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SoulCycle CEO Cites Employee Engagement in Success

Melanie Whelan, who is on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list, is taking Manhattan’s SoulCycle public. The company, a chain of exclusive indoor cycling studios, is only about 10 years old. And Whelan just became CEO in June. As she was working this month to expand the company and launch a mobile app for class sign-ups at the studios, she talked to Fortune about SoulCycle’s success.

According to Whelan, the organization’s employees are “hyper-engaged.” She explained the concept by saying that when working at the studios, the employees treat their jobs as if they are accountable and as if they are entrepreneurs themselves. And there’s no wonder; some of SoulCycle’s most talented instructors’ classes sell out in minutes.

Melanie WhelanOverall, small companies tend to have more engaged employees, perhaps because they feel more directly connected to making a difference. Whelan herself was promoted to CEO from a position with the high-end gym chain Equinox. Now that SoulCycle has already grown to include 38 U.S. locations and boasts more than $110 million in sales, let’s hope that the company continues to focus on successful employee engagement.

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