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Exos: Where human performance is for everyone

How Exos is taking this long-held belief, new insights, and an invigorated message to the world

By Jeff DiBiaso

Over the past 20 years, Exos has worked alongside some of the best athletes and teams in the world. This is our legacy.

What you might not know is that Exos has been bringing this same training behind the scenes to physical therapy patients, members at community centers, and employees at Fortune 100 companies. And now we want to move that front-of-scene.

So in late 2021 we unveiled the new Exos brand. Our goal: Bring Exos’ experience and insight to everyone, including you. After all, human performance is for everyone.

Here’s how we’re bringing this message and experience to the world.

1. Redefining how we talk about human performance

We’re still Exos. That will never change. But with our new brand, we’re redefining how we talk about human performance. As Exos has grown into the go-to training resource for the pros, performance training has naturally been elevated to elite-athlete status.

And elite athletes should expect elite training. But so should everyone else.

Our coaches recognize that there’s an athlete in everyone, and it’s one of the many reasons we believe in the four pillars of human performance: mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery.

2. Sharing our four-pillar approach to human performance

Our four-pillar approach was designed using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which categorized human needs in order of importance. First up, physiological needs and safety. After that, love and belonging and esteem. Lastly, self-actualization.

Our cyclical approach helps fulfill these needs, leading to a better, stronger human.

  • Mindset
    Mindset impacts every aspect of life. At Exos we recognize that human performance limits are typically self-imposed, and through education and motivation our coaches can help break down barriers to physical improvement. With the right mindset, each person can reach higher than ever before.

  • Nutrition
    Nutrition is one of the most basic human needs. And the brain and body requires the right fuel to perform its best. Exos coaches share how nutrition impacts performance and help implement small changes that can ladder up to any goal. This goes hand-in-hand with nutrition, as positive lifestyle change leads to improved performance.

  • Movement
    Mindset and nutrition build a foundation for movement. And Exos coaches understand the importance of functional movement and injury risk reduction for better overall performance. This shows up in how they explain the principles of movement and improve movement through purposeful, progressive training.

  • Recovery
    Optimal human performance requires recovery. With quality sleep and muscle recovery, new levels of performance can be achieved. Our coaches recognize that recovery is equally as important as mindset, nutrition, and movement.

Our holistic approach hasn’t changed, it’s just evolved with research, insights, experience, and a more intentional focus.  


3. Emphasizing self-actualization

Together the four pillars of human performance are the secret to self-actualization. Exos sees the hero that exists in every human, and we strive to help others achieve their full potential.

So now more than ever, whether you’re running a business, working on feeling better day to day, or looking to improve the health and performance of your local community, Exos is here for you. And our coaches are ready to champion anyone who’s looking for more. 

Our message to the world: We’re here. When you’re ready, so are we. #ExosReady

To learn more about Exos services, visit teamexos.com or contact us to start a conversation.

Exos Physical Therapy integrates behavioral health with re-injury prevention

When Katie Redmond* found herself battling chronic knee pain, her primary doctor recommended physical therapy. A quick search of her options turned up a nearby Exos Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine clinic. Having some familiarity with the Exos whole-person approach to performance due to her work in the fitness industry, she signed up.

“My biggest concern was getting back to normal,” Redmond said, admitting that she wasn’t keen on rearranging her daily work and family obligations for PT. “I knew something had to give, though. I was ready to do whatever it took to feel normal again.”

Building a workable therapy plan

What struck Redmond at her first appointment was the detail with which the therapist addressed all forms of movement. Using a proprietary Exos intake process, the physical therapist worked with Redmond to assess the health and range of motion of all her joints – including everything from her ankles to her thoracic spine and how they worked independently and in concert with other joints – in just 20 minutes.

“It really was phenomenal,” Redmond recalled. “I remember thinking that I should maybe point out it was my knee that hurt, but I was curious about what he would find with the assessment.”

Her patience and curiosity paid off. Through an interactive combination of Functional Movement Screening, traditional orthopedic tests, and the 21-step Exos Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment, Redmond said her therapist found some movement restrictions in her hip and spine that were contributing to her nagging, recurrent knee pain issue.

