Do your staff feel appreciated? How to Improve retention with Employee Appreciation Week.

Pexels Anthony Shkraba 4348404- Fit Degree
Pexels Andrew Neel 2312369- Fit Degree
Blog Details Img- Fit Degree
Thinking- Fit Degree
Pexels Cottonbro 5076531- Fit Degree

Do your staff feel appreciated? How to Improve retention with Employee Appreciation Week.

Read Time :

Like many entrepreneurs, boutique fitness and gym owners are facing a staffing shortage. We've noticed an influx of staffing questions from our studio community, so whether you're just beginning to build your staffing culture or you've had your studio for years, it's time to prioritize retention and staff appreciation.

While big gestures won't make up for more significant work woes like underpayment or irregular scheduling, occasional surprises showing your employees you are committed to celebrating them contribute to a more positive culture. 

What is Employee Appreciation Week?

Employee appreciation week for your boutique fitness studio's trainers, teachers, and staff will look different than a neighboring studio based on your specific culture. Still, the premise is the same: dedicate an entire week to demonstrating that your staff is valued and essential to your gym. If this is your first appreciation week, pick and choose from the components below and fine-tune the following years based on feedback.

The Details:


Usually, events take place Monday-Friday or Saturday, but you may start with an appreciation weekend if you're a small studio. Employee appreciation week can be whenever your schedule permits. Plan ahead to find a time when all your staff is present, and your studio calendar is quiet. An off-peak time will allow you to focus entirely on your employees, so you probably won't want to choose January or September if your studio follows an industry-typical cycle. 


Like any campaign, this event will take place across multiple platforms in a multi-faceted approach. The goal is to share your appreciation with the world, so use your studio, email list, and social media to spread your message. 


Let's break down events and activities based on location and platform. 

Social Media: 

Teacher Takeover

True, this involves some work on your staff's part, but it boosts engagement, excitement, and (bonus) your algorithm. Here's how we've implemented takeover in the past:

  1. Send out a staff signup sheet so each teacher can sign up for a day to take over your studio's Instagram stories. 
  2. The night before, post a baby photo of your teacher and let your clients guess who they'll spend the day with. 
  3. The next morning, introduce the teacher of the day with a current photo and a quick Q&A caption such as:
  • Favorite modality to teach and take?
  • Favorite song to teach to?
  • What athleisure wear brand are you addicted to?
  • What do you love about teaching at X studio?
  • What's your funniest/most embarrassing/most memorable moment while teaching?
  • Any other questions that will interest your clients 

4. Once they're revealed, your teacher can share as much or as little as they'd like. Common client favorites are:

  • Meals (it's surprisingly requested- what do your teachers eat to fuel for classes?)
  • Pets and family members
  • Personal workout routines
  • Class curriculum planning process
  • Day-to-day activities show behind-the-scenes for clients to feel like a fly on the wall. 

You may have teachers who don't feel comfortable sharing much about their personal life, and that's okay. The more they share, the more clients will connect with them, but in the end, this is meant to build studio member-to-teacher relationships, not embarrass your staff. 

Each instructor's takeover day can also be their digital share day. Using your social media or your email account, that may include:

  • “Five things we love about ____teacher X ___” 
  • Testimonials and quotes about that teacher from the clients
  • The number of classes taught/taken by that instructor

You can double-dip each social media post by copying them into Canva to post on the studio walls or bulletin board. If you're not doing a teacher takeover or prefer to post all of your teachers on the same day, that's fine too. Try not to get bogged down in the particulars at the expense of the implementation.

fitDEGREE can support your Studio Fitness

Consult with us now!

In Studio:

Here is why it's important to know each teacher's individual appreciation language because what one teacher finds flattering may make another anxious. Choose activities and gestures based on what makes each instructor feel valued, and try to spread events out each day so you can fill a week.

Teacher Treats: Their favorite coffee and muffin after class or a smoothie beforehand are both easy but caring ways to kick off appreciation week. 

Goodie Bags: Get creative with your sponsors. Ask local business partners if they would be willing to donate discount cards if your budget is tight. Otherwise, collect hair ties, grip socks, a massage certificate, water bottles, etc., that you know your teachers will use and like. 

Studio Swag: Rather than picking something that hasn't sold off your retail racks, plan ahead and order special teacher-only tanks or sweatshirts that your teachers will want to wear. 

PDA: Shout it from the rafters (literally). Hang a "we love our teachers" banner outside, put up a poster, or tape up individual 8.5" x 11" cardstock or small blank canvases on the wall for each gym staff member so clients can write what they love about that instructor. 

Thank You Note: Save a heartfelt thank you written by you to close out the week, but don't forget one from your clients. If you have a desk, leave a card for each instructor and ask clients to sign or write a short thank you note. Your teachers likely choose fitness instruction because they want to make a difference; this is the perfect opportunity to show them they do. 

