow-up survey, or through anecdotes, which is what Weymer has experienced. “A lot of our members are coming up to us and saying, ‘We love the new space and the new equipment — all the new changes you’re making are wonderful,’” she said.