“He explained everything so well that it made perfect sense,” she said. “In that first session, I learned a set of exercises I could do at home to improve the way I move so that my knee could get some relief. We talked about nutrition and my therapist gave me some great tips for working my PT exercises into my daily schedule. I thought, ‘I can do that!’”

Within just a few days of starting her at-home exercises, Redmond said she could tell her back and hips were moving better. Within the first two weeks, and with check-ins with her therapist on video and in person, she said the knee pain began to lessen. As a team, she and her therapist, physician, and dietitian adjusted her treatment plan to account for her increased mobility to incorporate some strength and stability components.

Three months after that unique first visit, Redmond says she’s confident that her knee issue is a thing of the past.

“Now that I understand what I need to do to move my whole body more efficiently, it’s pretty simple,” she explained. “My knee pain is almost completely gone, and I’ve started the transition to a performance training program to focus on strength and functional movement. I was pretty skeptical of PT overall, but this experience has been different than what I expected. I feel great.”

Positive clinical outcomes begin with a different approach

Redmond’s experience isn’t unique among Exos Physical Therapy patients. Exos Director of Rehabilitation Jim Godin says it all starts with that first visit Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment.

“Exos has a system in place that allows us to objectively assess each client’s movement, both from a global view as well as from a smaller, more segmental view,” Godin said. He also emphasized that the Exos approach to physical therapy is to focus on the root cause of injury rather than becoming fixated on the painful structure, such as a patellar tendon. Digging deeper during the assessment and identifying both the root cause of the pain as well as the actual painful tissue(s) or joint(s), a clinical team can work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan along with the patient’s physician, nutritionist, and performance coach.

“It’s an integrative and long-term approach to physical therapy that sets the Exos Physical Therapy philosophy apart,” Godin said. “You might expect that, when you go to physical therapy for knee pain, the therapist will just give you a bunch of ‘knee exercises’ or perform treatment only local to the knee. The Exos approach attacks the root cause(s) of the pain using manual techniques, corrective exercises, and various loading strategies at the hip, ankle, or spine (possibly all of the above) while simultaneously addressing any local joints or tissues that are painful.”

“In general, pain is a great ‘check engine light’ as it allows us to dig deeper into a person’s movement strategies while we rid them of their current pain symptoms quickly. This clears up what’s causing the source of pain so the patient experiences relief and doesn’t get injured again in the future.”

What the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment provides

Exos Physical Therapists developed the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment to provide consistency at each initial therapy visit with a focus on whole-person movement health. Using the tool, a physical therapist can analyze a patient’s quality of movement, then follow a logical approach to treatment that addresses the patient’s lifestyle and overall health.

“Movement quality impacts sports and performance in everyday life,” Godin said. “For Exos clientele, performance needs range from running a 40-yard dash at an NFL Combine to a mother being able to pick up her child.”

Despite that wide range of physical activity and goals, Godin said the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment is applicable to every unique patient, and that the end goal is always the same.

“This tool is universally applicable to all patients,” Godin said. “We want to make sure they can absorb force and propel force while minimizing any energy leaks, and the assessment tool helps us avoid missing anything that could potentially positively or negatively impact their ability to do so pain free”. 

“Using this systematic approach, we are able to differentiate whether it is a tissue or joint that is restricted or if there is a sneaky, underlying inability for the person to actively control their available range of motion, which we term a ‘neuromuscular control’ issue,” he continued. “The results allow us to be more targeted in our treatments and, at the same time, create a theme to follow throughout the plan of care with specific exercises and complementary manual therapy techniques to improve a patient’s movement. We want to respect our clients’ time by being very specific and intentional with all of our rehabilitation strategies.”

A focus on getting back to better-than-normal

Some Exos Physical Therapy clients include professional athletes, first responders, and military special forces personnel. Godin emphasized that developing the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment to serve those highly physical individuals has only made it more useful for everyone, at every stage of treatment.

