Instructor management should start with your facility’s mission
Your instructors are the core and the face of your sports facility, and that’s why it’s absolutely essential to have a professional and enthusiastic team running your programs.
However, keeping good, committed instructors on staff is not easy. Usually, they’re part-time and have irregular hours, which makes it harder to establish loyalty than it is with full-time or regular employees. And they typically don’t understand why they can’t collect most of the fees charged for their lessons, since they don’t see all the costs that go into making the facility available for them to hold lessons in.
As a result, they may float around from facility to facility, leaving as soon as they find another gig that pays a bit more. That leaves you, as the owner or manager, spending hours looking for new job candidates, then screening and interviewing them, then hiring and training them – a very time-consuming process.
To avoid wasting that time, and to ensure that the quality of your services doesn’t falter as a result of staff turnover, emphasize the mission of your facility to your staff and make it clear that they are all working together toward a common goal, which is greater than their own personal interests. They are likely to be familiar with the feeling of being on a team, since most have sports backgrounds. It’s important to evoke that feeling at your facility.
For example, at DNA Sports Center in Milford, we’ve adopted the mission of the Parisi Speed School: “to deliver a positive training experience that improves speed of movement and strength in character regardless of ability or economic status.” We strive to improve kids’ self confidence and help them prevent sports-related injuries. My general manager and I always keep this at the top of our minds and emphasize it to the other staff members.
Of course, there are a multitude of factors that go into creating a positive work environment. A few of them are fair pay, a clean and safe facility, and incentives for jobs well done, such as clear paths for instructors to get promoted. While there are no exact, step-by-step instructions to creating a great feeling of camaraderie at your facility, that feeling does start with the tone and the attitude you display yourself, as the owner or manager.