Overcoming Workplace Challenges

Here’s a great post from our Director of Operations, Eleni Gagnon. Hear how she handles workplace challenges here at The Abs Company.

I bet when you think of a large company you think they have it all figured out, but I can guarantee behind those big doors they’re facing the same internal challenges as us small businesses! It doesn’t matter the company size, however it does matter how we overcome them.

The top three challenges I see within my workplace is accountability, adapting to change, and lastly, hiring the right talent. It’s easy to think that you can solve for all of these challenges by recognizing those who are not meeting the standards agreed upon, learning the news ways of selling or operating, and having a good recruiter who knows what you need. There are so many blind spots that you can’t see coming or take longer to see – and at that point it’s sometimes too late!

1. Accountability

Accountability by definition is expected or required to account for one’s actions; answerable. When you first bring on a new team member you discuss and explain THE DEAL, as we call it at The Abs Company. This signed “deal” describes salary, policies and procedures, and most importantly what is expected of you within your role. So as your new hire begins their journey within your organization you are observing them. Are they making enough calls? Are they grasping the operations policies & procedures? Are they treating your customers the right way? And more importantly, are they a cultural fit? As their leaders, it’s important to hold them accountable and correct their action the moment we see it. The moment we allow the mistake or missed contact to not be recognized is the moment we are failing as leaders and as a company. We need to hold our team members accountable for their jobs the same way they hold us accountable to do ours.

2. Adapting to Change

We know adapting to change can be difficult, but change is constant. At The Abs Company, We Change Lives from the Core.  We want to continue to fulfill that mission, and keep innovating, but if we aren’t keeping up with new sales & marketing, finance or technology tools we will be at a standstill. In order to ease the change, it’s best to understand the problem and take the risk to change it!

Along the journey, change is inevitable – you may notice that your people, your systems, your policies & procedures may serve you for a period of time and it’s important to recognize when its time for a change. Taking the time to find the right person or learn new applications is better than staying stagnant when trying to grow your business.

3. Hiring the right Talent

Hiring new talent to join our team is always exciting but stressful at the same time. It truly begins with having the right job post. Are we conveying the needs of the company in the right way? Are we asking the right questions during interviews? You are essentially courting each other and trying to make your best first impression. Sometimes you think “you met the one” and three weeks letter you’re banging your head against the wall. In today’s world, more and more employees are working remotely, no different than at The Abs Company, but what are you giving up when you have remote employees? Company culture is affected, communication lags, and not being able to solve for problems instantly are the challenges that arise. However, back to my second obstacle of CHANGE, we have to adapt and acknowledge that the right talent may not be in our local town to get us to our common goal of growth. It’s making sure we have the right person doing the right job and giving them all of the resources and tools to allow them to be successful.

Regardless of the industry we are in – we’ve all faced some or all of the challenges mentioned. We have to recognize and be willing to accept that something isn’t working or can be better. When you can accept it, your mindset changes and you are able to see the common goal that you are trying to achieve. Remember, what got you here won’t get you there!


Team Member Spotlight

Meet Kim Healey, our Director of Logistics and one of the very first Team Members at The Abs Company!

 

  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company? 

I am the Director of Logistics and oversee our orders from the time of purchase to the time of delivery, I also handle all equipment inventory.  I work closely with our warehouse to be sure our orders to get our customers efficiently.  

 

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

17 years ago I was working at a health club as the front desk girl and that’s how I met Sean.  I started working for him and have been with The Abs Company ever since.  

 

  • What do you like best about your job? 

One of the biggest things that I like about working here is that I can hold my head high knowing that we make quality equipment that truly helps to enhance and change peoples lives.  If there’s ever an issue with an order or with a piece of equipment we stand behind our product and we do the right thing. We are a fair and honest company and that makes me proud.  

 

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

Each one of the core values are super important to me and I find that I refer to them and lean on them almost on a daily basis.  If I had to pick one as my favorite I’d say it was We Lead with Gratitude. It’s just such a good way to frame everything in your day to day work and in your personal life too. In every situation there’s something to be grateful for and if you focus on that first it just puts everything in perspective. 

 

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why? 

I’ve always loved the AbCoaster CTL. It’s just my favorite. I love the smooth ride and the way you can pause at the top of a rep.  I always am sore after working out on the CTL.  

 

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work? 