“We use the tool to assess, reassess, and then transition the patient back to their workplace, whether that be the battlefield, the streets, or the boardroom,” he said. “This approach allows us to create a plan of care that seamlessly transitions clients from their injured state all the way back to full performance.”

And, true to the Exos focus on healthy lifestyle and performance, Godin said the team-based integrative therapy approach addresses lifestyle improvements through patient education to improve outcomes.

“We connect all the dots and explain what we’ve found in the assessment so the patient understands why they’re experiencing pain. That creates a level of autonomy that enhances patient compliance so they continue the PT work at home.”

“We give our patients tools for personal wellness and autonomy. It’s a behavior upgrade model that creates healthy habits.”

Post-therapy return to training, made easier

The Exos Physical Therapy rehabilitation approach to lifestyle improvement was built upon the company’s foundational human performance training, so it’s no surprise that the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment and Exos PT treatment plans make sense to athletic trainers and coaches.

“Our rehabilitation system is based on absorbing force and propelling force, and we break down those movements to make sure each patient is ready to train using that reciprocal process,” Godin said. “Coaches speak our language, and we work with them to clearly indicate where their clients are so they can manage loads and intensity and get their clients back to preparing for their upcoming season or event.”

That bridge between rehabilitation and performance may look different for each therapy client, but what doesn’t change, Godin explained, is the proven process used to get them there. 

“Exos Physical Therapists can provide return-to-sport rehabilitation, injury prevention strategies, and return-to-occupation rehabilitation, as well as more traditional outpatient orthopedic therapies while working in collaboration with an extensive network of researchers, industry professionals, and partners,” he said. “We do this within a model that allows our therapists to learn about the various aspects of the client’s life so they can design a sustainable plan that fits their goals and lifestyle.” 

“The client gets just the right combination of education, manual therapy, exercise, and movement strategy while the clinician continuously refines and optimizes the plan,” Godin said. “We set them up to succeed, and that’s what it’s all about…ensuring a positive outcome for each individual.”

Learn more about Exos Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine’s approach to long-term patient wellness outcomes and Practice Management Services. Contact us today to learn how Exos Consulting can help your practice reach more patients, focus on proactive injury prevention, and speed recovery through a proven, integrative approach to human performance training.

*Patient name and certain details have been changed to protect the patient’s privacy.

OAK Health Club, Ashburn, VA

Site Offerings

OAK Health Club is a 29,000-square-foot fitness and wellness facility serving Ashburn, Virginia, within commuting distance of Washington, D.C. The facility is owned and operated by AARP Services, Inc. A flagship wellness community focused on offering healthy living and performance services, OAK Health Club membership includes access to innovative TechnoGym fitness equipment, personal training, and both indoor and outdoor dedicated fitness spaces. Members also have access to healthy meal and snack options at Canopy cafe; massage, cryotherapy, and infrared saunas at Revive spa; and a full-time, on-site registered dietitian. Members can access their fitness plans and virtual fitness options via a mobile app, myWellness. 

Programming includes an extensive group exercise schedule, personal and small group fitness options, and complimentary personal health assessments and individual nutrition planning for new members. 

Exos Management

ASI and Exos Community Consulting began project planning in late 2017. From facility design and equipment selection and procurement, to staffing, membership pre-sale, and ongoing management, Exos has provided in-depth expertise and recommendations every step of the way. 

Exos Marketing Support

As ASI and Exos worked together to develop the new facility’s unique brand and vision, Exos Marketing consulted with ASI to develop a comprehensive pre-sale marketing and staff education program. The integrated team developed marketing materials and pre-sale promotions.. The team then moved into regular operations, programming promotions, and member communications to increase engagement and retention while continuing to grow the OAK member base. OAK marketing assets include a bespoke website, Facebook and Instagram channels, Google business and advertising optimizations and reporting, and a marketing strategy built for a growing and unique fitness community.

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WorkLife Wellbeing powered by Exos, PENN1, New York, NY

Site Offerings

WorkLife Wellbeing powered by Exos is a more than 25,000 square foot fitness and wellness center in the heart of PENN1, a midcentury, multi-use corporate office building in downtown New York City. The site was revitalized by Vornado Realty Trust as part of a larger PENN DISTRICT campus renovation project encompassing 9 million square feet in a dozen buildings surrounding New York’s Pennsylvania Station. 

