For my ethics assignment, I interviewed the General Manager of the Fitness Club that I am employed by. The club is approximately 80,000 square feet; it has three levels that consist of weight training equipment, cardio equipment, group exercise classrooms, a basketball court, multiple racquetball courts, and indoor tennis courts. It is a large establishment that is extremely micromanaged by its owners employing approximately fifteen regular employees and subcontracting to another approximate fifteen employees.
The club employs a sales manager, front desk manager, and general manager, front desk staff marginally part time, sales staff that work for sales incentive, trainers who are essentially subcontracted by the club, three maintenance personnel, group exercise instructors, and subcontracted tennis pros to give tennis lessons.
Being an employee of the club, I had an idea of what questions would raise ethical issues, so my questions effectively steered the general manager in the direction of these issues. I began with a basic ethical question regarding theft of employees and clientele.
“Has the company had issues with theft by employees or clientele? What arose from these scenarios?”
The answer was that there was currently theft by both employees and the public. The obvious theft of employees was that of nutritional shakes and bars that are sold at the front desk. This was generally ignored unless somebody was caught, then they would just pretend that they planned on paying for it after the fact. The fact that goods were being stolen could be determined by simple accounting of the goods bought versus the goods sold and only certain people should be allowed behind the front desk or allowed to touch the goods. The other area of employee theft was employees stealing equipment. This is hard to monitor, but no employees should be allowed to have bags with them on the gym floor. If they are caught in the act, they should obviously be fired, as they have been in the past.
Theft by the public is another problem that this Fitness Club must deal with on a regular basis. People sneaking into the club without a membership or using parts of the fitness club only available to certain membership types are the ongoing situations that must be policed by front desk staff more effectively.
Stealing breaks the Josephson Institute of Ethics value of trustworthiness, making it a very obvious unethical behavior. Based on utilitarianism, the acts of this theft are unethical and rules should be enacted that discourage these acts in order to get results in limiting theft. Theft from a company from employees should always result in termination. Theft from the public is just part of the business and hiring front desk staff to earnestly police this is the best way to deter it.
Do we agree that the personal trainers have a lack of oversight? What ethical problems have risen from this lack of oversight?
Personal Trainers have been fired in the past for adding sessions to their clients “bank” of sessions, without their client having purchased more sessions and for pretending to have completed sessions of clients whom have stopped coming to the gym. These are blatant cases of theft from the trainers; a lack of trustworthiness such as this should result in termination. Another problem that has arisen with the personal trainers is that they have the discretion to charge for cancelled sessions. This causes problems because every trainers “own discretion” is different from one another. Some trainers may allow a twenty four hour cancellation policy while others may not. I would suggest implementing a twenty four hour cancellation policy as a rule, letting the clients know ahead of time. This would clear up any confusion. The lack of consistency between the trainers discourages fairness between the different clients, one of