5 Ways to Attract (and Retain) Good Trainers

For Gym Operators

5 Ways to Attract (and Retain) Good Trainers

Quality personal trainers provide just the motivational and educational punch it takes to turn sporadic gym visitors into long-time clients. But it’s also easier than ever for trainers to work for themselves, which means keeping a bigger chunk of the money they bring in.

What’s a gym owner to do? Generous pay is the obvious place to start, but it’s not the only thing that goes into building a highly skilled training staff with low turnover. Keep reading for five more ways to attract -- and keep -- the best fitness professionals in your area.

1. Lower Their Overhead

Like you, personal trainers must juggle professional investments against their bottom line. If your gym provides the commercial-grade equipment trainers need -- in sufficient quantities so that they’re not forced to battle other gym-goers -- you’re automatically saving them a lot of money. Another substantial draw: providing private or semi-private spaces for training sessions helps trainers put shy clients at ease.

Small perks add up, too. Cover trainers under your gym’s insurance policy (as long as they’re training on your premises and abiding by company policies), offer the best possible pro deals on fitness clothing and equipment, and arrange discount deals with fitness- or health-minded area businesses.

2. Encourage Continuing Education

Exercise science is hardly static, and the best trainers enjoy staying on top of the latest theories, discoveries and workouts. Make that aspect of their job easy by paying for some or all of their continuing education costs, hiring master teachers to provide in-house seminars, offering employee trainers paid time off while attending continuing education classes, or offering a pay bump to trainers that procure multiple certifications. They’re worth it!

3. Accommodate Their Personal Style

The more flexibility you can give trainers when it comes to structuring and billing sessions, the happier they’ll be. Regardless of whether a trainer is selling half-hour training sessions, small-group sessions, discounted sessions for deserving low-income clients or special rates for sport-specific training, or even if they bring outside clients into the gym for a (paid) session or two, it’s all still money in your pocket.

4. Offer Them "Made" Marketing Opportunities

When you give your in-house trainers “made” opportunities for marketing, you both win. Pay them a fair wage to answer client questions at open houses or to do initial consults with new members, and they’ll turn that face time into sessions.

Paying well-qualified trainers to write advice columns in your gym newsletter, or to blog for your gym’s website, is another mutual marketing win. They get a little extra income and a chance for self-promotion; you bring in more readers, establish your facility as the go-to source for advice, and get more income from the sessions your trainers sell.

5. Let Them Take Vacation

Training is unusually intense work, and even the most dedicated personal trainer needs an occasional break. Paid vacation time and sick leave are huge perks for employee trainers. If you also make it easy for them to transfer already-purchased training sessions to another trainer while they’re gone, you’re giving them a great incentive to stay with your facility.

Often, personal trainers see the flexible, commission-free lifestyle of independent training as a solution to all that irks them in the gym. But it’s actually the other way around: When you provide trainers with access to quality, commercial-grade equipment and a supportive, flexible environment that keeps their career moving forward, all at a fair pay rate, you’re giving them every reason to come to your facility -- and to stay.

Author Information

Lisa Maloney
Lisa Maloney's picture

Lisa Maloney is a personal trainer turned writer and editor. When she's not doing burpees (or writing about them), you'll usually find Lisa trekking the backcountry in her home state of Alaska. You can reach her at lisa@maloneywrites.com.

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