I love spending time with my family, I’m lucky to have my children living close by so we’re able to spend a lot of time together.  I have a 2 year old grand daughter who is the love of my life! I also love photography and taking pictures of beautiful things is a hobby of mine.

 

  • Anything else you would like people to know?  

 I love to workout and try to get to the gym a minimum of 5 days a week, I am very active at my church I am on the social committee and I also work with the high school kids which I love doing.  


Benefits of Tire Training

Here’s some great information about Tire Training from our VP of Sales, and workout guru Michael Ritter.  He’s even included a great TireFlip 180® workout for you to try.

The Benefits of Tire Training 

Over the last couple of years, you’ve probably seen truck or tractor tires popping up in a ton of health clubs, gyms, boot camps, races, etc..The reason is pretty simple, tire flipping is a fun and different total-body workout. Great for building muscle and getting your cardio work in at the same time – Win-Win! 

Tire Flipping is also a great way to work the posterior muscles, like your hamstrings, glutes, and back. Also, this a terrific exercise for your core muscles. This can be especially beneficial for those of us who sit at a desk or log a ton of miles in our cars. 

Unfortunately, tire flipping with a truck or tractor tire has some major down-sides as well. They are loud, damage floors, mark-up walls, and are dangerous especially in a fitness center. Additionally, traditional tire flipping requires a ton of space in the gym. Even if you have a large turfed area, do you really want to waste 50 yards or more on one exerciser and disrupt the other members? 

The answer is obviously no, however, The Abs Company has your solution!  Now, you can achieve all the benefits of tire training yet in a super compact design that will not damage your facility and is completely safe. The Solution is The TireFlip 180! 

I have included below an awesome workout that can be performed on The TireFlip180: Give it a try! You will love it!! 

Stay tuned for more workouts including partner workouts in future blogs. Also, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about designing your own workout with the TireFlip180 at [email protected]

The TireFlip180 Workout

– Warm up with a 10-minute run/walk followed by light stretching

All nine exercises equal one round. You may take a rest after every third exercise, if needed. If not, power through until you complete one full round. Then, take 1-2 minutes rest.

TireFlip 180 Circuit: 3 Rounds

  • Box Jump (On Tire) 20 reps
  • Decline Push-Up (On Tire) 10 reps
  • Toe Taps 15 reps each leg, optional rest
  • Flip and Broad Jump Over Tire 10 reps
  • Triceps Tire Dips 15 reps
  • Back-and-Forth Tire Flip 10 reps, optional rest
  • Bicycle Abs or double knee-ins (while seated on the TireFlip180
  • Step-Ups 15 reps each leg
  • Battle Rope waves/slams using battle rope anchors on TireFlip180 – 45 seconds duration


Team Member Spotlight

Learn a little more about our COO, Eleni Gagnon. Spoiler alert – she doesn’t like that title, so she’ll be changing it to Director of Operations. We get to do things like that here at The Abs Company. 🙂

 

  • How would you explain your position/role at The Abs Company?

My official title is COO, however that name sounds a bit too fancy for me so I will be changing to Director of Operations.

As the Director of Operations, my goal is to help grow and maintain the profitability of our organization. I am responsible for our Finance Department, Human Resources Department and work very closely with Logistics Department to ensure proper order processing, inventory management, and vendor & client relations. As a growing company, researching and implementing new directives is a core function in my role.

I am always looking for way to improve our daily operations in order to save time and money.

  • How did you get into fitness/ the fitness industry?

I married into the fitness industry 10 years ago when I met Sean at IHRSA.

  • What do you like best about your job?

What I like most about my job is that it is something bigger than me. I am able to see a product developed from an idea to a fully functioning piece of equipment. I think it’s incredible that we are able to provide a product to a facility that can help another person achieve their individual goal. 

As for my daily job – I have always had a passion for operations! I am a very organized person and enjoy creating systems. I love playing in our Quickbooks and finding new ways to review reports and piece things together that tell a story.

Another thing I love about my job is that it is truly a family business! Most of my colleagues have been working at TAC for 10+ years, so while I have only been part of the team since 2015 it feels like much longer. When asked to come on board I was EXTREMELY hesitant because of the longevity of my colleagues and because I would be working with my husband!Working with your spouse can be scary at times but it’s also the most fun! Making decisions together and challenging one another has strengthened our relationship within the business and most definitely outside of it!