Out of the Studio:

If your budget and schedule allow, an out-of-studio bonding experience goes a long way toward forging community among your staff. Your field trip will depend on the time of year, expense, and the size of your gym's staff. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Movie night: put a projector up on your lawn, take over your living room, or rent out a theater. The objective is more than the movie, however. You want your staff mingling beforehand, sharing treats, and getting to know each other. 
  • Nail salons allow for communication, won't cost you an absolute fortune, and are usually appreciated (but make sure your staff is into it). 
  • Swap grip socks for heels and go out to dinner. This one will cost you more, so you'll need to budget for it. It's a popular gesture since dressing up often denotes a "special event," and it's overtly appreciative.
  • If a formal dinner isn't in the cards or doesn't fit your studio vibe, consider a picnic (catered or informal), a hike, or a day at the beach.

When planning your teacher appreciation week for your gym or boutique studio, remember that the most important part is that your staff feel noticed and valued. Have fun appreciating your studio VIPs, and don't forget to share each component on social media to spread the culture of appreciation. 

Looks like you are finding this valuable, would you also like our latest copy of Navigating the New Normal?
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Seven Steps to Run an Effective Fitness Studio Challenge to Increase Engagement and Revenue

Get More Gym Leads with Nurses and Teacher Appreciation Week

Boost Member Engagement and Retention in Your Studio with Intentional Programming

Membership Renewal Strategies: Keep Your Gym Clients Committed Year after Year

Seven Ways to Provide Exceptional Service in Your Studio to Stand Out and Keep Members

Membership Models Demystified: Finding the Right Fit for Your Fitness Studio

Building a Strong Community: How to Foster Authentic Connections in Your Boutique Fitness Studio

Customer Spotlights: Showcasing Success Stories to Boost Gym Engagement

2024 Fitness Trends: Embracing The New Boutique Fitness Trends to Stay Ahead

Elevate Your Studio: The Power of Customer Spotlights to Boost Gym Engagement

Elevate Your Boutique Fitness Studio: Year-End Reflections for Ongoing Success

Unwrap Your Gym's Irresistible Holiday Campaign in 4 Steps.

Unleashing the Power of Newsletters: A Guide for Fitness Studio Owners to Boost Holiday Engagement

How to Boost Your Boutique Fitness Studio's Social Media Presence

Social Media Marketing For Fitness Studios: Building Genuine Connections Over Vanity Metrics

Mastering Employee Management: Best Practices for Boutique Fitness Studio Owners

Crafting a Comprehensive Handbook for Your Boutique Fitness Studio

Crafting a Successful First Year: Must-Have Events for Your Boutique Fitness Studio

Are Your Boutique Fitness Studio's Monthly Costs Weighing You Down? Here's How to Find Out

Revamp Your Fitness Studio: A Guide for Successfully Deciding When to Pivot

How to Create Effective Business Goals for Your New Boutique Fitness Studio: A Comprehensive Guide

Ready, Set, Launch: Your Fitness Studio's Complete Opening Day Checklist

How to Find, Interview, and Hire Staff for Your Fitness Studio

Boosting Your Fitness Studio's SEO Effortlessly: Simple Tips for Studio Owners

The Power of Video Marketing: How Fitness Studio Owners Can Attract More Clients

Six Strategies To Create And Market Your Boutique Studio’s Value Proposition

7 strategies for your boutique gym to compete against large brands

What Type of Financing is Right For My New Fitness Business? A Complete Guide

Six Steps to Create Your Fitness Studio’s Successful Business Plan

Your Complete Checklist to Market Your Fitness Business

How to Create a Captivating Founder’s Story For Your Fitness Studio

How to Identify Your Boutique Gym’s Ideal Client

Four Steps to Create the Perfect Mission Statement for Your Fitness Studio

3 Steps to Build a Strong Brand Strategy for Your Fitness Business

How to choose the perfect space for your fitness studio

Finding a niche for your new business

How to Leverage Business Partnerships to Improve Your Fitness Business

Improve Your Gym's Sales Success With Three Simple Questions

Black Friday Marketing: Your Complete Checklist for Fitness Studios

Three Steps to Improve Your Gym's Sub Policies

Do your staff feel appreciated? How to Improve retention with Employee Appreciation Week.

Seven Questions to Keep Your Gym Staff Happy and Engaged

The free marketing tool you need in your fitness business

Your Gym Needs a Budget: How to Increase Your Fitness Business’s Profitability in Six Steps.

