The fitness industry today has an unusually high employee turnover rate, especially among millennials. As a result, facility owners are constantly having to train new staff members, resulting in increased expenses and lost revenue. eLearning can be a valuable tool to both retain staff members and to reduce the cost of training new employees. eLearning keeps its users up to date with industry standards, trends and current events. Mobile learning is also a cost-effective means of training new staff members. With technology literally at our fingertips today, the obvious choice for continuing education is its delivery through devices like iPhones, iPads, Surface Pros, etc. Now that people have these devices readily available and easily accessible, employers can utilize the technology to train employees with individualized programs.

One of the greatest things about eLearning materials is that they are available to staff members twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Gone are the limitations like having to set up computer stations or print manuals for staff members to review the training materials. Now, staff members can just log in and start learning.

One of the greatest advantages of eLearning over textbooks and manuals is that the content can be developed around current trends in the industry. If a new technique or safety issue were to pop up a week after training began, then the program could quickly and easily be updated to reflect these changes. Managers wouldn’t have to wait for the next printing of the manuals to take place, which sometimes takes years.

Learners can move at their own pace when reviewing the training materials, yet managers don’t have to worry that staff members will ignore the training or take forever to complete courses. eLearning systems like the one used by the Sport Management Group, Inc. (SMG) can set due dates, send reminders and track the progress of the learners. Our program can also generate transcripts to track learning history and keep tabs on how learners are doing on their learning objectives.

SMG’s eLearning program also provides a personalized experience for its learners. The program provides each learner with a personalized dashboard where they can review their prescribed programs, track progress and see how they compare to their co-workers through gamification. All of SMG’s programs are mobile-friendly because learners can download an app to their phone or tablet that gives them streaming content without buffering that can also be downloaded for offline viewing.

SMG’s eLearning program offers a variety of training modules specific to the fitness industry as well as topics that cover OSHA training such as Bloodborne Pathogens and more. Using the SMG eLearning system not only prepares staff for issues specific to the industry but also makes them compliant with government regulations. SMG will design a custom eLearning program that specifically addresses the needs of any health club.

A new trend in eLearning is gamification. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play). Managers can enable gamification among a peer group (i.e. group instructors), where learners attempt to get badges and race ahead on the leaderboard which is viewed on the learner’s personal dashboard. Managers can recognize and reward learners when they exhibit qualities such as resourcefulness and participation, or when they achieve specific learning goals. This method helps keep training fresh and motivate staff members to learn materials that make their jobs safer and more efficient.


About the Author

David Harlowe has been a risk management specialist in the athletic and fitness industries for over 23 years. David’s company, The Sport Management Group, Inc. has performed over 11,000 risk assessments on athletic and fitness facilities around the country. You can view more information about SMG’s eLearning program at

The Sport Management Group, Inc.
1205 W Bessemer Ave, Suite 223
Greensboro, NC 27408
David Harlowe, President
(336) 272-2071