Maximising the Return on Training

Kristoph Thompson is the director of S8 Training, specialising in tailored training solutions for the fitness industry.

Kristoph is the Director of Sideways8, a training provider specialising in creating bespoke training solutions for the fitness industry. Kristoph has worked in the industry for over 15 years, firstly as a coach to professional athletes; the Houston Rockets and Houston Astros, before transitioning into education. With a decade of experience in the FE and HE sectors, lecturing within colleges and universities, Kristoph has developed a unique understanding of how training is perceived from the varying points of view of the student, the educational institution and the fitness industry. It is this privileged insight which positions Sideways8 at the forefront of bespoke training solutions which deliver real ROI.

We spoke with Kristoph to learn about how clubs can ensure their fitness team delivers a positive return.


How can a club ensure it’s fitness team is delivering a signficant ROI?

When implemented properly, training for your fitness team delivers significant ROI to the business. Here’s how to ensure that’s the case: 

  1. Make sure you fully the understand the problem you are seeking to address through training. This allows you to gain a clear picture of what you’d like to achieve, as well as enabling you to set clear outcomes and KPI’s. Training can be used to address member retention, NPS, customer feedback ratings and revenue to name a few. You need quantifiable information (both before and after any training) in order to evaluate the return.
  2. Be aware of the length of time it will take for the effects of training to become evident. For example, if your staff have received training on the delivery of gym-floor classes, attendance figures can reflect the impact of that training in a relatively short timeframe. Conversely, it can take 12-18 months to fully appreciate the effects of training on member retention.
  3. Bespoke training offers the best return by far. Working with a training provider to devise a solution tailored exactly to the needs of your staff means you’re much more likely to achieve your desired outcomes and see a change in your KPI’s. In-house and off-the-shelf training rarely has the same impact.
  4. Consider the mode of delivery that best suits your business. A combination of face-to-face and distance learning (e.g. e-learning, pre/post-course reading, and webinars) is usually the most effective mode of delivering content.
    Make others aware that training has taken place, or even involve them in any aspect of the training that is relevant to them. For example, if the fitness team have recently undertaken training in a particular area, let sales team know what that training consisted of and what the fitness team are now able to offer.
  5. Make the training available to more members of staff or repeat it in part or whole at a later date. A prime example is ensuring that new starters can access the training as part of their induction, to bring them in line with the rest of the team. Equally, if monitoring of performance against KPI’s shows there’s still room for improvement, refresher training can help get things back on track.


Posted in Gyms & Clubs, Interviews, Personal Trainers, The Fitness Network.