I have been operating my fitness business, Core Conditioning, since 2007. For the first few years the business simply consisted of myself as the trainer—hustling and working long hours, week after week. As the business began to grow and demand for training continued to increase, I had to make some decisions to pivot the business in order to increase profits and increase capacity.
I quickly learned that if I wanted to scale, I would need to build a team—something that was more stressful than I imagined it would be!
Here are a few of the challenges I faced when hiring trainers to work for my company:
- Clients only wanted to train with me (because that’s what they were used to and people don’t like change!)
- Trusting your “baby” (aka your business) in another’s hands
- Finding the “right” trainers (ones that will fit into your business and mesh well with your clientele)
- Having to deal with re-hiring when a trainer leaves
In this article, I want to focus on that last point, but from a prevention perspective: how to reduce trainer turnover with proper hiring practices and providing a positive trainer experience.
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Here are my tips to decrease trainer turnover in your fitness business:
Interview with the future in mind
When you’re in the hiring process, it’s super-important to consider an applicant’s credentials and experience, but also consider the future fit. I have learned through many years in business that it’s essential to find someone who plans to be around for a while.
Even if the applicant doesn’t really know their future plans, you should still try to get a feel for how they hope to progress, so you can assist them on their journey, and make the decision if they are the right person to join your team. Be upfront about hours and pay rates, so that they are completely aware of what to expect. I’m fully transparent with expected hours and salary with applicants during the interview phase, so there are no surprises for them later on.
Credentials aren’t everything
I say this because in the fitness industry I feel like as much as education and experience are necessary, personality also plays a huge role in whether a trainer is good at what they do. I know my clientele and I know what type of trainer they will connect with. This has a huge impact on my hiring process. In the end, I would rather hire someone who has a little less experience, but an amazing personality and ambition.
Nurture relationships with your team
People always want to feel like they are part of a team. A mistake I made in the past with trainers who have worked for me was that I didn’t make enough effort as the leader to bring the team together. Consider offering events, opportunities for further learning, and the possibility to grow with the company. This is something I put more emphasis on now, as I have learned that it decreases trainer turnover. When my team loves working at my studio, and they are given opportunities to grow, they’re more likely to feel fulfilled and stick around.
Pay them what they’re worth
I have always had the mentality that you need to pay your trainers what they are worth. In my experience, it’s hard to find someone you trust to help you build and run your business. If you find someone who’s the right fit? Don’t be cheap!
I hope these tips help you decrease trainer turnover in your own fitness business.