Instructors not answering my e mails requesting updates on their certifications, instructors not teaching on the phrase, members who are super bossy. I’ve only been there a week and its my first coordinating job. I would like to tighten things up and add/remove some classes, and i know that it will create pushback from instructors and members. I don’t want to come off as a nag from the get -go. Please, any advice will be MOST helpful.
I feel for you. I would recommend deciding what “absolutely” must be done right away for safety and business reasons. Instructor certs are definitely one of those. No cert would mean no teaching at a facility. That alone could void your insurance. Check this to make sure. Because if it does void your insurance and something happens, the facility is very likely to go out of business.
Second, I recommend not trying to make too many changes all at once. If you can get your instructors to sit down and discuss things, come right out and ask them which changes they can deal with now. Then work on any other changes over time.
Since I don’t know all of the things you are dealing with, these are just my first thoughts. Feel free to get in touch with me if you would like to discuss this further.
Hello Stacy Fetters,
You are more than welcome to vent; we all need that space from time to time. As for certifications, it is a liability issue for trainers to not be certified, period. Paying customers deserve the best; put yourself in their shoes; it sounds like you already care deeply.
Work together, assume nothing, ask to see the cert cards and gently remind trainers to renew their cert or they lose the chance to work for you.
Work with your team and enjoy every moment.
Please, remember to take care of yourself; maybe by taking the exercise classes as an observer from the back.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
A couple of more things to consider for your instructors (other than hiring certified ones from now on) is to either bring in leaders in the industry to do workshops in your facility or pay for them to get recertified. And you can make it mandatory for all of your instructors to participate since they are employees (you can’t force ICs to do this). You can also arrange with the new management to pay your those instructors who are interested in enroll in various certifications. Those who do agree to this can receive a higher pay once THEY pass the certification (as an incentive). You can make continuing education part of the requirements for those who want to work for you.
Doing in-house workshops and recertification can be very attractive to many who seek higher standards. You can also contact IDEA and see if you can strike a deal with them and start offering the various CEUs they have through their site for free to your instructors.
A pay grade scale is an excellent idea and an incentive for your instructors in order to make more money. Better service translates to better membership retention and improved quality of classes and instruction.
Thanks Adriane for taking the time to answer
I am not trying to change everything at once. believe me, I know that will make everyone HATE me.
I am just wishing, that’s all.
I am trying to do the best with just meeting people, taking classes, and hopefully soon, getting parameters on my responsibilities. That will make me feel a whole lot better. I have been on a ship without a captain the first week. Now I have a supervisor and I am meeting with her today.
for now, I am making NO changes, just going with the flow. The instructors teach on the beat, just not on the 32 count phrase. Not horrible, but to me, just feels off. But , the instructor has been there forever and no-one is complaining, so hey, what can i do. I don’t want her to start out upset with me. that’s the least of my worries.
i am just trying to learn and grow . I bought a course by shannon fable about coordinating, that I am finding extrmely helpful. She is so knowledgable with plenty of experience. I appreciate you all so much too, thanks for guiding me!!!!
Happy thanksgiving!!! Stacy
First, congratulations on your position. Being a coordinator can be an intimidating position… especially if you come into a place where everyone else knows the system and each other.
I think you have gotten some really good advice already. I also think you are starting out in a good way… by taking classes and talking to members. It is also really good that you are planning to meet with the people who are in charge, and reviewing the contractual documents.
I would agree that listening and observing are a good first step. There is a quote that goes something like…” Half of a conversation is listening”. You will learn a lot about what is the current situation, what people like, what they want, and how they communicate. You also build good relationships with both the staff and the members by being present. Rather than a ‘must come’ meeting you might host a couple of get togethers… one for the staff, one for members, if possible.
You could also start sending a weekly email newsletter to your instructors… tips on local trainings, info on the schedule, introductions to new staff… whatever seems relevant. This will help give everyone a sense of your role in the organization and begin to let them see you as an important resource. If the management has a newlsetter they send to members you could ask to have a space to put something in for your department…. All this helps build good will.
Make sure you have metrics. If the staff are already used to taking attendance that is helpful. If you do decide to add or delete classes this will be important. It is always good to have data to back up your schedule changes.
Putting out a survey of the members is also useful. You could also ask for program input from the teachers.
It is probably really important to bring your question about certification to the manager. This is a legal question, and unless your training is in the law, you need to know the club’s position in this area.
If you do not have a stick to use to get people to certify (job loss) you might see if you can get a carrot (ask management if they will help pay for the certification, or provide a tiered pay structure, such that a certified teacher will get a bit more money.
In terms of the question of teaching to the beat… I find this very curious. I have almost never found teachers who do not teach to the beat. Did your club originally hire members who wanted to teach, and who kind of learned on the job? Or with no coordinator did the person who hired the teacher just not know what to look for? You might try bringing in monthly workshops and focus on people who teach the skills you think will help the staff most. I love working where good quality training is offered.
Please do take a breath. Not everything has to be done at once. Not everything has to be done by one person. If you allow yourself to come off as someone who micromanages, or is highly critical, … you could run a perfect program, in terms of being perfectly on the music, but not build the kind of program where people feel welcome, and unstressed. I am sure you will do well. I expect the hardest thing is to let go of the desire to see everything ‘perfect’. One of my husband’s favorite sayings is “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Embrace process, be both kind and fair…. to yourself as well as to the teachers and the members. Even when they… or you… are feeling cranky.
Good luck to you