Located within the building’s first three levels of an interconnected WorkLife amenity ecosystem serving PENN1 corporate tenants, Wellbeing shares the space with a full-service restaurant, private dining rooms, formal and casual meeting and conference spaces, and more than 80,000 square feet of adaptable workspace.  

Exos Management

Exos partnered with Vornado to support design and development of the WorkLife Wellbeing fitness solution to serve an onsite population of 12,000 tenant employees. Exos services have included facility design and layout consulting, equipment procurement, and marketing for branding, pre-sale, and grand opening events. Exos will continue to manage and staff the facility and manage its operations, membership, and marketing needs. Fitness programming will include the fitness center, group exercise, personal training, a Fueling Station, wellness and nutrition counseling, restorative therapies such as massage and top-tier recovery services and equipment, a retail Gear Shop, and powered by Exos sports performance training.

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Children’s Sports Performance powered by Exos, Plano, TX

Site Offerings

Located inside Children’s Health Andrews Institute of Plano, Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance powered by Exos provides customized training and nutrition coaching for local youth, high school, professional/elite, and general population adult athletes. A medically integrated performance site, Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance specializes in Return to Sports training and works with Children’s Health medical professionals to manage post-physical therapy patients’ advanced sports rehabilitation needs. The site also manages Team Services Agreements with local sports teams and offers sports-specific camps focused on high-performing athletes of all ages. Coaching includes nutrition counseling, functional movement and performance screening and coaching, and individualized, goal-based training in a small-group setting.

With fewer than 100 members, Children’s Sports Performance powered by Exos is an elite-level training facility focused on exceptional service and performance-driven results.

Exos Management

Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance comprises a team of highly dedicated Exos Performance Specialists and a Sports Dietitian whose focus is community education and engagement and growing the client’s revenue streams. The Exos Community Management scope includes staffing, operations, member management, and consulting with Exos Community Marketing on an ad-hoc basis when requested by the Children’s Health marketing team. 

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Mercy Fitness Center I-35, Edmond, OK

Site Offerings

Mercy Fitness Center is a 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility with the latest in technology and equipment. Located inside Mercy Clinic I-35, the fitness center offers medically integrated programming and works with clinic physical therapy, orthopedics, and nutrition professionals. In addition to an expansive fitness floor and indoor walking/running track, Mercy Fitness Center has a saltwater aquatics area with two pools and a spa. The center is also home to Mercy Sports Performance and has dedicated fitness studios, a cycle studio, and offers a full group exercise schedule, personal training, massage, swim coaching, and an onsite member childcare facility.

Exos Management

Since 2017, Exos Community Operations has managed Mercy Fitness Center’s operations, staffing, programming, ancillary services, and marketing promotions. Mercy Fitness serves more than 2,500 members and generates an average of more than $1 million per annum for Mercy Clinic. 

Exos Marketing Support

Exos Marketing provides marketing strategy and support in partnership with Mercy Marketing and Exos staff. The team manages a promotions budget that averages $8,000 monthly and includes internal and external communications, digital advertising, website management, and brand and reputation management.

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Minnesota Timberwolves Exos Team Services Agreement

Managed by Mayo Clinic Sports Performance powered by Exos, Minneapolis, MN

Mayo Clinic Sports Performance is an Exos-managed entity with two locations at Mayo Clinics in Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota. Sports Performance Coach and site manager Luke Corey manages Team Services Agreements, to include services for 15 rostered players and 40 operations staff within the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Franchise.

Exos TSA Services

As the Timberwolves Exos TSA Coach, Corey attends every practice and game during the NBA season. A registered dietitian and certified performance specialist, he performs regular nutrition evaluations, hydration testing, pre- and post-game supplementation, and general nutrition and performance counseling, both in person and virtually depending on team member needs.

TSA Services also include specialized menu planning and meal preparation and delivery for players. Corey works closely with team trainers, coaches, and players to ensure that nutritional support aligns with overall and individual performance goals.

