For those of you who have in the past or currently been employed at a fitness facility in any capacity (as employee or as an independent contractor) what incentives or other benefits made it worth while to stay – – perhaps longer than you anticipated?
Basically, how can gym owners and managers help alleviate turnover rates for both employees and independent contractors?
If you are a gym owner/manager and had success in keeping great personal trainers, what worked for you?
before I had my own studio, I was an independent contractor at a local, independently owned club. In fact, had the club not closed, I may never have opened my studio because I had a great working relationship there and enjoyed many aspects of it.
What made this relationship good for both sides was that the club recognized that I was an asset in bringing in members of a demographic group who otherwise would not have joined there. I payed them a rather moderate fee, and the club got monthly membership dues. I also liked it that they really left me alone to do my thing, yet at the same time they spoke of me to members with high regard.
It was just a pleasant environment (except for the loud music).
In addition to Karin’s comments, I think if the trainer brings clients into the gym and also retains any existing clientele, a bonus or a % of the total PT income should be given back to the trainer. The way I see it, if the trainer is good and does the job well, then there is no reason why he or she shouldn’t get something back for great job performance. Trainers are on the front lines and when a gym has great trainers, the gym’s revenue will increase and it’s reputation will be unbeatable.
In every other industry I can think of, employees have an annual performance review where their supervisor evaluates them and sets goals for professional improvement or advancement, and employees receive merit increases based on these reviews. I think that’s missing from our industry. An annual review is a great opportunity to let employees know what they’re doing well and/or what they can improve, in a constructive way. Plus it gives good employees a raise to strive for, and mediocre employees goals to attain (or you a means to terminate poor performers).
Speaking of benefits that are missing from our industry, any health care benefit would be a big incentive. Whether it’s an opportunity to buy into a group plan at a lower rate, or some sort of a health care expense account or allowance, I think that would be a great incentive. It’s odd that as a group, trainers are likely some of the healthiest people in the world, and most have no health insurance coverage provided.
It’s like any other corporation; if the people who work for them are doing an amazing job and the company is successful, then the company stands to gain the most. Or for example, in the world of professional sports, if you own a team and your players are happy with you, they will do their best to keep the team winning and the fans happy (which equates to higher revenues for the organization). I hope this helps.
When I managed a studio I would make sure I paid attention to what my trainers/renters/ were doing.
Sometimes I would give them a break on their rent to show my appreciation other times I would allow them extra training hours for no charge.
It’s important to make sure your employees in particular feel appreciated.
I think good management is a must. Communication and communication skills with employees cannot be overstated. Listen yo your employees and staff…they have more eyes and ears on the floor than one manager.
Their input should be highly valued as well as insights to market trends, what clients and members are saying about the facility and what the competition is doing.
I see so many “Ground Hog” ( repetative-same ole same ole) days and managers get complacent. Make sure employees are part of a/the team and should be informed to the direction the club is headed. Frequent meetings with staff should be scheduled as well.
Offer raises every year…even if its small…they will value the attention that the management has showed them. Get to know your employees intrests, birthdays etc.
Have you every thought about hiring a wellness coach.
A well-prepared wellness coach will be able to determine what aspect of wellness your clients are excited about working on.
Many people stop coming to the gym because they feel that they can accomplish they very thing they are doing at the gym independently.
By using the services of a wellness coach, the client gets to see the bigger picture and hope decide to maintain their membership at your facility.
I hope this gives you another perspective.