Instructors often take a back seat to clients in terms of the attention they receive at the fitness studio, but their happiness is just as important. A fitness instructor’s attitude sets the tone for each class they teach at your studio — shouldn’t their energy and enthusiasm be contagious? Ensuring that instructors’ opinions and needs are heard, while still aligning with your studio’s overall needs and values, can have endless positive effects on your studio. Making an effort to show your instructors they are appreciated and providing opportunities for growth creates an upbeat, inspiring atmosphere in your studio that clients are sure to notice.
Think of Your Instructors as Brand Representatives
In addition to an awesome personality and fitting qualifications for the job, it is important that each person teaching at your studio has a deep understanding of your brand and message, and can successfully pass that on to clients. The best instructors are not just there to collect a paycheck — they truly have a passion for fitness and an appreciation for your studio’s mission. Good instructors are able to market themselves to attract new clients and retain those that they already have. They form valuable connections that foster success at your studio.
Here are the top three qualities to search for in potential new hires:
- Experienced in the Fitness Realm - They have taught in other fitness studios before, and know the ins and outs of the industry. They can answer client questions and accommodate any needs they might have, and provide advice based on knowledge and experience.
- Passionate About Fitness and Wellness - A good instructor knows that fitness continues beyond the studio. It is only one component of a healthy lifestyle. Besides working out, they value proper nutrition and other habits that contribute to overall wellness. They are a resource to help clients reach their goals, and are good influences on their classes.
- Motivating and Self Motivated - Instructors are the spark that sets off the flames in the wildfire of the fitness industry — they are the primary source of motivation for clients, and set the tone for your studio. If an instructor lacks energy and genuine excitement about working out, so will clients.
Foster an Inclusive Community at Your Studio
Retaining instructors at your fitness studio is just as important as retaining clients. After all, there would be no clients without instructors to lead them! Introduce new instructors to your team and make sure to instill a sense of inclusion and community from day one. It’s always hard to start at a new job and not know anybody, so encouraging your staff to mingle will make them more confident and more comfortable, which will play into their performance as instructors.
Host bonding or teamwork building events on a regular basis to allow instructors to bond, network, and trade fitness tips. A weekly company lunch, happy hour or even fitness class (!) presents an environment for employees to get to know each other beyond the confines of their classes. Having genuine camaraderie at your studio boosts instructor morale and contributes to a fun and friendly vibe throughout your brand — which appeals to current and potential clients.
Leave Room for Creative Freedom and Flexibility
One of the make-or-break factors in any workout class is the playlist (yes, really!). Many instructors take pride in their fitness playlists, and march better to the beat of their own drum, so to speak. Allowing creative freedom, within reason, for instructors to compile their playlists and put their own personal twist on the workouts they host, will keep their classes fresh and provide something exciting to look forward to each day. Establishing trust with your instructors to teach their classes the way they like — while still staying true to your studio’s brand image — contributes to an environment that is always comfortable and inspiring.
Encourage and Facilitate Growth
The most common reason people leave any job is a lack of opportunities to advance. Providing resources for your instructors to develop their knowledge and skill set is a win-win: they’ll have more bullet points for their resume, and you’ll have instructors that are constantly improving their performance. Inform instructors of any articles, workshops, or professional development events you come across that can help them learn and network. Establishing a symbiotic relationship between instructors who want to expand their skills and studio owners who want their instructors to be knowledgeable about the industry paves the way for lasting success.
Provide Valuable Feedback
Make time for one-on-one meetings with instructors once or twice a year. This time can be used to touch base about any concerns or needs they have, and discuss their performance to date. Having clear benchmarks to evaluate instructors provides a clear view of their strengths and the areas of their performance they may want to work on. It will also show the impact each instructor has at your studio, in terms of clients they attract or maintain and the revenue they drive.
Make your instructor evaluations straightforward and easy to digest with FitGrid Studio reporting. FitGrid’s unique reporting provides extremely valuable insight that other reporting programs do not, and allows you to set clear KPIs and benchmarks that make measuring each instructor’s success easy. Individual instructor reports can rank instructors to show the top performers at your studio, and where each employee stands in terms of the same common goals. Having clear expectations through KPIs makes both your life and the job of your instructors much easier, as they have a clear outcome to work toward.
FitGrid Instructor Feedback Surveys also offer a qualitative assessment of your instructors’ performance through ratings and actual feedback from clients, in addition to benchmarks to illustrate where each instructor lines up in comparison to their peers. Between individual instructor reports and Instructor Feedback Surveys, you have plenty of qualitative and quantitative data to help you get a real sense of how each of your instructors is doing.
About the author:
MINDBODY Certified Business Consultant, Nicole Chetaud, is an expert-level presenter, business consultant, and advisor. Following a successful career as the MINDBODY University (MBU) Event and Sales Director, Nicole traveled the globe as an MBU core faculty member for 5 years, presenting at more than 40 events worldwide. Since 2010, she has worked with over 5,000 entrepreneurs, specializing in the yoga and group fitness industry, where she shares her expertise in marketing, sales, retention, and operations. She has also presented courses at Yoga Journal, Wanderlust, and many corporate retreats. In her private practice, Nicole is an advisor to MINDBODY partners, works with franchise and corporate level teams, offers courses, and provides expert C-level consulting to enterprise clients. Her passion is hot yoga, but she is firm believer that all mind/body practice transforms lives. She is a 500-hour certified yoga instructor and has a practice that spans 20 years. Nicole lives with her family in Larkspur, CA.
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level