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Children’s Sports Performance powered by Exos, Plano, TX

Site Offerings

Located inside Children’s Health Andrews Institute of Plano, Children’s Sports Performance powered by Exos provides customized training and nutrition coaching for local youth, high school, and adult athletes. A medically connected performance site, Children’s Sports Performance specializes in Return to Sports training and works with Children’s medical professionals to manage post-physical therapy patients’ advanced sports rehabilitation needs. The site also manages Team Services Agreements with local sports teams and offers sports-specific camps focused on high-performing athletes of all ages. Coaching includes nutrition counseling, functional movement and performance screening and coaching, and individualized, goal-based training in a small-group setting.

With fewer than 100 members, Children’s Sports Performance powered by Exos is an elite-level training facility focused on exceptional service and performance-driven results.

Exos Management

Children’s Sports Performance comprises a team of highly dedicated Exos Fitness Specialists whose focus is community education and growing the client’s revenue streams. The Exos Community Management scope includes staffing, operations, member management, and consulting with Exos Community Marketing on an ad-hoc basis when requested by the Children’s Hospital marketing team. 

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Virtual programming strengthens and expands connection

NEW YORK, NY –Before the days of socially distanced workouts, there were days when the fitness industry could promote togetherness and encourage social connection as an essential part of the human experience. We lost some of that in the first days when the pandemic shut down many fitness and community centers, but what Exos-managed Manny Cantor Center soon discovered was that social connection is possible via virtual fitness – and no amount of distance can stop a determined fitness community.

MCC provides so much more than fitness

MCC’s strong and active member community in New York City’s Lower East Side enjoyed frequent (even daily) visits to the center pre-COVID to participate in its many family-focused programs. MCC has always been a hub for the local community, offering its 3,000 members access to community service opportunities, education and kids’ programs, and even art classes. 

Assistant General Manager Sarah Folkins says the community center’s fitness classes were also a big part of its attraction. She explained that human connection is the common thread that makes MCC so popular.

“[MCC is] like a second home,” Sarah said.

The impact of the first lockdowns on a close-knit community

The year 2020 was still full of hope and promise at MCC when March came in like a lion with the arrival of COVID. Fear and illness gripped New York City, and the pandemic shut-down required MCC to close its doors to the members who counted on the center to provide a social gathering place for fitness and connection.

MCC was quick to respond to that need, designing and launching a Zoom-based group exercise schedule and personal training option in just two weeks.

“We shut down March 13, [but] our executive director had already organized meetings with us before the closure so that we could deliver virtual options,” Folkins said. “We knew we had to get virtual classes up and going as soon as possible to serve our community. We have a strong group exercise space here, and we knew we could stay in touch virtually.”

“It’s our job as a community to create connection.”

Staff, member dedication keeps the virtual “doors” open

MCC’s determination to provide its members with digital fitness programming comprised an “all-hands-on-deck” approach that began with some research into delivery platforms. The second week of March, MCC Fitness Manager Michelle Sholtis began researching Zoom conferencing and calling instructors to verify that they could offer classes from their homes. On April 1, MCC launched 20 of its most popular group exercise classes using Zoom, including plenty of variety to appeal to members’ interests, abilities, and how much room they had to move inside their homes.

In the beginning, the classes were offered completely free and didn’t require MCC membership.

“When we first started, members who wanted to keep paying [monthly dues] had that option,” Folkins said, adding that she, Sholtis, and MCC General Manager Michael Gordon called 1,200 members personally to ask whether they would like to keep paying dues and/or make donations to keep the center financially solvent during the shut-down. “We’ve been able to keep many members paying full dues as tax-deductible donations because we are a community center.”

Continued financial support allowed MCC to launch online programs on a much larger scale than many of its counterparts, even while group exercise classes were free to the public. Most importantly, the value of the group exercise classes and livestreamed workouts from Exosathome.com kept membership cancellations at a minimum during those first few weeks, allowing the center to keep the lights on and keep its people employed.

