How to Manage Your Studio Staff During COVID-19
Right now, the world is changing. People are confused, overwhelmed, and scared. These are the situations that test us, as individuals and as business owners. It’s a challenging time for you, but it’s a challenging time for your staff.
Keep the lines of communication open! You should still be planning weekly meetings with your teachers and staff. Reach out to them. Let them know you have their back.
Truth → For your staff, feeling supported is the most important thing right now.
This is a stressful time for yoga teachers and other studio staff. They don’t know what their paycheck will look like as your studio is changing. They may be tempted to jump ship.
Be the leader your staff members need.
The specific ways in which you can support your staff may depend on your local area. It will also depend on if they are contractors or employees. Check the laws and see what the options are. Then have an open conversation with them about it.
Yoga studio staff may benefit from unemployment programs. They may be able to work limited hours for the studio while on unemployment. Those details will vary by state and country. Take the time to find out all your options… and theirs.
Truth → Your staff are probably hearing a lot of confusing, contradictory information.
They might be scared. They’re definitely uncertain. Show you want to support them by doing the research on your local laws. Come prepared to confidently lead them through this crisis.
Cut your expenses.
Moving forward, cash flow is going to be tight for your yoga studio. Payroll is one of your biggest costs and, unfortunately, you need to make changes. There are a few things you can do to ease that burden.
The first is simple: your payroll is going to shrink organically as you switch to online classes.
Instead of running a half-dozen classes every day, you’ll probably be running two or three. With online classes, there’s no need for three hot yoga classes in a day – one live class, with a recording available later, is enough.
You might also need to change your pay structure. Paying a flat rate per class? Consider changing your class pay structure now that you’re online only. Your teachers are investing less time in each class and may be working from home.
Be honest, but control the narrative.
Talking about changing your studio staff’s pay structure will be hard. No one wants to talk about a pay cut, especially during a period of financial instability. It will be a challenge, but your approach can make it a lot easier.
Don’t come in and say “We’re cutting your pay per class in half.” NO ONE would respond well to that. Instead, start the conversation by focusing on how important your staff is to the studio, the members, and you personally.
Explain that your teachers’ pay will be different. Break down their per class pay into something hourly. When your teachers had an in-person class they were also expected to be in the studio to set up, clean up and talk to the students.
That time was included in their per class payment – it wasn’t just the 90 minutes they taught the class. Now they have limited set up, and the classes are probably shorter. It makes sense that their per-class pay is less when you look at it hourly.
Remind your staff why they love yoga.
No one decides to teach yoga classes for the money. Everyone who works at your studio is there because they believe in the life-changing power of yoga. Challenges like this one have the power to pull people together and unite them around a common cause – like yoga.
Truth → Your staff might surprise you with their willingness to do what it takes to keep the studio going.
Ensuring your staff feel cared for and supported is crucial right now. They’ll remember what you did for them during this time. Be the leader they need. Struggling to adjust your studio to social distancing rules? Confused about what to do next to keep your studio running? Get The Ultimate Studio Survival Guide during Social Distancing so you can respond with confidence and keep money coming into your studio during this time. Take action now to get our special PAY WHAT YOU CAN pricing. Click here to get started!