From The Great Resignation To The Great Inspiration

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While it seems no industry has dodged or completely moved forward from The Great Resignation to the Great Inspiration, it is safe to say the current companies that cannot function without onsite employees have been the most strongly affected. Restaurants, hotels, doctor’s offices, retail, and fitness clubs all became less attractive to employees because working from home (WFH) was not an option. Yet some brands from these industries have been less impacted by the labor exodus. Why? Because long before the pandemic, they were obsessed with creating the type of culture employees wanted to be part of, even if that meant not having the WFH option.

There is a reason why Self Esteem Brands, parent company to brands such as Anytime Fitness, Waxing the City, The Bar Method, and Basecamp Fitness is repeatedly ranked one of the top places to work. It starts in the DNA of their founders Chuck Runyon and David Mortensen and their obsession for building a work culture that employees truly love, one that goes far beyond work-life balance and results in a healthier workforce.

Creating the Best Culture for Attracting and Keeping Top Talent

Unnamed 1, The DiJulius GroupMost business leaders, panicking over the last couple of years, have made the two biggest mistakes companies make when attempting to combat The Great Resignation: 1) just going out there and quickly filling positions with any person they can find, and 2) continuing to employ poor performers – the ones who merely take up space, dragging down a team’s collective energy and frustrating their “A” level prized talent.

The first priority for businesses today needs to be focusing on keeping their top talent by improving their internal culture. Stop trying to find great employees. Instead, focus on becoming the type of business great employees find.

*Related – Stop Calling a Labor Shortage, It Is Turnover Crisis

Self Esteem Brands has addressed the talent crunch by doubling down on its culture, which is only allowing them to lap its competition. “Most business leaders hate The Great Resignation. I love it,” said Runyon. “People should have leverage and work where they want to work.” Runyon believes that since employees get to choose their jobs, they should love them and that employers are responsible for creating jobs their employees will love.

Runyon doesn’t buy what many leaders use as a crutch, that our workforce is lazy or doesn’t want to work anymore. “The great misinterpretation of The Great Resignation is that people have unrealistic expectations. Contrary to what bad bosses think, employees, want to work hard.” Purpose and connection matter to quality talent, something both current employers and those seeking new employees must keep in mind for greater retention of staff.

The two co-founders, Runyon and Mortensen wrote the book Love Work, which is based on the pillars they have built their amazing culture around, the 4 Ps: People, Purpose, Profits, and Play. Their obsession with building a world-class internal culture has more than paid off.


“As employers, we have a golden opportunity to transform The Great Resignation into The Great Inspiration. Especially after the past two years, people don’t just want to be paid – they want to be inspired. So, let’s inspire them,” preaches Runyon.

A Greater Focus on Staff Wellbeing

Self Esteem Brands offers to pay for their employees and their families to access mental health experts through Modern Health. Every Friday in the summer is a non-working Wellbeing Friday. They encourage No Meeting Wednesdays, which frees up time for their team members to focus and dive into their roles. They offer unlimited PTO. Talk about a relationship builder! Such resources for staff can only add up to better emotional health for the company’s employees. 

A great survey question to ask your employees is, “On average, how excited are you to work each day?” Do your employees jump out of bed in the morning and look forward to working, or do they have to hit the snooze button five times and chug a 20-ounce latte just to face the day? The sad truth is most people live in the second category, on default mode. When it comes to working, 70 percent of Americans are disengaged from their professional lives.

Runyon and Mortensen have made it their life mission to change this. Anytime Fitness is now the world’s largest co-ed fitness club franchise, reaching a bigger international market penetration more quickly than any franchise in history. More impressively, the Anytime Fitness logo has been tattooed on the bodies of more than 5,000 employees, franchisees, and gym members – a symbol of passion most brands can only dream of.

“Our purpose is to improve the self-esteem of the world – something we can only achieve through a workplace culture that provides the means for our people to put their own health and wellness front and center,” says Runyon. 

The Best Employees are Those Who Feel the Most Valued

Unnamed, The DiJulius GroupThis employee-centric mindset is a growing trend amongst companies. What elements in your own employer brand positioning speak to your ideal candidate? In working for you, will they feel as fully valued as you expect them to make your customers feel? When hiring and training customer service reps, you must keep in mind the direct correlation between their levels of satisfaction as your employees, and the satisfaction of your customers. Why just throw a bunch of training at them, when you can guide and support them toward becoming brand evangelists, and making you a customer service leader?

*RelatedEpisode 058: Creating a Tattoo Worthy Brand


“What would it take for me to be the best moment in a customer’s day? 

If they are having a bad day, I am going to totally change that. 

If they are having a good day, I am going to make it a great day.”

*Become A Licensed Customer Experience Coach


Don’t be a Blockbuster


In a Simplr mystery shop report, brands that had the highest experience score had answered emails in less than 15 minutes and chats in under 30 seconds.

Now Offering Virtual Tickets to the Revolution

Join us this November 8th & 9th in Cleveland, Ohio, for The Customer Service Revolution in person or virtually.

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Learn from incredible subject matter experts on The Great Retention:

  • Employee experience
  • Customer experience
  • Contact center care
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Change management
  • Motivation
  • Leadership, and much more!

Breakout sessions are back! 

You’re going to love the content that has been curated for you during the two-day conference. These sessions will allow your team to divide and conquer at the event, learning as much as possible during their experience. 

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We can’t wait to see you in November!

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Front Cover JPEG 4, The DiJulius Group“If you are serious about growing your business by attracting and retaining high-quality customers, Marketing Magnifier is a marketing blueprint to do just that.”

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About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.