White paper: valuing fitness instructors 'key to success'
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White paper: valuing fitness instructors 'key to success'

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Les Mills
location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
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Members feel passionately about their instructors and will keep coming back to classes because they feel a strong connection
– Wendy Coulson

fitness operators who recognise and reward their best instructors are more likely to retain customers, build brand loyalty and see improvements in their financial results.

That is the finding outlined in The Impact of Instructor Quality In The Physical Activity Sector – a white paper produced by fitness giant Les Mills and supported by not-for profit body ukactive.

The study found that instructors play a major role in clubs, from impacting member retention to instigating positive changes in operations.

"The sector should not undervalue the role of the Instructor," the report reads.

"Members are often more loyal to their favourite instructor than they are to a facility – and often the soft skills of the instructor are more important to members than knowledge of the industry or a high level of qualifications."

Instructors are also at the centre of the gym journey more than ever before thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of group exercise.

"Fitness classes are the future for club," the report states. "More than half (52 per cent) of millennials and 50 per cent of Gen Z members engage in fitness classes, preferring to workout with others to access the social benefits of exercise."

The report is the result of an industry roundtable session, which discussed the value of instructors and how they can be rewarded for the contribution they make to an operator’s bottom line.

The roundtable featured representatives from academia, training providers, boutique and mainstream operators, national governing bodies of sport and publicly-funded bodies, as well as membership bodies, instructors and instructor trainers.

Wendy Coulson, CEO Les Mills UK and Ireland, said: “We know that members feel passionately about their instructors and will keep coming back to classes because they feel a strong connection.

"These sorts of (roundtable) discussions are paramount to ensuring the industry understands the importance of the instructor, values their work, rewards their effort and actively invites their feedback and contributions.”

Colin Huffen, head of education, CIMSPA, added: “It was great to hear that the group confirmed group exercise makes an invaluable contribution to the industry, providing fantastic experiences for everyone in their sessions.

"The roundtable highlighted a number of areas for development to raise the standards of group exercise instructors, these will be considered when reviewing the sector’s professional standard for the role. We will also provide an opportunity for group exercise instructors to show that they don’t just meet the minimum standard but are fantastic at what they do.”

To read the The Impact of Instructor Quality In The Physical Activity Sector white paper, click here.

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Fitness operators who recognise and reward their best instructors are more likely to retain customers, build brand loyalty and see improvements in their financial results.
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