Incorporating the latest methods and freshening up your routines are important for keeping your clients engaged. But attending traditional fitness education programs can be expensive for both you and your instructors.
Consider hosting your own staff education sessions to keep costs in check while ensuring your instructors have the updated knowledge they need to improve your client’s experience.
Here are five simple ways to get your instructors back in class this fall.
1. INSTRUCTORS, TEACH YOURSELVES
Peer-to-peer teaching is incredibly powerful. Each month, have one instructor research and present information to your entire staff. Set aside a recurring monthly meeting time so your staff knows when they are expected to attend. Create a schedule of topics and presenters. Work one on one with your presenting instructor to make sure he or she is using the time allotted effectively. After each peer learning session, survey the other staff members about what they learned and how they can use that new knowledge to improve the client experience.
2. DINNER AND A MOVIE
Fitness industry organizations offer access to fitness training videos online. For example, IDEA Health & Fitness Association has a library of videos featuring accredited industry educators and a wide range of experts. The videos are from one to three hours in length and give an in-depth video course on everything from biomechanics to Zumba moves. Stream the videos on a big screen in your studio, and bring in food and drinks. Make the meeting as much about bonding with colleagues as it is about watching an instructional video.
3. GIVE HOMEWORK
There are many resources for webinars and online fitness courses your instructors can do individually and on their own time. For example, ACE offers free webinars and online courses that range from $20 to $500. But it’s not enough to just tell your instructors about these resources. You should familiarize yourself with the online materials first. Then you can point your staff in the directions of content that will be particularly valuable to them.
4. TAKE A FIELD TRIP
Just like when you hopped on the bus and headed to the museum in grade school, getting out of your studio can offer a lot of educational value. Plan a group trip to another, non-competitive studio in the area. For example, if you run a CrossFit studio, take your staff out for a hot yoga session.
After the field trip, hold a meeting to talk about what each person learned from the class. Create a checklist in advance of topics to cover, from the instructor’s coaching techniques to music selection to effective use of props.
5. OFFER REIMBURSEMENTS
If you want your instructors to keep on top of their professional development but don’t have the time to organize development sessions in your studio, offer reimbursements to your instructors. By paying for a portion of the registration or tuition fees, you will encourage your instructors to seek out classes on their own. To avoid paying for continuing education that can’t be used to improve the customer experience in your studio, make sure to put a reimbursement policy in writing that states all courses must be pre-approved before an instructor will be reimbursed.
It is critical to create a culture of self-improvement in your studio. By clearly communicating how the clients, studio and instructors will benefit from professional development, you will get the staff the buy-in you need to make your education programs a success.