When you look around your studio, do you see staffers looking harried and stressed, or are they relaxed and smiling? Do your team members leave work as soon as they’re finished, or do they stick around and commiserate with their fellow employees? A healthy work environment is just one of the building blocks of a successful studio or gym business, and we have some budget-friendly tips for boosting company morale to ensure your employees feel rewarded, part of the community, and as if they’re growing in their career.

Your employees want to be recognized for the work they’re doing, so be sure to showcase your appreciation for it whenever possible. Whether it’s having a wall with the tried-but-true “Employee of the Month” photo featuring your most chipper trainer, or doling out Starbucks gift cards to the team that worked overtime to clean up after your last studio event, honor and reward the hard work your employees put forth to make sure your clients have a great experience every time they set foot in your studio.

Did one of your instructors just get engaged? Is it your front desk staffer’s birthday? Make a fuss about it. Buy balloons, flowers, cupcakes or healthy fruit salad for everyone to indulge in, and have your staffers all sign a card celebrating this person. If it’s their one-year (or two, or five-year, etc.) anniversary of working for your studio or gym, go the extra mile and treat them to lunch as a way of saying thank you, and how much you enjoy having them as part of the team. It goes without saying that seeing this type of treatment for your seasoned employees will inspire newer staffers to stick around.

Often times, a happier, more efficient workplace is one where employees not only get along with each other, but enjoy spending time with each other outside of work. Encourage your employees to socialize and get together on occasion by hosting a potluck. This can either be in your studio or gym space, at a park, or in your home. Ask staffers to bring their favorite appetizers, main dishes or desserts to share (dole out assignments based on last name, i.e. letters A-G get appetizers, H-Q get mains, R-Z get dessert) and brainstorm fun games and ice breakers to help people get comfortable getting to know one another. Most importantly, remember the details people share about themselves so that you can bring it up the next time you see them at the studio. Facilitating that bond with your employees, and being able to recognize and remember their personal interests, is key.

Your team members want to learn and grow in their career, so help foster that by hosting free trainings with your staff. Maybe they want to learn more advanced yoga moves, or try their hand at running your social media account for a day or two. Invite them into the operating of the company and inspire them by giving them the tools they need to learn something new. Recruit a client or local college or grad student who knows graphic design by offering them a free class package in exchange for hosting a class for your employees who want to know more about marketing and promoting the studio. Your employees will come away from the experience more excited about the work they’re doing, and you’ll have learned some helpful tips to boot.