GYM Nation case study
Case Studiesright arrowGYM Nation Case Study

Helping Gymnation go from 0-100 in record time

When companies grow quickly, their HR teams face the challenge of managing the ever growing teams and ensuring their workforce is engaged. In these situations, the importance of having the right digital systems cannot be underestimated. We spoke to William Rasmussen-Dean, UAE Country Director at Gymnation, to find out how the Bayzat platform has helped Gymnation enhance its HR operation in the UAE during a period of rapid growth.

Setting the scene
Based in Dubai, Gymnation launched in 2017 at a time when the country ranked as the 2nd most expensive city in the world to buy a gym membership. Its “fitness first…not profits first” mantra bucked the trend in the industry. With a mission to make health and fitness affordable and accessible for everyone in the UAE – delivering world-class gym facilities for a great price – it grew quickly.

In just five years, Gymnation has become the largest health and fitness provider in the UAE, with more than 40,000 members across its seven open locations in the region. It already has multiple new locations lined up and plans to expand into Saudi Arabia in 2023. Its workforce also expanded massively during this period – growing from less than 10 people to 115. With no formal HR department in place, Gymnation turned to Bayzat for an HR infrastructure that could support the company’s growth ambitions.
Setting the scene
Key issues
Lack of internal resources and infrastructure to handle rapidly expanding workforce across multiple locations
Poor visibility into key HR and payroll operations such as paid leave
Reliance on inefficient, time-consuming manual workflows
Lack of integration between payroll and banking systems
Key issues
Taking HR to the next level
Gymnation’s business model has always been based on having a small back-office team so it can provide cheaper memberships to customers. As it grew this placed a huge amount of pressure on the company’s sole HR representative, who was responsible for managing everything from payroll to paid leave using a multitude of spreadsheets. Going from a small team of less than ten people to more than 100 staff in less than 5 years meant they needed a cloud-based platform that could remove the HR burden and scale with the business.

After evaluating several US-based providers, Gymnation selected Bayzat’s HR management platform for the backbone of its HR operation. Starting from the ground up, Bayzat streamlined Gymnation’s HR workflows by automating key processes such as employee onboarding and centralizing all the different components under HR’s remit. The platform automatically synced all HR records with Payroll to ensure total accuracy, while providing one location for staff to request and approve leave, manage employee records, and gain insights into performance.
Taking HR to the next level
“The platform has been great for driving productivity and managing our teams. The admin time it has saved and the ability to actually document things properly have been invaluable,” said William. “It even integrates with our banking systems, which has really streamlined our payroll operations. Bayzat has definitely saved us several hours a week, which makes a big difference in a business that moves as fast as ours.”
As well as cutting down admin time, Bayzat provided much-needed visibility across the workforce. Previously, HR had limited visibility into employee attendance and how much leave staff had taken, resulting in a lack of accuracy which actually cost the business money in terms of paying employees for time off that they had already taken. Centralizing everything through one platform gave HR the full picture, which wasn’t previously possible to achieve through manual processes.
“Bayzat lets us accurately track people’s holidays, maternity leave and sick days – which we could never really do before other than through Excel.
Making work better
A long-term partnership
Gymnation has big expansion plans for the coming years, spearheaded by its planned move into Saudi Arabia. The fact that the Bayzat platform works in the KSA market as well as the UAE was a key factor for Gymnation when selecting a partner that would enable it to continue growing in the future.
“Saudi will be a very big market for us. We’re looking to have 30+ clubs in Saudi Arabia, so it will be bigger than our UAE operation. Having Bayzat on board will be key for that expansion. We will literally roll Bayzat out as our HR platform in the region, knowing we have the perfect infrastructure in place to make our expansion goals a reality,” said William.
In fact, Gymnation is so impressed with how easy it was to implement Bayzat’s work life platform, they are looking to unlock the performance.
A long-term partnership
The bottom line
We’re a business that’s born and grown in the UAE, and we love the fact that Bayzat is the same. The platform itself has been fantastic. It was up and running for more than 100 staff in less than three weeks, and I now can’t imagine us running our business without it. I’d have staff that wouldn’t get paid, that couldn’t book off holiday – it simply wouldn’t work. For us, the system has been a Godsend.
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