(If you missed Part 1 inthe July-August issue of PFP, check it out here)
A famousphilosopher once said, "Quality is not an act, it is a habit." Withthat habit of quality, one must "inspect" what they "expect."In today's kamikaze world of the fitness industry, fitness leaders must rely onquality individuals to influence the team. As mentioned in Part 1, defining aposition of "trainer" leadership is crucial. In my case, we createdthe Quality Control Specialist (QCS) position to be the "leader" ofthe trainers. This position defines quality and inspects what we expect fromour training team.
So how does abusiness owner or manager find this person? Do you hire from the outside or do youpromote from within? Each can be a viable option; however, it is crucial youfind the most capable individual to fill this position. This is not a positionthat can endure turnover; it must be consistent, effective and efficient. Asmentioned in part 1, to get the most value from a QCS, you want to seek individualswith several qualities including a solid training background, love forteaching, a strong leader and the ability to effectively communicate.
Quality trainerswill always equal revenue and the most significant return on investment anypersonal training department can make is investing in the development of theirpersonal trainers. To monitor quality, each QCS will randomly evaluate differenttrainers each month. They will evaluate the client folders to make sure allworkouts are done, ensure measurements have been taken and a cardio program hasbeen prescribed. They will also perform a live session evaluation with eachtrainer, shadowing a session grading on their performance (punctuality,regression/progression of exercises, nutrition discussion, cardio prescription,etc.). The QCS will then sit down with the trainer to discuss where they seetheir progress. This covers two critical aspects of our business; the actualworkout and the record keeping of our clients. Trainers are counseled if theyare not performing at our level of standards. The emphasis you put on quality,the better your results will be.
All trainerswill need help on some aspect of your business; sales, service and/or scienceand offering group seminars and instruction led by your QCS will offer a greatopportunity for growth in your gym or business. Knowledge is power and the moreknowledge a trainer has, the more likely they are to apply it. One-on-one instructionand group seminars is a benefit of having a veteran trainer who can lead yourtraining team. Once per month, a group trainer seminar is conducted by the QCSon a variety of pertinent topics. This keeps all trainers sharp with freshknowledge, learned in the flesh and can be applied immediately. Setting up aconsistent date each month works best for scheduling purposes and the fartherin advance you make the events, the better turnout you will get. One-on-oneinstruction is a direct reflection of performance on the evaluation reports.
To judge theeffectiveness of the QCS position you must first look at it from the outside.Are the trainers presentable? Are they in uniform? Are they engaged on thefloor? Are their client folders neat and accessible? Are no-shows andlast-minute cancelations at a minimum? Are clients getting results? These areall of the questions a QCS should be able to remedy.
Then youwill want to judge the effectiveness of your QCS from an inside, businessperspective. Are clients renewing? Are they buying additional sessions? Aremore existing members interested in personal training? With the right leaderand the right team, the answer to all these questions can be YES! Presentationis everything in our business. Trainers are sometimes labeled as lazy; howeverwith your QCS on the job, the presentation of your trainers should be a dynamicone.
In ourcompany we have nicknamed the QCS position the "Pulse." They are theliaison between a sales culture and a trainer culture. They dictate whichdirection the personal training staff will go. They supply the skills,development and nuances it takes to be a successful personal trainer. We oftentimes get carried away with the sale portion of the business. Money makes theworld go 'round. However, just as important, is the quality of your product.And just as vital is the checks and balances of that product. All personaltraining departments need a position that can be multifunctional but at thesame time be focused on the output and result. Having a position such as theQuality Control Specialist, allows a company to grow its backend and functionat the highest level. Train, Motivate, Inspire.
Josh Bowen, BA, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, is theQuality Control Director of Personal Training forUrban Active. He manages over 400 personal trainersin six states. To learn more about Urban Activeplease visit www.urbanactive.com.