CrossFit Oshkosh in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, reopened their doors on May 19, 2020. Here, Austin Phillips, the owner of the Box, shares five lessons he has learned in reopening after the coronavirus pandemic.
Have a well thought out plan. “We started putting together a plan in early April for reopening,” said Phillips. “We took the CDC’s recommendations and implemented them into how we were going to operate. As time progressed, we changed our plan as information changed, but it was easy to change because we had a base plan in place. This was huge in our first week of operation because our state opened up quickly and without recommendations for how to reopen.”
Communicate. “We spent time communicating with our members about how things would look when we were able to open up our doors again,” said Phillips. “We explained the why behind our actions and made sure everyone was on the same page. We also shot a quick video during a team meeting to go over our standard operating procedures (SOPs) for opening in the new landscape and shared it on all of our social media platforms.”
Don’t expect people breaking down the doors to come back. “Everyone has their own comfort level when it comes to the current situation,” said Phillips. “We had people who wanted to stay with remote coaching and people who wanted to see how the first few weeks went before venturing back. We did a survey with our membership a few weeks prior to opening to pinpoint individuals who may want to stay remote. We reached out to them to make sure we were ready to continue their journey without interruption and this has helped us provide the best service to all of our members.”
Double Check. Continue to talk with your staff. “We put out SOPs for staff, but made sure they were fluid,” explained Phillips. “We also made sure the Coaches were comfortable with coming back and if they have an idea or were seeing something we missed they can bring it up and we will make changes on the spot. If Coaches are not comfortable or not on-board with being back, the members would feel it and take notice.”
Prepare. “We were thrust into an online format out of nowhere,” said Phillips. “It seemed like we were constantly playing catch up and putting out fires. As we are getting back to in-person training, we are also working on plans for if we get shut down again to make the transition smoother.”
Whether your Box has been open for a week or doesn’t have a date to reopen yet, it is important to continue to learn from one another as we navigate the pandemic one day at a time.
Taylor Brown is a staff writer at Peake Media. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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