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If you invest in continuing education for your personal trainers and your team it will benefit them your members and your club Photo by Thinkstock
<p>If you invest in continuing education for your personal trainers and your team, it will benefit them, your members and your club. (Photo by Thinkstock.)</p>

Paying for Your Trainers' CECs Benefits Personal Trainers and Health Club Operators

Courses that offer continuing educations credits can benefit your personal trainers and your club if you choose to invest the time and the money in their training.

If a personal trainer on your team attends a course to get continuing education credits (CEC), whom does it benefit?

  • trainer,
  • training team,
  • clients,
  • client referrals,
  • business credibility,
  • business stability or
  • business profits?

The correct answer is that CECs can benefit all of the above.

When trainers attend one of these courses, it could re-ignite their passion for the job, help them rethink their training philosophy or even redefine their career. Now ask this: What would that do for your business or for the community your business serves? How much more effective would your leadership be? One transformed trainer can touch so many lives if they have a new sense of drive, ambition and purpose. What would that one trainer do for your annual revenue and for the team that surrounds the trainer?

Who Pays for the Training?

When the topic of paying for CECs comes up, I always hear the same response: "What if we invest in our trainers' CECs and they leave us to work for our competition down the street?" My immediate response to this short-sighted question is: "What if you don't invest in their CECs and they stay?"

Today, we have so many ways to earn CECs:

  • magazine articles and quizzes,
  • webinars,
  • in-house education seminars,
  • local or online college courses, and
  • live conferences

With such a variety of ways to take continuing educations courses, you can basically create a CEC budget around what you can afford for your team and facility. 

  1. If you're a start-up studio, pay the $35 fee that could cover most magazine CECs.
  2. If you're an established studio or gym building your savings while paying down debt, pay an outside speaker to teach a CEC event in-house.
  3. Pay a group rate for a local fitness conference and rent a van to drive everyone.
  4. If you're debt-free with cash in the bank and you truly want to build a more than average team:  
  • Pay to fly them to a two- to three-day conference. 
  • Pay for them to stay in a nice hotel.
  • Pay for their meals.

As a bonus for your trainers, pay to send them to leadership seminars, not just fitness events. The return on investment (ROI) on these events si 10 times what you would ever see sending your team to a fitness conference.

When you invest in your team's knowledge and development, you build trust. You let them know that you understand how tough it is to attend a conference because they have to:

  • Reschedule clients.
  • Miss a day (or more) of work without pay.
  • Spend money from an already tight industry average of $35,000 salary.
  • Spend even more time away from family.

When teams have trust, clients can feel the positive air when they enter your facility. And when clients feel good about their experience at your facility, they invite their friends to come along. 

Personal Experience

I’ve personally invested more than $50,000 over the years in travel, hotels, conference fees, certifications and meals for my team. That may not sound like much to a large club, but I have a team of only 15 tucked away in a 4,500-square-foot space in Houston.

I measure ROI from this $50,000 CEC investment in two ways:

  1. Average team member has been with us for five or more years.
  2. Average of 165 clients impacted a day using a simple 30-minute model.

It's time we redefine what standard operating practices are for our industry, and it starts with you. 

Should studio operators help pay for the continuing education and recertification of their trainers, or should this expense be up to the trainer? If left to the trainer, how can a studio or club owner reward trainers who continue their education? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.

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