I wouldn’t be being honest with you if I didn’t mention my semi flexible schedule. Having two little babies at home and a full workload can be stressful at times, but two days a week I have carved out Morning Mommy Activities! Carving this time out and then being able to come to work makes me feel fulfilled as a working-mom.

  • Which Core Value means the most to you and why?

The Core Value that means the most to me is that We Believe in our Products and the Benefits they provide for our customers. The reason this core value sticks out to me is because we wouldn’t be able to exist without believing in our products. If you don’t believe in your products than neither will your customers.

  • What is your favorite TAC product and why?

My favorite TAC product is the Tire Flip and not for the obvious reasons that it’s super cool! It’s my favorite and first TAC product that I saw come to life. I remember Sean coming home with this idea and working with our first manufacturer to bring it to life. Since then I have been able to watch the progression and improvement of the TF.

  • What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy being with my family. With summer is approaching, I am excited to relax by our pool, BBQ & create memories with my little girls.

  • Anything else you would like people to know? (fun facts, hobbies, awards, certifications, accomplishments, goals, favorite quote, etc.)

Fun fact – I used to be really good basketball player back in the day. I was even on varsity in the 8th grade! 

Fun fact – I’m a terrible swimmer!


What is Culture?

One of the hottest words in business today is CULTURE. Nearly every business article and post talks about culture and the effects it can have on a company. As with many things that become so popular, sometimes the meaning can be distorted. So what exactly is Culture? Who is responsible for maintaining Culture? What effect does Culture have on a business? Let’s dig in!

What is Culture?

At its core, culture is a common set of beliefs that guide behavior within an organization. Often time’s people mistake culture with perks or work environments. We hear about casual Fridays, flex schedules, open work spaces on and on. These are all great things and can certainly attract and retain talent. However, they are not culture. Culture defines behavior and behavior defines performance!

Put another way, culture is what we refer to as CORE VALUES. You can tell a lot about a company by looking at the values they hold dear and how well they uphold them. Sometimes written core values are evident when you discover a company. They may be written on the walls or presented clearly on the website. That’s great but you know a culture is strong when you observe the behaviors in the people that work there. Imagine observing everyone behaving a certain way within and organization and THEN discovering the core values. Seeing that alignment is powerful and if the company’s values align with yours most likely you will have a great experience working there or doing business with them!

Who’s responsibility is Culture?

The simple answer is EVERYONE!  Referring back to the definition that culture defines behavior, then upholding and monitoring this behavior is the responsibility of everyone within the organization. At The Abs Company our core values are non-negotiable. Whether you are a team member, customer, or vendor you must uphold the values or the system falls apart. You don’t get to pick and choose which values are important to you and you don’t get to decide which ones you will abide by. It’s all in or all out! 

We like to say that everyone here is a Chief Culture Officer! That means we are constantly aware of the values and how they are being upheld. When they aren’t being upheld it is everyone’s responsibility to point that out and get the behaviors back in line. The true power in the values and the culture only exist if we are living them!

What effect does culture have on business?

Looking back again at our definition, Culture defines behavior and behavior defines performance.  The effect is obvious. Performance Mirrors Culture! A company with a strong culture (one that upholds and lives by its values) attracts people who believe the same things and who behave the same way!  From a team perspective this is invaluable because a group of people who are consistently rowing the same direction will always go further than one that has members rowing against the current. This does not mean there will never be conflict within the culture. In fact companies with strong cultures invite conflict! Conflict is a very healthy thing in business as it challenges everyone to look at things with fresh eyes and new perspectives. What it means is the  conflicts are never mean spirited and are always contained within the 

framework of the values. In essence the values become the north star which guide behaviors and decisions. 

From a customer stand point, companies with strong cultures attract customers who believe the same things. All of us want to do business with companies  we like and trust. Having a shared sense of values enhances that trust. Companies without a strong culture often operate on a transactional basis. They move from sale to sale and are constantly trying to get that next customer. Conversely companies with a strong culture foster relationships. When you form relationships with your customers you insulate yourself from competition and create lifetime value which is a much stronger way to operate!

Thinking about culture in this way will cause you to evaluate how you run your business and who you want to do business with! At The Abs Company it is our sincere desire to work with people who share our values and to do so for a very long time! Check them out HERE and see what we’re all about!