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Other skills to cover could include: • answers to basic member ques- tions, such as, Where are the lock- er rooms? Do you have towel ser- vice? Do you offer classes? Where is the class schedule?

• helping people on the gym floor • meeting new members • booking and confirming consultations

• executing consultations (e.g., building rapport, goal setting, tak- ing measurements, exercise com- ponent, presenting the program and cost, problem solving, etc.)

• designing programs • spotting clients • teaching exercises • executing standardized club programs

• scheduling client sessions (com- puter system)

• addressing no-show clients • renewing clients • asking for client referrals • offering club promotions

b. Create a schedule for them for the first week. Be sure they know ex- actly what they are expected to do each hour of the day. At the end of the week, evaluate their progress and then create the next week’s schedule. (You can find a sample training schedule at www.ptmen-

shadow you; once they are meet- ing expectations, shadow them and provide feedback. Repeat this process until you both feel confi- dent that they can complete the task on their own.

e. As you teach a new skill, and even once they have mastered it, con- tinue to test them with on-the- spot roleplay and questions. Give them immediate feedback. Have them practice the skill with you, using the feedback, before you let them try again with another member. As you progress through the training, trainers can begin to analyze their own work. You are now coaching.

3. Integration Everyone wants to feel like they

belong. Ensure your new trainers are meeting the other members of your team and are learning the ins and outs of your club. How?

a. Personally introduce them to ev- eryone on staff, not just the train- ing team.

b. Have them work for a couple hours in all positions so they un- derstand your club’s systems.

c. Introduce them to members to make them feel more comfort- able. After doing this a few times,

“Long-term staff members offer better customer service, result in stronger team cohesion and lower your recruiting costs.”

c. During the first week, spend at least two hours each day with the new trainers. (Re-evaluate this time commitment for week two.) Do not pass this training time off to another trainer. They need to know that you are there for them. The most common reason people leave a job is a poor relationship with their supervisor. There are no shortcuts here!

d. When you are teaching a new skill, remember to do just that. Teach and demonstrate exact- ly what you expect. Have them

use this time to practice a skill as well. For example, after introduc- ing them to a member continue the conversation and demonstrate how to book a consultation.

4. Meetings: Have Them. Be consistent. Regular meetings keep your train-

ers on track long-term. While ev- ery club will have a different meet- ing strategy, the key is that everyone must walk away with a new skill, idea or improved relationship. It is up to you to make sure that meetings are worthwhile.

Your meetings will vary based on the following considerations:

a. Frequency—Every morning or afternoon, or both? Weekly? Bi- week? Monthly?

b. Agenda—This could include: goal setting follow-up, check-in on business-leads, appointments, contacts, training and develop- ment, performance reviews, etc.

c. Length—A quick 10-15 minute check-in? A 30-minute sit-down? Or a full hour for a performance review or team meeting?

d. Attendees—One trainer? The whole training team? New train- ers only?

e. Time—Schedule meetings dur- ing non-peak times. This way cli- ents won’t miss sessions, and your trainers will still get paid. Mid- afternoon is often a good time. Give at least one week’s notice for any meeting.

Also consider the experience level

of each trainer, and make adjustments when required. For example, as a new trainer becomes more self-sufficient, decrease your twice daily meeting to once daily and later to weekly. You may meet with your veteran trainers just once per month. As a business owner or manager,

you will see dramatic changes in your bottom line when you operate with a thorough and professional on-board- ing system. Proper on-boarding can decrease the cost (time and money) in- volved with searching for, hiring and training new staff members, can in- crease team cohesion and can boost the reputation of your training de- partment. And all of this ultimately leads to more long-term clients and referrals. This kind of system also allows

you to add manpower to your team. Instead of consistently having the same number of trainers, due to a re- volving employment door, you can actually grow your team. The more personal trainers you have, the more clients you have, and the more revenue headed toward the bottom line. FBC

Jodi Rumack is the president and CEO of Personal Training Mentors. Contact her at or 647-981-5402.

March/April 2016 Fitness Business Canada 23

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