Fun for Instructors
Group exercise instructors are frequently overlooked when it comes to hiring, training and motivating. Yet they are very influential employees. Instructors have the ability to “turn on” or “turn off” a large group of your members several times every day. That's why we have come up with several strategies at Clubfit to keep our instructors motivated and connected to the club.
In an effort to provide variety to the members, we had been rotating the schedule on a weekly basis. While this kept the members happy, it was difficult because the instructors were teaching at all different times and all different classes.
We decided to give them assigned classes for six- to eight-week time periods with the options to change around once in awhile. The outcome was great! The instructors could perfect their routines and get to know the members who attended their classes. Member and instructor retention went up.
The most successful programming idea has been in effect for several months now, and the instructors love it! Clubfit offers a pre-choreographed resistance training class five times per week. The instructors who teach the class get together every eight weeks to choreograph the different body-part routines. They even select the music for the class.
The instructors appreciate that they can participate in the design of the program. The best benefit is that the instructors don't have to make up a new routine for each class.
Another idea that the instructors enjoy is a class that we call “Dancercise.” It's similar to the old way aerobics was taught in the early '80s. The instructors meet every eight weeks and choose songs to which they choreograph four different movements. The moves are easy to follow. The class is fun, the members get a great workout and the instructors don't have to choreograph new routines all the time. It's a great feeling when you look into a packed class and everyone is having a great time!
We offer special incentive programs to help instructors pay for continuing education workshops and seminars. When the instructors attend another instructor's class, go to a meeting and/or help to choreograph new routines for the above-mentioned classes, they get points. Each point is equal to $1, which they use for continuing education. Once they accumulate enough points for a workshop or convention, they have an evaluation and then they can cash in their points.
Once every quarter we invite all the instructors to come and teach a class together for the members. Each instructor teaches for approximately five to 10 minutes. We break the class into several different parts: warm-up, low impact, kickboxing, step and cooldown.
The members love this class, and it brings the instructors together all at one time. Usually, it's difficult to get them together because they all have busy schedules. This gives them a chance to communicate and makes them feel as if they are part of a group.
The best way to get and keep your group exercise instructors is to make them feel important, needed and appreciated. Give them a sense of responsibility for the program, and they will give you their all.
Alison Boyd and Shannon Salisbury are sisters. Boyd owns Clubfit in Mechanicsville, Va., and Salisbury is the general manager. They both teach group exercise classes. They can be reached at (804) 730-3390.