This post was originally published by Chelsea Franklin on lessonly.com.
Most mornings you can find me either teaching workout classes at Pure Barre or taking the class myself. Morning rituals have always been a big thing for me, and I feel the most prepared for my work day when I’ve started early with exercise—and usually a cold brew. 🙂
Taking 45-50 minutes to myself each day helps me be the best version of myself physically and mentally. And that’s why I became a fitness instructor: to help others find that as well. When the world was hit with the pandemic, workout studios had to pivot quickly to remain in business.
I went from teaching people in a studio to staring at a camera and teaching virtually. Luckily, because of effective workplace training, our studio was able to act quickly to help the instructors learn ways to evolve their teaching so that we could engage our clients from home in a way that still made them feel a part of the community.
Even though there are very different types of training needed at different companies, there are also many commonalities that showcase how practicing consistently and continuously evolving employee training are what separate the good companies from great ones.
Regardless if you are trying to take your business virtual from in-person or just looking to improve your current training methods for employees, here are two topics that showcase why continuous learning and training is critical for every team regardless of industry.
Let’s start with practice
When a new employee starts, what does their first 30 days look like? Where do they go to find the new information needed to prepare themselves for their role? And before you put them in front of your clients, how and where do they practice their craft?
To become an instructor for Pure Barre, I first spent three full days with a master trainer to learn how to properly teach the technique to all fitness levels. This was followed by a month at my home studio taking everything I learned and then filming a test video to submit to the master trainer to approve me to move forward with teaching classes.
Before each new class, I spent time practicing my counts in each series of exercises to the beat of the music. I practiced transitions from arm series to thigh series to keep the format smooth. I practiced setups for each new section of class to make sure clients were in the correct form, and the list goes on and on.
My point here is I could not remember 50 minutes worth of choreography unless I spent time each day practicing. Repetition is key in getting motions and patterns ingrained in my memory bank.
Nowadays, I can review for 30 minutes or so the day before a class, but at first, I was spending 1-2 hours everyday when I first came home from training on everything from corporate training topics, to proper alignment and form in each exercise, and everything in between. We spend so much more time than clients would ever know reviewing, fine tuning, and evolving our teaching method to provide the best experience possible.
Great training makes room for creativity
During quarantine, we rolled out fun themed classes, like Tiger King Day where clients posted photos on our studio page after class of a sweaty selfie in their favorite animal print workout gear to enter for a prize. We also taught a couple classes with a whole Justin Timberlake playlist (who doesn’t love JT?) to get people excited to take class even when we had to be virtual.
For any employee, practice makes perfect. And when you’re leading a team, their success is your success, so find ways to streamline practice and make it engaging. It’s not impossible to create fun training topics for employees, you just have to get creative.
Consistency is key
Next let’s dive into why consistency is key for employee training as a continuous process. Whether a small or large team, consistency in communication around what is needed for an employee to be successful is so important for teams to feel enabled and empowered.
As an instructor, I have a physical handbook from training and an app where I can find everything from class choreography, to types of safety training for clients that may have had previous injuries, to motivational training topics for employees to use to better encourage clients in class to push themselves.
How you access information in today’s world is more important than ever. Companies need to have fast, easy-to-access resources for all employees to find in their times of need, whether that be during training initially when they are just learning the ropes, or day-to-day with a customer when they have to find the answer to a question fast. So, your learning and training platform needs to be able to keep up with the speed of your business.
Creating a consistent flow of learning makes for a better process and thus, better results. A great example of this is our weekly instructor call where we can log into our studio portal and listen to a master trainer for 30-minutes about ways to continuously better ourselves as instructors. We go from anatomical topics to simply creating community and everything in between. We also have quarterly reviews of our class by our studio owners to see if there is anything we could improve upon or elevate, which is so helpful to grow as an instructor.
These weekly and quarterly reviews allow me to think about my process for teaching, hear from my peers all over the country doing the same thing, and hopefully leave with new ideas to become better for my own training & development.
It’ll take time
To wrap up this conversation around methods of training and development for employees, whether they’re in a fitness studio or elsewhere, think about when you first started working out or first embarked on a mission to live a healthier lifestyle.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a healthy body. You must consistently eat your vegetables, drink plenty of water, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you repeat these habits over and over, you will become better physically, but also mentally.
I could not go to a 72-hour training weekend and come home and immediately start teaching to clients. I had to come home, absorb what I had learned, consistently repeat the choreography and anatomical cues until they became second nature, and practice the class all out numerous times before teaching to real people. The same goes for a new team member before you put them in front of customers in your own business!
Even your seasoned team members can get rusty and need to reevaluate their process to make sure they are succeeding in their role. Continuous learning is essential in our new digital age of business as things are changing rapidly in all industries.
So, if you’re a training leader, consider this question for your team: Is the training for your new hires consistent? Do you have monthly or quarterly training sessions for all teams to address knowledge gaps? Where can team members go to practice their skills? Is it easily accessible? How is new communication about the company rolled out?
I hope this food for thought inspires you to think about workplace training and continuous learning in a new way. My teammates and I Lessonly by Seismic are always happy to chat more about workplace training and ways to level it up at your organization.