Recently, a friend of mine was training for a GoRuck Heavy. Most of the training leading up to the event took place late in the night or very early in the morning so that he could maximize his family and work responsibilities. However, once his employer became aware of the grueling training plan leading up to the event he began to push back and demand more time from his employee stating that, “if [he] had time for working out so much, [he] had time to take on more projects.” It’s important to remember that this training was outside of scheduled work hours. In fact, the only time he requested off was the day of the event itself, which was approved months in advance.
In the end, my friend took a position with another firm. This is a huge hit for his old company and here’s why: turnover costs a lot. It costs so much that many companies desperately attempt to retain even low and moderate performers to help mitigate the expense. But, my friend isn’t a low performing team member. Chances are, your fitness minded employees aren’t either. Id go so far to say that if you have these type of folks working for you, you might even want to give them extra days off to train!
There are plenty of articles about how fitness-minded employees benefit companies. Not only do these team members have far less health issues of their own, studies have shown that the overall immunity of the company rises when a workplace is health conscious. This means less people are taking sick time, even the ones with unhealthy habits. More productivity with lower costs? Yay!
There are many additional reasons why it’s a good idea to hang on to those ultra-running, weightlifting, early morning workout connoisseurs.
- They are more productive. Yep, even the ones who woke up at 5 am for a run.
- They are happier. Oh yeah, love me some dopamine and serotonin
- They have less stress (and more fun!)
- They are safer, filing less than ½ as many workers comp claims
And these are just a few of the many, many reasons that I frequently see in fitness and management magazines. But, I’d like to focus on another, even though it is difficult to measure (at least in the way we can with insurance and healthcare costs).
Here is how I know my buddy’s old boss lost a good one.
Fitness builds community. It is a subculture all its own with various tribes and places to belong. For example, I currently workout with F3. But this is simply one tribe, just like CrossFit is another and community gym classes are another. We often overlap and join Spartan, GoRuck, and various running tribes as well. In these groups you will find interconnected networks of high achievers; People who are building their self-confidence, self-efficacy, and interpersonal skill. This goes way beyond retention and job embeddedness. It is where people have a high probability of thriving not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.
The reason I know my friend’s boss lost a good one is because I was at the event with him. I saw him set an enormous goal and methodically work toward it for months. I saw him endure through pain without complaint and offer to carry the load of his comrades. I was there when he mustered the morale to keep going when his body was pleading for him to stop. I witnessed his integrity with every painstaking repetition, even when he thought no one was looking. I know because he and the others we were with made me a better man who wanted to do more.
More productive, longer-lasting, collaborative team players with high levels of integrity and grit? Isn’t that exactly what you want on your team? Try to keep these folks around! They’re worth it.