Keeping great personal trainers CAN be difficult, but it DOESN’T HAVE to be. Implementing initiatives that foster a caring, educational, inclusive and growth oriented environment should be one of your top priorities. Need a plan to get there? Try Sherri McMillan’s top 6 ways to keeping your personal trainers engaged and happy.
Learn how to run team meetings that foster friendship and that your staff actually want to attend!
Understand how to individual attention to each personal trainer can be accomplished and how it helps keep them engaged and working for YOU.
Find ways to promote and provide educational opportunities for your staff.
Your clients depend on you and your personal trainers to stay consistent and reliable. It is your job to help keep clients accountable and motivated. This can be difficult when many fitness business owners and managers struggle with KEEPING good personal trainers. How can clients stay motivated and on task if your staff is always changing? Keeping in mind that staff turnover will always happen, there are strategic ways to engage the personal trainers on your staff, keep them happy and keep them motivated to work for YOU. Having a dedicated and strategic approach to engaging the personal trainers on your staff is essential to the success of your fitness business.
At Northwest Personal Training, we are proud to say that we are the “Home of the World’s Best Personal Trainers.” We have been in business for 18 years and the very first trainer we hired is still with us today. We have multiple trainers who have been with us longer than a decade and in an industry where the longevity of trainers at many clubs is 5 months, this is something to be proud of. There are so many ways we foster a positive work environment (big and small) throughout the year, but for now, let’s focus specifically on personal trainer engagement initiatives.
6 Ways to Keep Your Personal Trainers Engaged and Happy:
- Monthly Team Meetings
- Monthly Individual Meetings
- Team Get-Togethers and Active Outings
- Yearly Survey Asking Team For Feedback
- Individual Evaluations to Develop Personal Growth
- Educational Opportunities
1. Monthly Team Meetings
As a fitness business manager/owner, you may notice that your staff dreads meetings because they may feel they’re a waste of time and maybe even boring. Team meetings don’t have to be that way. In fact, team meetings (when carefully planned) can offer essential team building opportunities and a time for staff members to learn from each other. The bottom line? You need to host team meetings, so make them enjoyable and focus on building bonds between your staff. If your personal trainers feel like they are part of a supportive team, they will be less likely to leave!
Team Meeting Tips:
- Get Them There:
- Schedule all of your meetings one year in advance so everyone can plan around them.
- Team meetings should be mandatory. This means you will need to pay your team to attend. Our meeting wage is minimum wage.
- If someone misses a meeting, they are required to meet with their manager to review everything from the meeting. So why not just attend the meeting?
- Finally, order food. They will at least come for that!
- Social Time – Leave the first 5-10 minutes of each meeting for mingling. You would think that when people work 30 plus hours per week together, they would know everything about each other. That isn’t always the case. During work hours, your team is focused on clients and they don’t have very much time to socialize. Allowing for this time helps create team camaraderie and friendships.
- Spend time reminding your team about why you do what you do. Read compliments that have come in from clients and re-emphasize that they really are changing people’s lives. When your team is reminded of their passions and the vision of your business, it makes it easier to come to work and give everything they have.
- Keep Them In The Know:
- It isn’t uncommon for staff members to feel out of the loop when it comes to the state of your business and upcoming events. Share upcoming promotions, staff and client incentives, upcoming seminars, client events, staff events, travel schedules etc. Open communications is critical to ensure you have a team who takes full ownership of the day-to-day operations and success of your business.
Meetings are a time and financial investment, so (believe me), if I weren’t convinced they work, we wouldn’t keep doing them.
2. Monthly Individual Meetings
Each month our personal trainers meet privately with their manager to ensure the lines of communication are kept open. During these meetings there should be time allotted for social catch-up, discussing of client issues/concerns, evaluations and any individual training that needs to be done. Knowing that someone is there who cares enough to check in individually on a regular basis helps personal trainers feel needed and that their work is important. You guessed it. That helps keep turn over low as well.
3. Team Get-Togethers & Active Outings
This one is pretty simple. Set aside time in your yearly schedule for team get-togethers and active outings. Activities such as BBQs, team dinners, bowling, team hikes etc. give your staff the chance to get to know each other better and to feel like they are part of a “work family.”
4. Yearly Survey Asking Team for Feedback
Once a year we formally ask our staff their opinions on a variety of topics in the form of a survey. We normally do this right before our yearly planning and budgeting process. We ask for their thoughts on group training programs we should host the next year, what type of new equipment would our clients benefit from, if there are any specific marketing initiatives we should take on, etc. I believe that the more heads involved in the decision-making process, the better, AND your staff will feel connected and involved your business.
5. Individual Evaluations to Develop Personal Growth
In our yearly calendar we schedule time for our managers to individually evaluate our personal trainers in many different ways. These include on floor evaluations, client shoppers, peer reviews, video evaluations, file updates/evaluations and more. Continually evaluating your staff may seem like it would be a turnoff for your staff, but these evaluations actually have the opposite effect. Our personal trainers are given our yearly marketing plan at the beginning of the year and they can see when each of the evaluations will be completed. There are no surprises. Most personal trainers end up feeling appreciated and well educated with all of the attention that is paid to helping them improve!
6. Educational Opportunities
We believe that the day a team member stops learning is the day we begin to lose them as a top-performer. So we highly value the educational opportunities we provide our team. We host at least 2 educational conferences per year and our staff attends these events for free! Our trainers are also given a $200 yearly educational allowance that can be spent at external conferences of their choice.
In the end, keeping great personal trainers CAN be difficult, but it DOESN’T HAVE to be. Start implementing initiatives that foster a caring, educational, inclusive and growth oriented environment and your team of carefully selected trainers will stay with you for years and years. And the bonus? Your clients will appreciate the low turnover and will be more likely to remain loyal as well.
Try these tactics I have suggested to keep your trainers engaged and happy!
Yours in health, fitness & business,