It Takes a Village
According to an African Proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.”
Lately, I find myself wondering where this proverbial “village” has gone. So, let’s talk about the elephant standing in the middle of our studios, i.e. recruitment. In an industry that is ever-evolving, are we doing our part to inspire the birth and next generation of instructors and trainers, as well as providing them with the village of support they need to be successful?
Not only that, does the “village” require upgrades to meet the needs of the current audience and have we successfully cultivated a culture in the current “village” that outlines their own specific roles as it pertains to this next generation?
Recently, I polled an eclectic group of fitness instructors from around the world and asked them if becoming an instructor was their idea, or if they were inspired to take on the journey by someone in the industry. It didn’t surprise me to find all but one, out of a group of 30, were inspired by someone else. In learning about their stories, each of them had a “village” to support them on their journey. I took a few deep dives with my poll, to consider factors like how long they have been in the industry and formats taught, but the stories themselves didn’t change. There was always a “village” as a part of their journey.
So, what does this mean for us in a world where there is an app for just about everything? Those of us who are still in the live, in-person space — versus digital — are steadfast in creating tangible, unforgettable experiences for our participants and members. Are we doing the same for our team members? Are we creating an experience for our group fitness instructors and trainers they are excited and proud to be part of? Do we regularly recognize their efforts and commit to their ongoing development? The answer is, we need to, otherwise they will find another village.
Obviously, there are tons of specifics to bringing this to life, but it should really be as obvious as it seems. Showing our team members we value them and believe in them sets the scene for these tangible, unforgettable experiences we all strive to create for our members.