Personal trainer turnover rates are as high as 80% throughout the industry. However, jobs in the personal training industry are set to grow at least 10% by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With those numbers, competition is higher than ever before for personal training jobs.
Despite the high demand, trainers seem to have a difficult time staying put with their health center of employment. High churn rates for employees can be costly and reflect poorly on your business. Especially these days because of sites like Glassdoor where former employees can leave reviews about their experience being employed.
Effective Onboarding to Reduce Personal Trainer Turnover
According to a study by Click Boarding, when new employees were trained through a structured onboarding program, they were 58% more likely to stay with a company after three years.
First off, good training makes for better employees. Getting your team of trainers up to speed with your regulations and expectations of them right off the bat will help them to perform well, and quickly. Your gym or studio will only run like a well-oiled machine if you have an organized method for onboarding and supporting your personal trainers throughout their careers with your business.
In any industry, an issue that occurs often is growing frustration in new employees when they are not given the proper foundation with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their job. When a clear lack of professionalism is present in the training process, the employee develops some dissonance in accepting the job in the first place.
This will also leave little room for slack. Airtight expectations leave little room for your trainers to find loopholes or corners to cut. However, this is something you should gauge throughout the interview process.
Reduce Personal Trainer Turnover by Listening
First and foremost, listen to what your trainers are saying! their requests and concerns cannot go unanswered. In any successful business, an open, safe space for discussion and communication will reduce any issues.
This helps you to dissipate any issue that could arise between your trainers or your trainers and clients. As we get older, we find it more tiring to feel the need to mediate relations between people, but in the position of overseeing a team of people, you will have to become the mediator at some point.
Therefore, you must have good listening skills and let your trainers know that you are open to hearing them out to cultivate a healthy and much more communicative workplace. Even if the issue does not involve inter-employee issues, you need to listen to your trainers to know if they are being overworked, underworked, paid fairly, given equal opportunity, and overall treated equally among the rest of the staff.
Listening and letting your trainers know you appreciate listening helps you to nip any of those problems in the bud before they become much larger.
Know When to Let Trainers Go to Prevent Further Personal Trainer Turnover
Issues often occur between trainers whether it be relevant to time with clients, time with certain equipment, taking leads from one another, or whatever the case. Keep your finger on the pulse of trainer-trainer relationships. Recognize when a problem that occurs more than once stems from a particular trainer or if an air of issues consistently clouds a trainer’s ability to perform well.
A damaged or broken link in the chain can cause a bigger mess down the road. For example, let’s say you don’t recognize that a trainer is causing any of the aforementioned issues for your team. Your team will grow frustrated with you. Then, one by one, you begin to lose the good employees that you have because a bad one was not taken care of. So, take all the necessary measures to provide excellent workforce productivity and a good working environment.
Now, you might not even need to let the trainer go if you can listen and give them feedback and support for their own growth. Not all damaged links are unfixable!
Give Consistent and Constructive Feedback
Letting your trainers know how they are doing will help them stay successful in acquiring and training clients. Hiring trainers is an investment that you made in them and you hired them for a reason! Therefore, you should continue to treat them as an investment for your business.
Hiring someone new and taking the time to train them is time and money out of your business’s pocket. People are a commodity in any service industry, you want their success just as much as they want a paycheck. This relationship is a two-way street.
Ensure that they can turn to you for advice and help when needed. You most likely were once in the same position, so reflect on what helped you become successful.
Most importantly, provide constructive criticism. Yes, yes, you have heard this a million times before! But it’s wildly important to reduce the personal trainer turnover rate at your fitness business.
Recognize and Reward Them
Making sure your trainers feel appreciated will significantly reduce the personal trainer turnover at your fitness business. Recognition for quality work will keep quality work coming!
A study conducted by Achievers shows that 55% of 1724 respondents were looking to switch jobs. Of that 55%, their number one reason is lack of recognition at their current workplace. 69% said they would stay if they saw an improvement in this sector.
Rewarding your trainers can be a fun endeavor and can happen in a large number of ways. Some examples are:
- Trainer spotlight rewards for trainers who have the best numbers for the month
- Team happy hour at the gym or studio to bring everyone together to celebrate all the hard work
- Team dinner in our outside the fitness center (as often as the budget allows)
- Rewards for no missed sessions in a month
- Giveaway challenges for trainers who have the best numbers – instill a little bit of competition!
Generate Leads for Them
Help your trainers succeed by supplying them with the leads they need. Your marketing efforts should directly reflect in their success with client acquisition. Gyms and studios have different methods for dispersing leads between their trainers and for generating leads, in general. Gyms like LA Fitness have sales teams that directly leads to clients.
In that case, you would want to make sure your sales team is up to par with what your trainers have to offer. This type of mutually beneficial relationship can cause a bit of drama if leads are not generated enough or equally between trainers.
Depending on the pay structure you provide at your gym, your trainers will need to lean on the popularity of your gym for their income. Trainers paid an hourly rate will be less likely to have a fit over client acquisition lulls than trainers who are paid on commission. Personal trainer turnover rates are highly affected by their inability to land clients when paid on commission.
Therefore, if you pay your trainers on commission, then make sure you are doing everything in your power to get them the clients they need. Running a gym is entirely a team effort and everyone has to pull their weight!
Cultivate a Community and Company Culture
Last of all, tying all of these points together, a sense of community is wildly attractive to most people. People want to feel like they belong to a team or a group. So make sure you can help facilitate connections between your trainers and other staff. This will help them to communicate better with each other about the good and the bad in the workplace. In turn, they should be able to problem solve between themselves without your involvement.
The key to reducing turnover rates in most companies is the culture that is created around the business. Personal training is a fun and uniquely rewarding job, and it can be a really fun job if your heart and your head are in the right place. Make your employees want to be there for more than just a paycheck by creating a culture where everyone is appreciated and rewarded for their work beginning with getting clients the results they want. After all, that is the greatest reward of fitness coaching!
Develop an Offboarding Strategy to Understand Your Personal Trainer Turnover Rate
Those trainers you just cannot save from walking out the door have valuable information for you and your business. Encourage them to leave their feedback so that you can respond to their qualms and rebuild the areas you lack in as an employer. Listening to feedback and responding well to feedback shows quite a bit about your business and its culture.
Make sure your trainers leave on the right foot! As mentioned before, review sites exist for former employees to leave reviews on the company. Reduce the risk of receiving bad reviews by implementing a strategic offboarding system.
Here are some points to remember when structuring it:
- Have paperwork and proper documentation ready
- Create a transition document for them to leave their routine and best practices for the next trainer
- Show support for future endeavors
- Leave the door open for employees who you would like to return in the future
- Ask for feedback through an exit interview
- Reward them for their time spent growing with your gym or studio
An all-encompassing aspect of this article to focus on is cultivating a fun and efficient studio or gym culture for your trainers and their clients. When you build a system of support around your team, then the bad days will become fewer and farther between. Problem-solving conversations will be had more often, you will find a large reduction in animosity, and best of all your trainer turnover rate will decrease over time. Ideally, the more successful your team becomes, the more revenue is generated. That means better pay for your trainers over time.
Show them they will grow with your fitness business!