Stop Doing it All: 4 Partners to Help Your Fitness Business Grow

How to Overcome Common Sales Objections to Sell More Gym Memberships

Six Ways to Improve Staff Effectiveness and Retention in your Gym

Eight Steps to Sell More Fitness Memberships

The Three Essential Objectives to Improve Gym Sales and Profitability

How to increase attendance and retention in your gym this summer

How to Increase Your Boutique Studio Sales by Optimizing Your Intro Process

Are your clients staying? Improve your gym's retention rate with these strategies

8 reasons why your intro offer isn’t converting into long-term memberships

Are large class packages harming your gym's business? How to price for competitive growth.

7 Ways to Boost Your Event Marketing and Capture Your Perfect Customer

Are You Using Pop Up Classes to Capture Your Perfect Customer? Here's How.

7 Steps to Create a 12-Month Marketing Calendar to Boost Engagement All Year

How to Maximize Guerilla Marketing to Drive New Clients to Your Gym

Is your gym set up for success? How to create and set achievable new goals in 2022

Is your staff growing your business? How to give constructive feedback to improve buy-in

How to increase your gym's profits without actually making any more money

Client Communication Excellence: Stand Out With These 4 Tools

Member Retention For Long Term Growth

Why Getting More Reviews For Your Gym Should Be A Top Priority

Referrals Should Be A Top Priority For Your Business

Navigating The New Normal

Testing And Tracking Intro Offers

How To Build Your Intro Offer: The 3 Variables to Consider

Membership Contracts and Why You Need Them

Creating A Successful Sales Process

Importance of an Initial Consultation

10 Rules For A Standard Group Class Model Pricing Structure

5 Key Factors For Creating A Revenue-Generating Pricing Structure

7 Things Your Website Needs To Turn Clicks Into Clients

5 Tips to a Successful Studio Management Software Transfer

The 5 Social Media Tools You Need Right Now

Why your Fitness Business Can't Survive Without Community and How to Build a Powerful One

7 Things Your Website Needs To Turn Clicks Into Clients

Why your Fitness Business Can't Survive Without Community (and How to Build a Powerful One)

Membership Contracts and Why You Need Them

Switching Studio Management Software: Reality vs. Expectation

How To Build Your Intro Offer: The 3 Variables to Consider

10 Rules For A Standard Group Class Model Pricing Structure

5 Tips to a Successful Studio Management Software Transfer

The 5 Social Media Tools You Need Right Now in Your Fitness Studio

5 Key Factors For Creating A Revenue-Generating Pricing Structure

How To Build Your Intro Offer: The 3 Variables to Consider

What Does It Cost to Run a Barre Studio?

How the Best Fitness Studios Niche Down to Build Their Business

How to Practice Self-Care When Your Job is to Care for Others

12 Facebook Live Tips for Fitness Studio Owners

Friends Don’t Let Friends Yoga Alone: 11 Tips for Successful Referral Marketing

How Your Yoga Practice Can Spark Gratitude

The 3 Main Ways Your Studio Website Is Failing You and How You Can Fix Them

Should You Crowdfund Your New Yoga Studio Business?

4 Reasons Your Members are Bouncing After Their Class Pass is Finished

Why Yoga Studios Are a Booming Business Right Now

Using Your Yoga Studio Business Software for Marketing 

The Importance of Having Yoga Studio Scheduling Software

Are Your Instructors Making or Breaking Your Studio Brand?

Posts You Might Like

Seven Steps to Run an Effective Fitness Studio Challenge to Increase Engagement and Revenue

It's warming up, which means summer is coming. This can also be a source of anxiety for fitness studio owners, who typically experience a slowdown during the summer months.

Get More Gym Leads with Nurses and Teacher Appreciation Week

Nurse and teacher appreciation events are two of my favorite guerilla marketing events of the year. Teachers are recognized during the first week of May, and nurses enjoy an entire month of celebration.

Boost Member Engagement and Retention in Your Studio with Intentional Programming

As a fitness studio owner, you understand the importance of member engagement and retention. It's not just about attracting new members; it's about keeping them coming back for years to come.

Software Updates

Software Update Img- Fit Degree
Want to know about the latest improvements to fitDEGREE?
Black Friday
Calender Icon Img- Fit Degree
Ready to switch to a more affordable, customer-friendly management tool? We've got you covered.

Get all the resources
in your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

About the author:

Niki Riga
Industry Expert
Limitless Studio

Niki has been a client, a studio owner, and a coach in boutique fitness for over a decade, and she can’t think of an industry she'd rather be in. Her favorite part about coaching and studio ownership are the same: she loves supporting clients as they push past their limits and achieve their goals. Niki became a coach because she was regularly asked, “how did you do that!?” by other studio owners who were drowning in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership but didn’t have the support to grow their studio to its potential. She created Limitless Studio to partner with owners who have a vision for their business and are ready to implement systems to build the studio of their dreams.