They Don’t Pay Enough But You Still Want to Work There?!

The labor crisis and inflation rates, combined with the fact that many fitness professionals are re-evaluating their worth, have created a chasm between the rates of pay offered by gyms and what you want to make. How can we get closer to a salary you and your employer can agree on? 

It might be the gym you’ve worked at for a while or a new facility that’s looking for staff; if you feel connected to their brand, culture, and member experience, it might be worth discussing future earnings that get you closer to the rate of pay you deserve. 

Fitness job negotiation tip #1

Step 1: Ask what outcomes or “key performance indicators” will get you to your rate. 

In the fitness industry KPIs for instructors, small groups coaches, and personal trainers can include:

  • Average number of participants in classes
  • Growth in the number of participants
  • Average sales of personal training sessions or packages
  • Growth in sales of personal training sessions or packages
  • Feedback from members/clients
  • Renewals or retention of members/clients

Step 2: Ask when you will be assessed based on those KPIs and exactly how they will impact your compensation.

It would normally take a season/session or 3 months to establish a baseline and measure growth. 

Step 3: Decide if the wait is worthwhile and if you’re engaged in hitting those goals.

If the other renumeration aspects make the wait worthwhile and you’re up for the challenge of meeting those KPIs, it’s probably worth your energy. Make sure to write down the evaluation date and take ownership of the process! 

However, if you decide that your value is much higher than the starting rate and you’re not confident you can perform based on their indicators, it’s probably not a good fit. 

A key part of salary negotiation is having a clear understanding of your value and how your unique skills and abilities will support your employers’ goals. Don’t assume they’ll be clear on theirs; they may or may not be great entrepreneurs or comfortable with the HR side of leadership. Just like in all relationships, the employment one requires both parties to put in some work for it to keep growing. Let’s keep getting better at building this soft yet critical skill. 

Need to hear this message? Watch this short video clip to learn more about negotiating.


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