“If we didn’t have online classes, we would have nothing,” Folkins shared. “At least when people call, we have an option. Otherwise, we would have no way to reach out to people. Our group exercise instructors have been employed this whole time, in the middle of lots of furloughs. Without this offering, and the generosity of our members, we would not be here today.”

The evolution of a global fitness community

While New Yorkers began navigating a world where so much was unknown, Manny Cantor Center offered familiar faces and daily opportunities to connect with distant friends. The Zoom classes were structured much like in-person classes, but with added time for socializing before and after the workouts. 

The program’s popularity demanded an expansion of class offerings, so MCC partnered with the 14th Street Y to add more classes. In July, the partnership expanded the class schedule to 27 classes a week as a new format for members-only group exercise. The move required that members pay monthly dues and register for classes in advance, allowing MCC and The Y to track utilization in a way that now informs programming changes and member communications.

“Our only goal was to have things set up for our community to be a part of,” Folkins recalled. But, what she found was that the online class format was attractive to a wider audience than in-person classes could ever be. “One benefit [of online programs] is that suddenly your gym is open to the entire world, essentially. You don’t have to live in New York to be a part of MCC.”

MCC’s digital fitness initiative has proven essential for members who have left NYC since the pandemic began, and has extended the community center’s reach to as far away as London. Folkins said an American expat sought out a virtual fitness membership after learning she could take Sunday yoga classes with her favorite instructor, Leorna.

“She knew Leorna and loved her,” Folkins said, adding that keeping members who move away has been an unexpected benefit of going virtual and could be a game-changer for many gyms nationwide. “To be able to continue the [virtual class] offering to your members no matter where they are, you could keep them for the rest of their lives.”

Forging a new path for fitness beyond 2020’s challenges

“We plan on continuing virtual classes and always having that option for members,” Folkins predicted. “It’s a benefit to us right now in New York City because we’re not allowed to have onsite classes for the foreseeable future. Also, some members may not be comfortable coming in when we are able to be in person. [The virtual class option] allows us to have a form of engagement.”

Folkins said the success of MCC’s virtual community-building has been a bright spot in a year of COVID that she’s excited to help nurture.

“As the world changes and people may be less comfortable working out in person, we hope to still be engaged with [members], especially in the vulnerable populations, and respond to our membership needs and wants,” she said. “I’m interested to see how this changes the fitness industry as a whole, and how many people continue to work out from home.”

The future of virtual fitness programming

Exos Senior Director for Community Center Relationships Leslie Meyers says the future of community center connection is closely tied to the future of virtual fitness for some members.

“What we’ve learned from team members like Sarah is that there are tangible social benefits to creating these virtual options, and that it’s possible to provide connection and build community engagement through online classes,” Meyers said. “We want to provide impactful programs that improve our members’ lives, and at Exos-managed community centers, that programming must include human interaction and relationships.” 

As Exos virtual programs mature and the pandemic abates, Meyers said she and her team will be closely monitoring MCC member participation rates, feedback, and revenue to further refine the Exos community center management model for online program delivery.

“It only makes sense to follow our members’ lead when it comes to providing the programming they want and the feeling of connection they need,” she said. 

That focus on members has certainly made a huge impact on the Lower East Side. Folkins offers sage advice for any community fitness center not already delivering virtual classes and enrichment programs:

“Don’t be afraid to try; just do it,” she urged. “It’s better to have to pull back your offerings because they didn’t work out than to have nothing. So, just try.”

Learn more about Exos Community Fitness Center Management services by visiting TeamExos.com/capabilities/facility-management-and-staffing/.

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Building resilient fitness employees: Exos expands inclusion, mental health, financial health programs

Leadership requires maintaining a delicate balance between business acumen and people skills. The people skills that are most important in the post-pandemic world involve a lot of human resources management – in the form of caring about employees and their experiences, building resources to meet their needs, and recognizing that there isn’t an “easy button” for helping team members approach life’s challenges.

Fitness industry employees have taken an especially hard hit during a time of lockdowns, social distancing, and fear of the unknown. Any personal battles they’re facing – either pre-existing or as a result of these factors – have been amplified by financial hardships and stress. It’s time for fitness industry leadership to step up and provide the mental and financial health resources employees need.

