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Fun Ways to Encourage Maintenance

Scavenger hunts, photo games and rewards are just a few ways to help make facility maintenance fun.

In my ideal world, everyone would see every little facility/equipment issue (equipment misaligned, pool temperature off by 1 degree or 2, a drippy faucet) and take action to correct it. Everyone would pick up towels, clean equipment, wipe down sinks and make every member's experience exceptional. What happens when you can't hire a team of facility-minded workhorses who walk around with cleaning rags in hand? You have to build that team!

Facility checklists work great for many people. The upside is that you can be specific with employees who are good at following directions. The downside is that checklists are boring as a training tool. So, get creative! Make fitness facility maintenance fun by using these simple tools.

Scavenger hunts

Competitiveness thrives in our industry. Pit departments against one another (or individual employees, if your operation is small) in a Facility Faults Scavenger Hunt. Make a list of common focus areas in your facility. It can range anywhere from dumbbell or pool equipment organization to dirty mirrors. Have your employees hunt for the focus areas on the list, although it doesn't stop there. To get credit, a manager on duty or designated official needs to see the issue and the corrective action taken. This not only helps employees look for these focus areas, it gets them acting on them and learning the proper communication channels. The hunt should run for at least a week so that all of your focus area scenarios have time to play out in real time.

Daily splash

Remember Where's Waldo? Here is a fitness facility twist. Take a digital picture of an area of your facility. Stage the picture so that there are multiple things wrong in the scene. You can have weights left on a barbell, paper towels crumpled up on the floor or a light out. Send the picture to all of your employees via email or your internal website. Whoever finds the most issues by the end of the day gets a reward. This is a great way to get employees to look critically at your facility.

Power to the people

Empower your organization's leaders to reward what they see. When the leaders of your facility see their staff being proactively facility-minded, empower them to recognize and reward it! Gift cards or a free smoothie at the café can go a long way toward employee satisfaction, as well as performance. This can be a great motivator on many levels of your operation.

Lead by example

The old adage is back, with a twist. There was a time when employees would watch and learn from the leaders of their facility. There still are employees like that, although they are not as common as they once were. When you take the lead in proactive facility maintenance, ask employees to follow you and help. This can be especially effective when you have a childcare center employee help clean up the kickboards around the pool, or a personal trainer help you pick up the toys in the childcare center. Not only is this cross training, it reinforces the team approach of running a fitness facility.


However you choose to create your facility-minded workforce, remember these simple guidelines:
  • Create training that is interactive and hands-on.
  • Recognize employees for being proactive.
  • Thank employees for doing their part in keeping their facility up to member expectations.
  • Make it fun!
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