3 Ways to Uphold Facility Etiquette

“Why should we worry about enforcing facility etiquette” – you ask?

Have you ever watched a game of football where the referee/umpire does a poor job of enforcing the rules? Pretty quickly the players and the fans are complaining and the standard of the game deteriorates.

Afterwards, whether your side won or lost, the talk only centres on the way the rules were/weren’t enforced.

So it is for running a facility.

Upholding facility etiquette (whether it is a gym, pool, leisure centre or recreational centre) will dictate the experience of your members and guests.

Not only is it courteous for members to respect them, but these rules should be enforced for health & safety reasons as well as retention purposes. Facilities where members constantly have to clean up after others may end up looking for another place to workout.

If you have noticed that your members are not respecting the rules you have set out here is why this could be happening:

  1. Members don’t know the rules
  2. Rules are not being enforced

Typically, the club management either

  • Don’t know what the rules should be OR
  • Haven’t trained their floor staff to learn them and enforce them.

After all, whether members respect your guidelines is strongly dependent on how they are enforced and presented.

If you struggle to enforce facility etiquette, here is some advice we found on IDEA (the Health & Fitness Association).

Enforcing your policies

1. Post signs

Signs should be posted throughout the gym and locker rooms. Present your policies professionally and away from clutter as to ensure they can be easily read are taken seriously.

2. Educate members

New members need to receive a copy of the policies and as part of orientation, shown where they can find them. All members should be notified to any changes to the policies as new issues arise.

3. Monitor members

Staff should be encouraged to observe and monitor members. If members know they are being watched, they are less likely to infringe the policies. Of course, there are always going to be those who break the rules. If this happens, they should be approached and notified politely.

Discreetly invite them into an office and speak to them quietly and calmly if you are worried about embarrassing them. If you maintain respect and professionalism in your communication, you will be able to resolve most issues.


Enforcing your policies is necessary to ensure the experience is pleasant for both members and staff. Ultimately, the goal is to retain the customer, not alienate them by turning the eye away from annoyances created in your facility.

If you see it, you can change it.

Just as a footy game that has been well officiated, let your clients talk about the standard of your facility.



These are the kind of signs you do NOT want to put in your facility – but it shows the angst members experience! 


Let us know in the comments what has worked for you in terms of maintaining a pleasant member experience.

If you are unsure what rules to uphold, stay tuned for next week’s article.




Written and compiled by Melanie for Links Marketing