Support begins with a strong local team

Exos team member support has evolved to globally replicate best practices developed and implemented by forward-thinking fitness center leadership, and the process continues. Every day, fitness professionals, general managers, and performance team members work in tandem to solve staffing and morale challenges. These “boots on the ground” experiences inform operational shifts as the larger organization pivots to the most important business focus of all – providing what our people need, when they need it.

Financial health has been top of mind for everyone in the fitness industry during the pandemic age. Mercy Fitness Center GM Eddy Campbell recognized a need to support part-time service providers at the Edmond, OK, fitness center as the financial impact of the pandemic became more apparent.

“As a personal trainer, I was provided some business management guidance in 2011 that really opened my eyes,” Campbell said. “Managing a training business, recruiting clients, and setting and meeting financial goals is not something that certification teaches you.”

Campbell offered training for all part-time and commission-based service providers at the fitness center at the end of September 2020. He and his leadership team worked with staff members to develop individualized business plans to support their training efforts. Much like a personal training approach to a client’s overall fitness improvement, the plans started with “big idea,” long-term career goals. Campbell then helped the participating trainers, aquatics coaches, and massage therapists set intermediary metrics for career success and develop a plan to hit those monthly, weekly, and daily client recruitment and retention goals.

“It’s been extremely well-received,” Campbell said, adding that his team conducts weekly reassessment sessions with participants to gauge what’s working and adjust. “Those who have implemented their plans have grown their session counts dramatically.”

Aside from helping young part-time employees grow their client base and continue to succeed in their field, Campbell said the business counseling program has improved morale, employee retention, and resilience. It’s been especially helpful for those employees who were struggling with work/life balance.

“Once you have a plan and know how many sessions you need each week to meet your financial needs, you can structure your session scheduling around when you want to work,” he explained. “That’s been really helpful for some of our staff members who are single parents and needed some help balancing the time they spend working and the time they spend with their families.”

Growing values and identity-based support systems

The Mercy Fitness Center approach has yielded holistic mental health improvement, but Exos isn’t stopping there. What the company’s people operations team recognized is that employees also need opportunities to belong. That’s where Employee Resource Groups have become invaluable.

These groups welcome Exos employees – including furloughed and part-time team members – to join others with shared life experiences to become part of a like-minded group of individuals and allies who support their cause. Exos ERGs host regular virtual meetups and discussions specific to the experiences and needs of traditionally underrepresented groups as part of a larger effort to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s a movement whose time has come, and has already yielded tangible benefits for employees’ sense of belonging and real employer support.

Bringing together the resources employees need

As an organization, Exos has also continued to add benefits that address employee benefits, mental health, and resiliency:

  • The company has added enhanced Employer Assistance Program (EAP) benefits packages. Communications regularly encourage employees and their families to reach out to EAP counselors any time, day or night, to discuss any mental health or financial concerns. 
  • Employees now also have extended parental leave options to support working caregivers.
  • Exos has added a series of financial health webinars to its employee Homebase platform.
  • Performance training – featuring a focus on building resilience – is now available to all team members as a benefit of employment.
  • Exos university offers personal and professional development workshops throughout the year.
  • Monthly pulse surveys provide opportunities for team member feedback and program adjustment.

These efforts reflect the Exos commitment to supporting its team members and provide a valuable proving ground for similar efforts by other large companies. Many of these programs will continue to grow and develop as Exos integrates employee feedback through its monthly company-wide surveys, leadership powwows, and local check-ins.

“We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for employee retention and business success to provide employee programs that get results,” said Jeff DiBiaso, Exos VP, Community Business. “The entire fitness community is struggling right now from what will be the long-term effects of huge business losses in the last year. The only way to build long-term success is by focusing on the needs of the individual, addressing those needs on a local and organizational scale, and continuing to adjust and invest in valuable team members as a fitness industry.”

“Let’s lift up our people. This has been a tough year, and they need our help.”

Learn more about Exos Community’s approach to fitness center management by visiting TeamExos.com/capabilities/facility-management-and-staffing/.

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