Originally Posted by Rachel May
At our gym we have a growing issue of coaches sleeping with (married) other coaches, and one (male) coach in particular pursuing just about every female member (married or not) who enters the gym. We also have a female (married) coach who has repeatedly made poor choices at gym social functions (trying to kiss male members, fondling, etc) when alcohol is involved.
While we are not interested in policing people's personal lives, the behaviors of these coaches is becoming problematic. A few members have privately expressed concerns and we have a growing fear that the infidelity issues will "blow-up" in a public way in the future (we have lost members in the past due to an infidelity issue between clients so we're sensitive to this).
1) Does anyone have their coaches sign a Code of Conduct or similar contract before working at the gym? If so, does it address behavior like dating clients, etc?
2) Has anyone else had similar experiences with coaches/coaches or coaches/clients in romantic relationships which created a negative environment in the gym? If so, how did you deal with it?
3) Any advice on to handle this matter delicately -- we don't want coaches feeling singled-out or that we are trying to impose morality standards on them. On the other hand, we run a professional facility, not a meat market.
1) Yes, every one of my coaches and admin staff sign a code of conduct that includes a prohibition on fraternization with members and anything "That could bring the reputation of Alchemy CrossFit into disrepute" along with other more standard clauses (ie no drinking at work, no illegal drugs, no stealing, etc).
2) This came about after 2 incidents about 3 years apart. both were problematic in different ways, but primarily in that they disrupted the inclusiveness and quality of our community. None of the coaches in question work at Alchemy anymore.
3) Don't even try. Plain out tell them that its completely unacceptable behavior - I would want to fire the lot of them personally. This is not a mater of policing their personal lives - they are doing this at their workplace (YOUR business) with YOUR clients. It's completely disrespectful of all your members and of you. It's full stop total BS. And the poor choices just cause you're drunk - BS too. it's an excuse for her but that doesn't make it OK in any way.
I get the desire to let people make their own choices, but once it's happening in your business and effecting your customers you've got to get rid of them.
All those behaviors show such shockingly poor judgement, it would bring into question the coaches judgement on other situations as well. If you really must give them a chance - have a staff meeting with all the coaches and outline the zero tolerance policy going forward and make a brutal example of the first person who violates it.