How to build (and maintain) a winning studio team

Within the dynamic realm of fitness studios, a winning team is the backbone of success. Crafting the best squad for your needs isn't just about individuals working in tandem; it's a strategic dance that shapes the very fabric of your studio's identity. As a studio owner, the journey to excellence begins with cultivating and sustaining these core individuals.

Join us on a journey through the art of building and maintaining a winning studio team for long-term success, transforming your studio into a thriving community. This journey delves into industry-specific strategies, savvy hiring practices, and the essential role of effective management. Beyond the mats, weights, and disciplines, discover the keys to crafting a team that elevates your fitness and wellness haven.

Start with your groundwork

First, it is important to understand how the right hires can support community building in your business. Recognising that community is everything in the fitness industry is step one. Studio owners need to fully grasp this concept as it is essential for fostering a sense of belonging among members, enhancing loyalty, and creating an environment where fitness goals are not just met but exceeded.

It's essential to define your studio's unique identity. Whether it's the zen haven of yoga, the strength-building sanctuary of CrossFit, or the discipline-driven world of martial arts, your team should embody the spirit of your studio. Ensure your mission, values, and culture are well defined, so you know exactly the profile you are looking for to align seamlessly with the fitness niche you cater to and current and future employees can get a clear picture of your business.

The strategic ballet of hiring

Crafting a winning team starts with strategic hiring practices. Define the tasks and performance attributes essential for success in each role. Source talent through a mix of conventional and unconventional means, casting a wide net to discover passionate individuals who resonate with your studio's identity. For instance, if your studio focuses on yoga, seek instructors who not only have the necessary certifications and experience but also exude a calming presence and resonate with the holistic approach of yoga.

During the interview process, employ both behavioural-based questions and the prove-it-to-me dynamics (activity-based) to ensure candidates not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. For example, you might ask candidates to design a sample workout routine or demonstrate how they would handle a challenging client or situation.

Beyond this, create a robust pre-boarding and onboarding plan, activating new employee energy, performance, and loyalty from day one. For instance, design an orientation program that introduces new team members not only to the studio's protocols but also to its unique culture and values. This could involve shadowing experienced team members, participating in team-building exercises, and providing mentorship opportunities.

Best hiring practices extend to understanding your company identity. Develop a standard hiring process tailored to the size and structure of your business - the process for a smaller boutique studio might differ from that of a larger fitness chain. Craft realistic job requirements to attract candidates who genuinely align with your studio's vision. Look within your company for talent, and consider implementing a career path that supports employee retention and satisfaction. Encourage referrals, leveraging the power of your existing team's network to bring in like-minded individuals.

The pivotal role of a good leader

While strategic hiring lays the groundwork, a crucial linchpin is an effective manager. Your manager is not just an administrator but a catalyst for team engagement and success. They bridge the gap between your studio's vision and daily operations, fostering a positive culture and ensuring that the team is not just functioning but thriving.

A great manager is the silent force that keeps the strategic dance of your team in perfect rhythm. Traits to look for in a good leader include strong communication skills, a motivational and inspirational approach, a commitment to team development, and a deep understanding of your studio's values and goals.

Encourage your manager to be more than just an overseer. From organising team-building activities to fostering open communication channels, their role extends beyond administrative duties. A manager who embodies the studio's values becomes the driving force behind a unified and enthusiastic team, creating a ripple effect that resonates with your clients and builds a strong, connected community.

Investing in learning and development

The path to building a winning team involves a commitment to continuous learning and development. In the fitness industry, certifications are not just qualifications; they are badges of expertise and commitment. Supporting your team in acquiring and maintaining relevant certifications is not only a smart business decision but also adds significant value to the services you provide. A well-certified team instils confidence in your clients, setting your studio apart in a competitive landscape.

Create an environment that fosters continuous improvement. Offer financial support for relevant certifications, workshops, and training sessions. Consider integrating ongoing education into the fabric of your studio culture. By investing in your team's development, you're not just nurturing individual growth; you're enriching the overall value your studio brings to its members.

For example, consider organising regular in-house workshops or bringing in industry experts for specialised training sessions. Encourage team members to pursue certifications that align with your studio's offerings. The more knowledgeable and skilled your team, the better they can cater to the diverse needs of your clients.


Building and maintaining a winning studio team isn't a one-time accomplishment but an ongoing journey. From strategic hiring practices that align with your studio's identity to the pivotal role of an effective manager, community building, and a commitment to learning and development, each step contributes to the transformation of your studio into a hub of excellence. As a studio owner, your investment in your team pays dividends in the form of a thriving community and long-term success in the dynamic world of fitness.