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Group X: The Importance of Policy


In the absence of clarity, there will always be confusion — so that is why this week’s article is about the importance of policy. Policy creates clear boundaries for employees.

Since it is impossible to think of every scenario, think of your policy as something that will evolve over time. The first thing you want to do when writing a policy is to state your vision. Your vision is the “big picture” of what you want to accomplish and it establishes your philosophy. The second thing you want to do is state your mission. A mission statement guides your actions. Below are examples of my statements:

Vision Statement:

“I envision a world where all people are wholly expressing their highest selves through balance and harmony.”

Mission Statement:

“My Mission is to offer people the tools so they can integrate their body, mind and emotion, thus achieving higher forms of expression.”

The third thing you need to do is set expectations and requirements. It is critical to set boundaries, so that everyone knows the rules. Don’t be tempted to over look any details. You may think that some of these examples are a “no brainer,” but it is important to express them. Below is an example of the policy my instructors are required to sign when hired.

  • Be on time. On time is considered at least 10 minutes before your scheduled class or session. Begin and end on time.
  • You must make sure that all equipment used in your class is returned to its proper place before leaving.
  • Be respectful with all equipment and use appropriate music. As an instructor, it is your responsibility to notify me via a detailed e-mail of any damaged equipment.
  • Be well groomed with appropriate attire. It is inappropriate to wear another facility’s logo while at the club. It is also inappropriate to wear denim or street clothing while teaching.
  • Advertising a class or event from another gym other than the club is strictly prohibited.
  • Be professional and respectful to members, managers and front desk personnel.
  • If you are a regular on the schedule, you are entitled to use the gym facilities. The only restriction is during prime time hours: prime time hours are 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • If you are a sub, you must sub at least four classes a month to use the club facilities. The only restriction is during prime time hours: prime time hours are 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Attitude: Your attitude towards the facility should be one of respect. If there is an issue (stereo, equipment, ventilation), rather than complaining, contact me immediately. Complaining in front of clients is unacceptable and unprofessional. If I am not available for immediate assistance, contact the club manager.

Lastly, my policy is a document that I require all of my instructors to sign in order to work for me. As a result, when a conflict arises, I can reference the signed policy to hold the instructor accountable.


Joseph Duffy has been in the fitness industry since 1990. He has taught group fitness classes at multiple clubs, and currently is the director of group fitness at Boom Fitness. Duffy has his own consulting business that assists owners with building group fitness programs from the ground up, as well as providing scheduling and staffing input. He can be reached at jdny1@me.com.


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