How Chapter Aesthetic Studio is revolutionizing employee training programs
Photo by Chapter Aesthetic Studio
When Chapter Aesthetic Studio launched its intensive professional training program, Chapter University, the goal was to give employees eight to 12 weeks of top-tier aesthetic training so when they began working in the studio, they would be fully ready to treat guests. Often when people get hired for a new job, they spend the first couple of weeks onboarding onsite to get to know their job responsibilities while simultaneously working directly with clients and adjusting to a new company culture. But at Chapter, employees are given the time and support to fully learn their job before ever treating a guest.
Created by Chapter Founder & President Melissa Rogne, Chapter University offers training to every employee from all of their locations before their first in-studio day. The curriculum is determined by Chapter’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ben Wood, a board-certified plastic surgeon, with programs lasting from eight to 12 weeks based on provider role. Every employee receives hands-on experience and an immersion into the company’s culture at the training. This is so that every studio, whether it is in North Dakota or New York, offers the same quality experience for every person who walks through the door. We sat down with Rogne and Wood to learn more about Chapter University, why it is important for their business, and how others might benefit from similar employee training programs.
A class of Chapter University graduates poses with their certificates of completion.
Chapter Aesthetic Studio has 18 locations spread across North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and even New York! All employees from every location come to Fargo to participate in Chapter University
As Chapter Aesthetic Studio began expanding, Rogne and her team knew they wanted the experience at every one of their studios to be consistent. Often in the service industry, one branch or location of a business can have variable levels of professionalism and care depending upon who is hired and how they are trained—even if they are both part of the same company. Rogne and her team knew that was not an option for Chapter and they looked to find a solution so their guests would always experience the same level of care. That solution? Chapter University.
“We realized the only way to successfully integrate that service consistency into every studio around the country was to bring our employees to Chapter University in Fargo and create a training experience that mimicked exactly what we had created in Fargo,” Rogne said. “It came from the understanding that what we had created was really special. We had done an exceptional job of recruiting value-focused, culturally aligned expert medical professionals and making them experts in the aesthetic industry.”
With the ultimate goal to unify the employees and provide high-quality aesthetic services, it made sense that Wood would also be highly involved in the university’s development. Dr. Wood knew before he even started in his CMO role that Chapter’s unique culture and commitment to exceptional care was something that already stood out. “I thought what was already being built and put into motion in terms of company culture was such a visionary approach,” he said. Aside from emphasizing the company culture, Chapter University aims to bridge the gap between the demand for aesthetics, the lack of training available to those who are interested in working in the aesthetics industry, and the large range of practice standards from state to state.
“What we have recognized and experienced over the past 15 years, in particular, in the aesthetics industry, is a dramatically increased interest in aesthetics—and nonsurgical aesthetics specifically,’’ Wood said. “And while there was a draw for more providers, there remains an insufficient amount of comprehensive training available. So the vision of an eight- to12-week immersive program was really ahead of the curve.”
Implementation & Evolution
Once Rogne and the team had the idea for Chapter University, the next step was planning and implementing the program. Though Chapter Aesthetic Studio already had a training curriculum when Dr. Wood came aboard, it was something he has continued to develop.
“The curriculum was already taking shape when I came on board, and it was already very comprehensive,’’ he said. “It’s one of those things that will continue to evolve—this industry evolves really quickly. We’ve already expanded our trainer team, and we’re quickly reaching capacity with the training facility itself with the number of trainees we’re bringing in. We’ll continue to evolve the curriculum as well as continuing education and development opportunities for our providers.”
Aside from the clinic and culture training, Chapter also aims to support its employees when they are back in their home studio.
“As we open more studios, a key part of the clinical development portion of training is to continue supporting the providers once they’re active in their studio,” Wood explained. “There’s the upfront training and learning journey that they complete, but then once they’re in their studio actively practicing, we want to provide ongoing support and career development. We’ll continue to expand the trainer team to accommodate that growth so that Chapter University can continue to offer the career development options that our providers are seeking.”
Rogne emphasized that the continued evolution of the curriculum, which she and Dr. Wood collaborate on, will always be a top priority.
“I would say the curriculum is absolutely a partnership between Dr. Wood and me,” Rogne said. “He is the clinical expert and what he brings to the table—and what he has brought since he joined the organization—was leveling up our curriculum from an expertise standpoint. What I bring to the curriculum is the culture. How can we make sure that our guests are treated the way we expect them to be treated across the platform?”
Did you know?
A recent study found that combination aesthetic treatments lead to greater improvement of psychological well-being than single treatments alone.
While the main goal of Chapter University is to ensure a consistent experience for guests, Wood emphasized the positive experience it gives the employees as well.
“We work with all of the trainees to ensure a high-yield format for their training experience,’’ he said. “Employees complete virtual didactic and interactive learning modules prior to travel so that when they are in Fargo, it’s a really structured use of their time. When they come to Fargo for the first week of training, they establish connections and build relationships with their colleagues and the trainer team. Then all of the time going forward is in-person hands-on training for each of the services that we provide, with ample opportunity to review, refresh, and support them as needed.”
Along with their own curriculum and trainers, Rogne explained that they also have many of their product vendors come in to train employees on their products, too.
“We have received amazing support from our vendors,” she said. “They make the trip to come and present at Chapter University and collaborate with the teams. They have been just exceptionally supportive. This university takes a village, and we want to make sure that we have a diverse aesthetics curriculum. So it’s not just our team—we’re able to work with various industry experts to bring in this comprehensive, 360-degree training program.”
Rogne added that Chapter University also gives the Fargo studio team members more advancement opportunities than they’ve ever had before.
“That’s been one of my biggest accomplishments with Chapter University, is to be able to provide those opportunities for our Fargo team members,” she said. “All of our clinical trainers, except for one, originated from the Fargo studio. It’s been great for me to be able to promote them and provide opportunities and career paths that weren’t available previously.”
Founder and President of Chapter Aesthetic Studio, Melissa Rogne, celebrates the opening of a location in Rochester, MN!
As Chapter Aesthetic Studio continues to expand and Chapter University thrives, Rogne and Wood are always looking to recruit more aesthetics providers. When recruiting, they are looking for people who fit with the company culture and have a passion for learning.
“We’re recruiting for cultural fit and learner aptitude,” Wood said. “We want someone who’s really excited about learning and continuing to learn as they grow in their career, because we support it from day one as a provider and employee with Chapter throughout the training.”
Wood and Rogne agree that this continued training is vital to the continued success of Chapter, which is why they are spending so much time, money, and energy on it.
“We are investing a very large amount of capital into ensuring that our culture and our clinical expertise is consistently replicated,” Wood said. “That’s really one of the key ways that Chapter differentiates itself … replicating not only the experience but the trust that our guests have when they go to any of our locations. They’re going to have a trusted provider there for any level of clinical service.”
It’s likely that Chapter University (and Chapter Aesthetic Studio) is not going away anytime soon. In fact, expansion is likely in the future, with more and more people desiring the aesthetic services that Chapter offers. With their unique and effective training program, they are surely setting a trend for businesses in the area and beyond.