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Building an Evergreen Team: Cultivate Educate Elevate

Building an Evergreen Team: Cultivate Educate Elevate

Reading Time: 3 minutes 15 seconds


DATE: 2024-05-14

Every fitness facility’s success starts with its staff. Developing and preserving a high-performing team that remains intact and engaged over time is what attracts – and keeps – members. It is the foundation of the business. 

But facility operators and gym owners are working against the odds. Industry trends indicate that the fitness sector has its share of staffing issues.

Personal Trainer Retention By the Numbers

According to The Predictive Index’s 2022 State of Talent Optimization report, one in five employees had quit in the last six months (1). The personal trainer turnover rate, in particular, is generally estimated to be 80%. Retention is a colossal challenge.

And it equates to huge financial hits.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the 2023 median salary for fitness trainers and instructors was $46,480, or about $22.35 per hour (2). Growth Force estimates that the cost of turnover is about 150% of the employee’s full-year salary (3). If a fitness studio or gym has to replace even just a couple of trainers, that cost adds up fast.

And only 38% of companies have a talent strategy (1). Clearly, there is a disparity here.

Building an Evergreen Team at Your Fitness Facility

ISSA partners with over 10,000 fitness facilities, universities, and rec centers to help them cultivate, educate, and elevate – which translates to building an evergreen team.

“For years, our brand has struggled with finding quality Personal Training recruits, but that has changed since we have partnered with ISSA,” said Brandon Daniels, Director of PT for Workout Anytime Franchising. “With their system, many of our clubs have found some real winners to add to their TEAM and culture, including the top producer in our network.”

Cultivate a Quality Team of Personal Trainers

Cultivating not just staff, but the right talent to work at your fitness business is the first step. You need fitness professionals who relate to and embrace your team, your clientele, your business model, and your brand. They need to have the right toolbox of skills and traits to help motivate prospective clients to become members and add value to increase retention.

If you find it challenging to cultivate this type of team, maybe you aren’t looking in the right place.

ISSA’s Recruiting Programs are designed to help you cultivate the right team for your facility.


ISSA trains thousands of students a month who will seek employment upon certification. ISSA has developed an exclusive Recruitment Solution that connects our gym and studio partners to trainers and current students searching for employment.

Currently, 4,000 students and graduates opt into the portal as ‘available to hire’ every month. 

Educate for Optimal Results

Educating your trainers to better sell and achieve the best results for their existing clients is critical, yet many facilities skip this piece of the equation.

ISSA’s Preferred Partner Program is designed to make this second step easy. Through a customized webpage, your personal trainers can access deeply discounted courses and continued education on an ongoing basis. With over 50 certifications and bundles, your gym staff can expand their expertise in a variety of fitness and wellness modalities. The program also allows you to offer pre-paid courses for recruitment, scholarships, and compliance.

Our ISSA Thrive Collective takes education and engagement even further by offering your fitness trainers a free digital subscription with unique upskilling material, educational content, and free courses.

“Upskilling fitness professionals is a critical step in creating an Evergreen Team – a team that helps your brand and services shine,” said Johnny August Director of Education and Recruitment Solutions. “Forging partnerships with facilities to provide this education and training is a perfect extension of what we do at ISSA, and what we believe in.”

Elevate Your Team for Long-Term Success

The third step in building an evergreen team involves elevating every team member. Why?

For two reasons.

First, you want to retain them. Second, elevating your teams’ skill set and deepening their loyalty to you will elevate the services you provide as a facility.

LinkedIn states that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers (4), and recent data from Work Institute’s Retention Report collected during exit interviews, shows that the top reason (22%) employees left their job was a lack of career development (5).

Again, with the turnover rate being what it is, it’s crucial to look at your employee packages to ensure you offer the pay, benefits, and perks to keep them engaged and excited about the work they do.

“Gifting employees with education and training opportunities through ISSA shows your loyalty to them and to their career growth,” said August. “It’s an investment in their future, and yours.”

About this, Raphael Konforti, former Senior Director at YouFit Gyms said, "The educational partnership over the years provided our training team with top-quality education that led to tangible results with our clients, and has leveled up our current training staff."

Reach out to our Partnerships Team here and we will walk you through our customized solutions to help you build – and keep – an evergreen team.


  1. The Predictive Index. (2022). The State of Talent Optimization 2022 - The Predictive Index. https://www.predictiveindex.com/learn/talent-optimization/resources/surveys-reports/the-state-of-talent-optimization-2022-archive/ 

  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fitness Trainers and Instructors, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm (visited May 10, 2024).

  3. GrowthForce. (n.d.). The true costs of In-House Bookkeeping and Accounting. https://www.growthforce.com/blog/the-real-cost-of-employee-turnover-its-more-than-you-think

  4. LinkedIn Learning. (2018). LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report. https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report-2018 

  5. Workforce Institute. (2022) 2022 Retention Report: How Employees Caused the Great Resignation. https://info.workinstitute.com/hubfs/2022%20Retention%20Report/2022%20Retention%20Report%20-%20Work%20Institute.pdf

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