How To Run Your Business Like A Gym And Boost Staff Satisfaction

In this modern culture of coworking spaces, un-hierarchical office structures, and flexible workday hours, results of one's efforts can be difficult to measure. With the abundance of departments and teams as well as the overall fluidity between such departments and project management, a lot of employees contribute a lot of different pieces of their overall responsibilities but may not see a project through to completion.

Employees or freelancers put in a lot of effort and then are unable to measure the end result of that effort except for their paycheck.

As a result, motivation declines, communication breaks down, and deadlines might be ignored.

An article posted in the Harvard Business Review describes this situation by saying "Whether in marketing or sales, it often feels like jobs are contingent on external circumstances, the whims of executives, strategic pivots, and shareholder demands. What happened to being rewarded for consistent, quality work over the long-term?"

The articles goes on to offer a potential solution in the form of "fitness leadership" instead of a traditional management model.

"Fitness leadership" refers to a simmering trend of business owners who value running their business as though they are running a gym in which community, teamwork, metrics, and accountability are prioritized so that the overall goals of the company are clear throughout all departments.

This model is more of a cultural mindset shift within a company that ought to follow with more open concept workspaces and fluid work schedules, but an athletic apparel company in Sweden takes it to the next level by requiring all employees to attend "Exercise Hour" in the middle of the day.

The CEO of said company, Henrik Bunge, "believes that sweating together is not just about staying healthy, or being fit enough to endure intense periods of work. It is also a matter of having fun and fostering strong bonds between team members to help them reach their goals."

So many companies these days have adopted the amenities menu of fitness classes, nap pods, expanded food options, etc. in their offices in order to promote wellness and maintain company-wide productivity, but it is rare to require a certain amount of participation.

Though Bunge's model is extreme, there are many correlates to the success of sports teams who exercise together and are clear on their common goal.

Going forward, the question is: can a company's cultural mindset shift enough to create the effect of required exercise, or should more company's adopt a strict fitness regimen in order to direct its staff toward higher productivity?