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.
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