THE CHALLENGE OF INCENTIVES
Group Fitness Managers are facing a challenge in their clubs: How do we encourage instructors to keep their classes packed and members motivated while continually striving for self-improvement?
Group fitness programs have the potential to boost member retention and acquisition, as well as increase revenue. But when it comes time to actually institute these programs, many clubs have difficulty getting them to live up to their potential—and often, it comes down to the quality and motivation of the instructors.
We are all envious of the clubs that have healthy, successful group programs, where each “WHOOH!” and “HAHH!” coming from the fitness room piques the curiosity of members who might be bored with their current routine or crave that sense of community to keep them coming back But how can we create that scenario? And, more importantly, How can we motivate our instructors to help create that scenario? The question, then, is of incentive: What drives your instructors? Do you know?
Every club—from big corporate chains to small not-for-profit facilities like YMCAs, JCCs, and park districts—should know how to push their instructors with each and every class. Survey your team to find out what motivates them to give it their all, and evaluate your means to match their motivation.
Pay-Based Incentives & Continuing Education
“Money motivates everybody,” said Karen Van Kuiken, a Les Mills® club coach. Van Kuiken works with clubs all across Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, “If you reward your top performing instructors, then everyone’s going to want to be at the top and work harder to fill their classes. [Instructors] need to have that competition and that edge and that push for people to want to get better—always. Otherwise, they’re never going to want to up-skill—they’d have no motivation to do so.”
Up-skilling is crucial for instructors to build on their strengths, hone in on their weaknesses, and continually improve each class.
“Some places reward instructors by paying for their next training or sending them to a Quarterly. This incentive is not necessarily based on wages, but it’s something most trainers want to do. If we send them to an AIM (Advanced Instructor Module) or something, we’re gonna get a return off of that—they’re going to become a better instructor,” said Megan Daguire, another club coach whose experience working with clubs often sees top instructors rewarded with a chance to improve their skills with continuing education.
”Most clubs have a system laid out on how to rank instructors–they have the whole formula already,” said Van Kuiken. Some clubs who are extremely short-handed on instructors may have a hard time ranking instructors. They might have two or three trying to cover all the classes, and a competitive ranking system might not be the best idea, for fear of losing those few, priceless instructors.
Work Within Your Means
There are a lot of different factors to consider, and each club has to figure out what works best for them—if pay-based incentives aren’t feasible, try education. If ranking your instructors causes friction in the staff, choose a method that spreads the reward—the highest class attendance, the best attitude, the best playlist, or the most improved. Learn to work within your means.
Don’t be afraid to get creative—perhaps working out a trade agreement with the local restaurants might have a place—how about free club memberships in exchange for gift cards?
“Internally survey your team and find what motivates them,” said Jenn Seifert, a Les Mills club coach and instructor.
Do you know what drives your instructors?”
CLASSES AT MIDWEST MANIA
BODYVIVE® with Kurt Gesteland and Susan Laney
Friday October 14, 7:30am-9:00am FR1L
BODYSTEP® with Joella Hopkins, Amanda Scales & Laura Wilson
Friday October 14, 10:00am-11:30am FR2C
BODYCOMBAT® with Sheldon McBee & Don Murphy
Friday October 14, 4:00pm-5:30pm FR5C
SH’BAM® with Josh Keenum & Laura Wilson
Friday October 14, 6:30pm-7:30pm FR6C
RPM® with Steve Renata
Saturday October 15, 6:30pm-7:30pm FR6I
BODYATTACK® with Joella Hopkins, Amanda Scales & Laura Wilson
Saturday October 15, 10:00am-11:30am SA2C
BODYJAM® with Josh Keenum & Anna Lowery
Saturday October 15, 12:30pm-2:00pm SA3C
GROUP FITNESS MANAGEMENT with Sara Kooperman, JD & Steve Renata
Saturday October 15, 11:45am-2:00pm SA3M
BODYPUMP® with Peg Cleland, Sheldon McBee & Don Murphy
Saturday October 15, 2:15pm-3:45pm SA4C
BODYFLOW® with Peg Cleland, Kurt Gesteland & Susan Laney
Saturday October 15, 4:00pm-5:30pm SA5D
LES MILLS® MEGA QUARTERLY
Come Experience ALL TEN Les Mills Programs