Each week, Adam Robinson, co-founder and CEO of Hireology and author of The Best Team Wins, speaks with entrepreneurs and industry leaders about business and building their best teams. Adam recently spoke with Anytime Fitness Co-Founder and CEO, and Hireology customer, Chuck Runyon.
Chuck and his business partner founded Anytime Fitness in 2002 and since then the franchise has grown to more than 3,000 locations in over 30 countries. Anytime Fitness is one of the largest and fastest growing franchises in history and Chuck attributes much of the brand’s success to its people strategy.
During the 25-minute podcast, Chuck spoke with Adam about how he’s scaled the people side and culture of Anytime Fitness, and his book, Love Work. Below are some highlights from the discussion.
On getting started with Anytime Fitness:
We started with a three question interview process: “Do you believe in the idea? Are you willing to work your butt off? Are you willing to do almost anything?” In the startup days, every one of us unloaded the trucks, answered the phones and did whatever it took to make the business successful.
On scaling the people side of the business:
In terms of culture, we wanted to surround ourselves with people we enjoyed, shared our values, had a sense of humor, and were hungry to make this work. Thankfully, we’ve gotten to operationalize [our people strategy] as we’ve gotten bigger.
During the 2007-2010 years, we started to feel some growing pains. When you grow beyond 50 people, a company needs a different org structure, it demands different communication from the leaders, and functional experts to help drive the business. From the 50 to 150 employee mark, the people strategy requires something different from startup years. It was then that we started to think more about org charts, mission and vision.
As a founder gets pulled away from the front lines of the business, they have to replace themselves with high quality talent that will drive the business forward, so it was at this point that our interview process became more rigorous, onboarding improved and employee communication became far more frequent.