I go to one of the local health clubs that's relatively close to where I live. I've been going since May, which really shocks everyone who knows me because they didn't see it as being my style. What most of them didn't know is that I actually belonged to a health club before, from 1988 through 1993, so I knew what they were all about.

When I first joined, it was some of the people working there that really made me feel special. I knew all their names and interacted with them on a daily basis, because I was pretty much going every day. Even as I got to meet a few other people here and there, it was knowing that I was going to walk in every day to a face that I knew that was going to greet me that make me feel pretty good.

However, within a few months things were drastically changing. Almost everyone I had met when I first got there were suddenly gone. Those few that were still hanging around weren't going to be there much longer. It seemed that management had a "people" problem; it didn't know quite how to treat its employees. Many of them worked extreme hours for very little pay. Sure, it was nice having a free gym membership, but what's that compare to being able to pay for food or a place to live?

Now there are new people. Actually, a few new people have already come and gone; that's a shame. Because of that, I refuse to learn any of their names, or even to really acknowledge them. My mind sees them as feathers caught in the wind; I expect them to blow away fairly soon and thus I don't want to invest my emotions into getting to know any of them.

Something that many business owners don't think about are the relationships their employees sometimes build up with their customers. For businesses where you want some of your customers to keep coming back in a consistent basis, it pays to make sure that your front line employees, the ones who greet your customers, are treated well. Of course it also behooves you to make sure they're treating your customers well.

It's not always easy to get people who are willing to represent you with a greeting and a smile to everyone who comes into your establishment. Trust me, it wasn't easy teaching people how to answer the phone. But if you care you take the time to do it, then when you hear people complimenting your employees, you need to step up to the plate and treat them right. After all, unless you want to work your business by yourself, you need all the good help you can get.

I won't be leaving this health club because it's very convenient. However, I also don't promote it to anyone else anymore. When things change and some of the employees decide to stick around for awhile, I might open up about it again. I wonder how much business this place could potentially be losing by how they treat their employees.