As I mentioned in my post on hiring sports facility instructors, your staff has the potential to make or break your business.
In the sports instruction industry in particular, competition for clients can be fierce, and most sports facility owners can recall a time when a instructor left abruptly and took their dedicated clients with them. Employee turnover means a lot of time spent looking for replacement candidates and re-training them, as well as plenty of scheduling and administrative headaches along the way. It’s something that all businesses should make an effort to reduce. However, no matter how well you treat your employees, you will have to deal with some turnover and make your best effort to minimize its impact on your operation.
To avoid last-minute hiring scrambles to replace departing instructors, you should make a yearlong effort to recruit quality, dependable instructors to your sports facility.
One way to do this is through an internship program. College students who are interested in careers in the sports industry need hands-on experience, and teaching them in the ins and outs of sports facility management is a great way to make connections and meet potential hires in a trial environment.
Identify the tasks at your facility that you think interns could take over and manage successfully, and compose relevant job descriptions for those the tasks. Interns need close supervision, so make sure that you or someone on staff has the time to help them regularly. Interns perform best when assigned regular tasks that can be evaluated easily, but it helps to give them the independence to develop a few of their own projects that they can add to their resume.
At DNA Sports Center, the Sports Management type majors are trained on how to use our scheduling software and run the front desk, and they get insight into the big picture of how the facility makes money down to the small details of managing it (including making sure it stays clean and organized). Our Physical Education type majors spend a lot of time shadowing instructions in speed and agility classes before actually running a few classes with the help of a regular instructor, who then gives them feedback on their performances.
Then, identify the local colleges and universities that offer majors in Sports Management, Sports Fitness Administration, Physical Education, or any other area of study that is applicable to your business. Reach out to those in charge of the internship programs at those colleges and find out the details of what is required for their internship programs. If you don’t have any college programs in your area, you can still post the internship descriptions to your web site and spread the word the same way you would for another job opening; college students living at home for the summer might see the listing and take advantage of the opportunity.
As always, I’m available for consultation if you’d like to discuss this topic in more detail. Give me a call at (513) 791-4940.