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.
That last message was an incomplete thought.
When I started graduate school (masters in business and another one in tax), first day, first lecture, they told us that one of the most powerful things we could do in management and consulting was ask, “What’s going on around here?” and to take the time to listen. Really listen. Not everything is broken. The things that are broken are broken for more reasons than you might think.
So, before you go into solution space, go into investigative space. The old Steven Covey rule #1 from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People actually works. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Yes, you want to make your mark. Yes, you want to improve the program. First, make sure you know everything that’s happening, and that’s not happening.
Thank you Harris and Nancy, I so appreciate your input. More background, almost all the instructors have years of experience, but some have not kept up their certifications, and/or are a off in things like teaching on the phrase, changing lead legs, cueing clearly and timely, stuff like that, that the members are not complaining about because they are used to the teacher, and maybe don’t even know, i don’t know, but I have a real hard time following because I am used to taking classes taught on the phrase.
But that’s not a huge issue for the time being.
I have read that you cannot force an employee to get certified once they are an employee without facing possible litigation in some industry webinars and manuals.. I don’t see a clause in the employment form that said they had to be certified, so…from this point on, I will be hiring only certified
instructors, preferably NETA or ACE who are accredited. (AAFA is not any longer)
So I think that I will fill open spots with new, certified people so that as more spots open due to attrition or life changes, I can plug certified people in.
Its just a bit scary and overwhelming coming into a real fluid constantly changing situation, due to a major capital improvement of both buildings causing a lot of different logistics problems until everything is all done possibly in the spring or summer. I would like for things to be more organized and professional at that point as we are recruiting new businesses to join. ( it is a community employee recreation facility that is open only to employees of member companies, or guests who are sponsored by an employee member).
so any furthur mentoring, helpful suggestions will be MOST GRATEFULLY appreciated. Stacy
Interesting, Stacy. I have never heard that after you hire someone, you can’t force them to get a certification. Most of the places where I’ve worked have either required new-hires to be certified or in some cases to be certified within 6 months of hire.
If you can’t require them to get certified, I wonder if you can require them to meet other minimum requirements. For example, start a system of performance reviews. Being on beat is such a basic tenet of being a fitness instructor (except in some HIIT or bootcamps where music is background), that would be really frustrating.
Do you know what your owners / bosses want from you?
Have you considered surveying the membership?
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
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