You thought you are doing everything right. You feel you've been a model employee for over 8 years. You're always punctual and prepared to teach a great class. The members seem to enjoy you and you've had consistently good attendance numbers. Other Instructors appreciate your willingness to sub for them and you (maybe mistakenly) thought your GF Dept Head liked having you on her team and would have your back in a situation like this.
But then you get an email saying simply; Dear [wlm_firstname], we're sorry to inform you that based on the fact you only have one scheduled class, your employment with us will end 14 days from the date of this email...
This didn't happen to me - but it did happen to a committed Instructor who posted at pedal-on.com about being fired from LA Fitness for only having one scheduled class a week - their minimum number of classes is two per week* to maintain employment.
You're just a number
You maybe on a first name basis with many of the managers and other employees at your Big Box club, but you're still just a number to some faceless person at corporate HR. If you teach for a Big Box you probably clock in using your employee number. Mine is 538**. I'll posit that there was an annual review of all the Instructors at LA Fitness and those not meeting the minimum hours of classes were flagged for termination. HR then contacted each GFDH of the flagged Instructors, requesting that they either find another class for the Instructor - or thank them for their service as they're shown the door 🙁
Who's at fault here?
Or maybe the question is; "why did this happen?" I'm inclined to hold the GFDH responsible here. She should have known the rules about the minimum classes and appears to have ignored them - which obviously worked for a number of years. I was in a similar situation at LTF. During the summer months I was down to only one class, having cancelled my Sunday endurance classes from May to November. Our GFDH had my back until she too was informed of an audit from HR - except she was able to show that I was also subbing one or more classes a week - so I wasn't fired. I did need to pick up a second class and thankfully another Instructor retired, opening a spot for me.
What's a good strategy to prevent this?[wlm_private 'PRO-Platinum|PRO-Monthly|PRO-Gratis|PRO-Seasonal|Platinum-trial|Monthly-trial|PRO-Military|30-Days-of-PRO|90 Day PRO|Stages-Instructor|Schwinn-Instructor|Instructor-Bonus|28 Day Challenge']
First I'd be sure I knew the rules and get cracking on adding another class or two if possible. The Instructor who wrote the post says she didn't know that there was a two class minimum - a quick question to your GFDH should tell you everything you need to know.
Second I would honestly assess; how secure is my position here at XYZ Fitness? Don't BS yourself into thinking you're so special that they would never consider replacing you. Businesses close, management changes and the people who will decide your future with the company maybe a thousand miles away, throwing darts at a list of numbers 🙁
Thirdly I would diversify - starting today. That old saying that you need a job, to get a new job, is totally true.
Contrast a position of confidence -
Hi there! I teach at XYZ Fitness and I'd love to learn more about you and your studio.
With one of desperation -
Are you hiring Instructors? I just lost my job at XYZ Fitness... Oh no, it's wasn't anything I did...
When was the last time you visited the other studios near you? Taken a class? Have you met the owner or manager? Asked if they need subs? Or requested an audition? I personally know that I could slot in at two different studios, if LTF ever sent me one of those; "Dear John" emails.
Do you have an alternate place where you could teach?
*Holding a minimum of two weekly scheduled classes seems to be common amongst many of the Big Box clubs including Life Time Fitness. This makes sense from an employer's perspective... there is an administrative cost to each person on the payroll; taxes, insurance, w-2's and other mailed notifications = a company needs to set some minimum threshold for classes and/or hours worked. No, I don't feel a club realizes any measurable cost for your free membership. [/wlm_private]
Originally posted 2014-05-01 10:12:15.
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