I have been the owner and operator of Northwest Personal Training in Vancouver, WA since 2000. Through my many years of managing a fitness business, I have learned that getting and keeping good staff can be one of the biggest struggles a fitness business owner faces. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to keep good staff is to continually evaluate them. People want to know where they stand, how they can improve and what they are doing well. Having specific scheduled opportunities to evaluate your staff reminds them that you care about their professional growth, that you care about the standards of your business and that you care about the success of your facility (and their jobs!).
- Learn why on floor trainer evaluations are so important and how to conduct them in a way that motivates your training team.
- Understand why surprising your staff with an evaluation doesn’t normally have a good outcome.
- Grasp why being specific with your evaluation feedback (both on what the trainer does well and what needs improvement) and setting date specific goals after the evaluation encourage trainers to want to be better and do better.
Don’t Surprise Them
At the beginning of each year I provide a marketing plan to my staff. This marketing plan includes everything from when to run specific promotions, to events we will host to when staff evaluations will take place. “Surprise” evaluations don’t normally sit well with staff members and there is no harm in letting them know when certain evaluations will take place.
Motivating On-Floor Trainer Evaluations
On-floor trainer reviews are one of the evaluations that we include in our yearly marketing plan. Knowing that their on-floor trainer evaluation is coming up motivates trainers to step up their game, review protocols and bring back best practices they may have let slip.
How It Works
Our Fitness & Training Director individually schedules the on-floor evaluation with each trainer. This allows the trainer time to review and be prepared for the evaluations and removes some of the stress that can come with a “surprise” evaluation.
Our Fitness & Training Director will remind the trainers of what he/she will be looking for during the on-floor evaluation:
- Arrives early and prepared for session.
- Appropriate attire, hygiene and speech.
- Gives a warm greeting to client.
- Checks with client on the status of their workouts/fitness routine.
- Has client sign in for session.
- Finishes session on time.
- Teaches exercises using an appropriate style (explain, demonstrate, client practices, quizzing).
- Session is dynamic and interactive.
- Offers regular and appropriate eye contact.
- Body language demonstrates focus and attention on client/hands-on spotting.
- Offers regular positive feedback and regularly looks for and acknowledges client success
- Uses client's name.
- Offers at least one new exercise, a new fitness fact, or provides written literature for client.
- Spends the last few minutes of session stretching/nurturing.
- Announces upcoming events/seminars and encourages participation.
- Gives something for client to work on until next session.
- Client exercising at correct training level.
- Client demonstrates full control and excellent technique during session.
- Exercise choices are safe and exercise sequence effective - Displays an exceptional knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics of movement, equipment usage and modifications.
- Method of tracking client progress is professional and effective. I could cover your client and based on the current file, would have no problem knowing exactly what to do with them and how to train them safely and effectively.
Marking a “yes” or “no” to the above tasks certainly helps the trainer and the Fitness & Training Director narrow down what is going right and what might need a little improvement. Make sure to also record specific things that the trainer does well, what could use improvement and questions you might have. Finally, record two specific goals for the trainer to reach by noted dates. After the on-floor evaluations, the Fitness & Training Director should record all of the individual goals of the trainers and the dates by which they should be reached so that he or she can follow up with each trainer.
Remind Your Team…..
….that evaluations are an opportunity for them to:
- Get an outside perspective on their training protocol with their clients.
- Brainstorm on what might be missing from their client programming.
- Areas where they are doing really great and areas where they could improve.
If you haven’t included on-floor evaluations in your yearly marketing plan, it isn’t too late! Remember, your clients expect the very best from you and your team. Make sure that your standards are being met and take the time to conduct these evaluations because spending time with each of your personal trainers (rookies and experienced trainers) helps your trainers hone in on what is expected of them and allows you to give constructive feedback.