Managing is one of the most rewarding and challenging tasks a business person does every day. Dealing with employees’ personalities, quirks and egos is a large task. This is extremely obvious when it comes to managing personal trainers who by the nature of the business have large personalities and egos.
Managing begins with setting expectations. Beginning with the interview process, a manager needs to clearly outline the following items:
• Job duties
• Minimum hours
• Length of time the new hire will be training and hours
• Expectations that need to be met before they begin taking clients
• Company expectations
• Revenue expectations (I suggest 60, 90, 120-day goal setting)
• How they will be compensated for initial training and training clients
• Philosophy or vision of the club
• Philosophy or vision of the department
• Particular and specialized training they need to go through before they can interact with members (i.e. your club’s new hire training, training on specific exercise equipment, etc.)
Once these have been presented in the interview process, they can be reintroduced if the candidate is hired. A printed manual or job description detailing these items should be given to the new employee so that they may refer to it. Also, they should be aware that they are being held responsible for achieving these goals and requirements. Having the new employee sign off and agree to these items is another way that they acknowledge, understand and show that they will abide by these expectations.
Once the new hire finishes their initial training, the manager must adhere to a strict schedule of meeting with the new hire to make sure that the club’s expectations are being met. This does not only refer to the items I have listed above but also entails:
• Proper conduct with members and fellow employees
• Attire and appearance
• Returning phone calls or other communications
• Completing assigned tasks in a timely manner
I suggest a 30, 90 and 180-day evaluation process of all new hires. These give the opportunity to asses and correct any items that are not being met to your expectations. If however, the employee is not meeting expectations within that time frame and does not correct them, the manager should consider termination sooner than later. By giving clear and concise expectations you have laid out a blue print for the trainer to succeed and flourish in your club.
Vic Spatola is the Director of Personal Training for Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Greenwood Village, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.