Workout Anytime Leverages Technology to Enhance Employee Training
In this technology series, we shine a spotlight on how the fitness franchise Workout Anytime is using tech to improve its operations and member experience. Part one focuses on Bridge, a cloud-based employee development software.
Since its founding in 1999, Workout Anytime has expanded to 175-plus locations across the U.S., with additional locations in the pipeline. As the franchise grew, it discovered an increasing need to make employee training and continuing education more scalable.
“As a franchisor, we consider ourselves to be a training organization first and foremost,” said Mark de Gorter, the COO of Workout Anytime. “In fact, some would like to say we’re a training organization disguised as a health club company.”
As a result, Workout Anytime has recently invested in Bridge, a cloud-based learning management system that allows the company to give employees “upgraded training” as part of their Workout Anytime University initiative.
Workout Anytime University training programs are produced at the corporate office and rolled out to franchisors via Bridge. To date, the company offers nearly 100 courses, ranging from topics such as managing personal training financials and setting up social media security systems, to conducting club tours and handling telephone inquiries.
By hosting training online via Bridge, updates to courses and training modules are instantaneous across the franchise’s entire network.
“It allows for quick updates,” explained de Gorter. “If we have a new concept, we can upload it to the Bridge system and immediately push it out to our almost 200 clubs across the network.”
In addition, Bridge allows the franchise to see who has completed courses, and for those courses that have quizzes associated with them, how well an employee scored.
“It allows us to measure and see who has completed a training and to what degree,” added de Gorter. “If they don’t pass the courses, they’ve got to start over again, so we know they’re really absorbing the information we’re providing.”
For Mike King, a Workout Anytime franchisee with three locations in North Carolina, the technology has been a game-changer for onboarding staff and ensuring a consistent experience across his locations.
“I think the biggest impact I’ve seen is just consistency,” said King. “We’re able to keep our employees when they come onboard consistent with all the other employees across multiple locations. They’re learning the exact same thing.”
Additionally, as everyone learns differently, Bridge has been a great tool to complement traditional one-on-one coaching.
“Some people learn visually, some people learn by reading things or watching videos, some learn from on-the-job training,” added King. “It puts another tool in our toolbox of ways to train our employees. And not only train them when they’re new to the role, but also continuing education throughout.”
Overall, de Gorter said the investment in Bridge has already resulted in positive ROI as Workout Anytime continues to scale.
“We’ve seen much more consistency delivering in the field on our key tenants, whether they be sales training, or establishing your local marketing, or club maintenance,” said de Gorter. “As we’ve gotten bigger and bigger, it’s become more and more important for us to look at more comprehensive, yet manageable, ways to conduct that training quickly and easily.”