Motivating staff to overcome change

How to motivate staff to overcome change

Let me guess, you’re dealing with unexpected change. From forced closures to planning to reopen and everything in between, youth activity center owners like you have seen their fair share of changes and challenges. 

Hopefully, many of you are on the road to reopening your dance studio, swim school, or gymnastics gym. And hopefully, you have a full team ready to return to your facility. 

But what happens when your faculty and staff have a hard time dealing with change? Here are some tips owners and managers can use to help motivate staff to overcome the changes that have come during this challenging time.  

4 ways to motivate staff to overcome change

Set clear expectations and goals

Before classes resume at your facility, it’s important to communicate your goals of reopening to instructors and staff, and the role they’ll play in helping you achieve those goals. 

By setting clear expectations, you reduce confusion and increase the chance your employees will achieve the goals you’ve set for them. I’m not talking about micromanaging, here. Simply express what you expect of your teachers and staff so that they know they are taking the right steps toward achieving their goals. 

Perhaps some staff responsibilities got shuffled around and Laney who works the front desk at your swim school is unable to return to work once your facility reopens. You don’t plan to hire a replacement to fill her position so you’ve asked other staff members to help cover her responsibilities of interacting with families daily and helping new families register for classes.

You may not think it’s necessary to inform your team that other team members are currently learning to use your online registration software in Laney’s place, but it will be well worth it for them to know when students start asking who they should turn to help answer their questions. 

Be a soundboard

Can we all agree that everyone feels just a little bit off these days? 


There are tons of new stressors that your staff could potentially be dealing with. Whether they are concerned over the health of a loved one, or their family is facing financial hardship, chances are their mind might not be fully back at work even though they are physically back at work. 

So what can you do to help? That’s easy. Listen. 

Before your team returns to your facility, make it known that you are available to speak with them at any point if they have concerns over your program’s new normal. But remember, let them do the talking.   

At Jackrabbit, we’re all about being courageously outspoken. That’s because we believe difficult conversations lead to growth. So be that leader who is there to listen to your team. You can not expect to have meaningful and candid conversations with your team if they don’t think you are going to be there to listen. 

Celebrate success

Is productivity a top priority at your facility? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it is. 

While it’s easy to move from one project to another without taking time to celebrate small victories, continuously breezing over accomplishments can lead to employee burnout and dissatisfaction- something you sure as heck don’t want to deal with shortly after reopening your doors. 

Here are examples of tiny wins and how you can celebrate them: 

  • Win: Your first in-person class reaches capacity. Celebration: Post a picture on your social media account thanking your loyal customers and teachers.
  • Win: Your team learns how to use a new feature of your class management software. Celebration: Did someone say coffee? Bring in a sweet treat the next time you get together for a staff meeting as a surprise.

Use the right technology

You may not believe it now but technology can make it easier for your dance studio, gym, or swim school to deal with change. You just have to have the right technology in place. 

Choosing to partner with a class management platform you trust to provide quality features and enhancements has never been more important. While you’re looking for the technology that’s right for you, be sure to take a few things into consideration: 

  • Does the software provider release product enhancements regularly and on time? 
  • Is the software built to scale as your business grows? 
  • Is the software easy to use? 
  • What opportunities does the software provide related to product training and professional development
  • How long does it take to implement the software and do you have a dedicated Product Coach available to walk you through the entire process? 

Having the right technology will help you run and grow your business. And when your dance studio, gymnastics gym, swim school, or youth activity center is running smoothly and efficiently, your instructors and staff will, too!

Bottom line: Seeing change and actually dealing with change are two completely different things. It’s human nature to resist change, even when it’s designed to be beneficial. So don’t beat yourself up if you’re facing a workforce that may not be as excited to jump into a new normal routine. You will get to the finish line and the reward will be well worth it!

If you’re new to the world of cloud-based class management software, make sure to check out Jackrabbit’s two-day virtual conference beginning July 13, 2020 to explore all that’s new in the world of class management, online enrollment, ePayments and so much more!

Register for Ignite

Share This Post!

Share This Post!

Schedule a Call or Demo

See Jackrabbit PayTM in Action

Fast and easy online scheduling

Choose one of the options below to be directed
to our online scheduler to select a day and time.

Just need some questions answered?
Contact us at any time.