Attensi’s Tess Gorman and [solidcore]’s Sarah Kiernan, VP of People & Talent, caught up on our latest podcast to discuss what the future of talent and learning and development will look like in the fitness industry.
After seven years at SoulCycle and another four years at [solidcore], we were keen to get Sarah’s opinion.
What have been the biggest learnings since the covid pandemic?
For the team at solidcore, not being able to run physical face-to-face classes was challenging during covid. And Sarah tells us it made the team realize that what their clients wanted were small class sizes and high-quality strength training. No frills. No fuss. People want to feel physically and mentally stronger, and they want value for money.
Sarah and her team wanted to make sure that their team had everything they needed to deliver this. Because in her own words, “this business isn’t anything without the people in it.”
And so [solidcore] started to invest in the right talent so the team could show value to their clients by motivating them to be the strongest version of themselves they could be. This also meant investing in development opportunities. And that’s where Attensi fits in.
How do you think training is shaping careers at [solidcore]?
Boutique fitness studios are still in their relative infancy. Sarah explains how the industry as a whole is still learning about what’s best when it comes to training team members. How can they help trainers see their coaching as more than something they do on a part time basis?
Sarah shares her pride in the growth opportunities they offer the [solidcore] team. They understand that investing in their staff is the best way to provide an outstanding service to their clients.
Where do you think the fitness industry goes wrong when it comes to training?
When it comes to people development, Sarah believes that the fitness industry fails to consider the needs of different people and different learning styles. People’s paths aren’t always linear, so it’s impossible to always be prescriptive when it comes to training.
That’s why at [solidcore], Sarah and her team are consciously trying to offer the teams a variety of ways to learn and consume information. Whether that’s through face-to-face workshops, digitized content or self-learning modules like Attensi.
Are there opportunities for fitness organizations to stay innovative and attract young talent?
“The future for learning and development in the industry lies in technology, and embracing technology,” says Sarah.
“Many fitness operators still use manual processes, and it can feel pretty outdated at times.
Leveraging the power of technology in development is going to be a key factor in attracting and retaining young talent. They want to know they have a real career opportunity in the field. And if you want to keep them, you need to invest in them.”
What was your motivation for looking for new ways to train your team?
After covid, Sarah and the [solidcore] team found themselves feeling more disconnected than before. It was time for a change, and covid forced the industry to innovate.
It was important to Sarah to gain a deeper understanding of how people learn and how they apply that learning in their daily life. It was most important to Sarah and her team to get to know their employees’ motivations and how they could assist them not only in their work, but also in their career development. Ultimately, this is what pushed them towards Attensi, and immersive gamified training solutions.
The competitive nature of the [solidcore] team and the gamified training solutions of Attensi were a match made in heaven, particularly the leaderboard capabilities.
What are you most excited for in the future?
Tess asks Sarah both about [solidcore] as a business, and fitness as an industry.
Continued growth for [solidcore] is high on the list for Sarah.
“There are communities that are dying for a workout like solidcore.” There are big plans for expansion across the US, and hopefully international expansion, too.
Industry wise, Sarah hopes that people continue to come up with new and exciting ways to workout and get fit. Seeing the next generation more conscious about maintaining a strong mind and body is really promising.
Sarah and the team at [solidcore] hope to be there to help them be their best selves for many years to come.
A big thank you to Sarah for joining Tess on our podcast. We can’t wait to explore our partnership further.