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When you enter any Blink Fitness gym, you will be greeted with a smile. You will see brightly painted workout rooms, carefully cleaned equipment, and people all around you ready and willing to help make your gym experience all that it can be. According to Blink’s David Collignon, that clean, welcoming, “feel good” experience is exactly why 50 percent of Blink employees are former members.
“That’s actually a bit of a phenomenon, the conversion rate we’ve seen from members to employees,” says Collignon, who is the senior vice president of operations. “And that tells us that members in our gyms today know that we respect them—they like how we treat them, and they like the community that we create. They choose us because they know our values and the experience we provide.”
But, as Collignon explains, it’s not easy to build a team and operational system capable of consistently delivering that kind of member experience. “When you’re in the business of operations, your work never really ends,” the SVP says. “Every single day, you have to figure out how to deliver that experience, what the experience looks like, and how you can support it as the business continues to grow.”
A cornerstone of Blink’s success in consistently delivering on that member experience is the company’s mood lifter certification. According to Collignon, Blink has exhibited a mood lifter mentality long before they introduced the official certification—being a mood lifter is all about having an enthusiastic, service-oriented approach in everything that you do. And it’s not just anyone who can bring that level of service and create those kinds of personal connections every single day.
“We start with group interviews to identify the most qualified candidates,” Collignon says. “We look for people who exhibit leadership qualities and people who can bring a sense of confidence to the mood lifter position. It’s not easy to find those types of attributes these days, especially with the advent of technology, but we are so proud of our mood lifters because they really are our brand.”
Now, Collignon says, he and his team can evaluate the effectiveness of employee schedules immediately after posting them, which means they know right away whether they are serving their members and employees well.
“As Blink Fitness grows and is entering new markets across the country, most recently in Chicago, Houston, and Miami, it’s really important for our employees to be able to look back on their experiences here and think, ‘Wow, Blink really cared about me,’” Collignon emphasizes. “We are committed to developing all of our employees. We always spend time talking with our employees about their journeys at Blink, especially because it was often something about the member experience that they loved enough to become part of our team in the first place.”