Praise is More Valuable Than Pay

Patti-KomaraIn a Gallup Organization poll of 2,000 workers, 69% said praise and recognition from their bosses is more motivating than money. Four out of five workers said recognition or praise motivates them to do a better job. Despite this, most workers feel they are not properly recognized or praised. Studies by the U.S. Army show soldiers improve their performance 90% of the time when praised and 30% of the time when criticized. When your staff members aren’t living up to your expectations, have they been praised enough for the things they ARE doing right to make them feel valued and needed? When you give a specific compliment at the perfect time (right after the deed), it makes a huge impact. Look people in the eye and really thank them. Explain why you’re so happy with the results. Tell their parents or spouse how happy you are with them. This alone makes a huge impact. Praise people behind their back. As a leader, know that you can’t say anything about them behind their back that you wouldn’t say while they’re standing next to you. Make them feel valued by asking for their opinions. Especially the younger staff members really feel important when their boss comes to them for advice.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com.

Compassionate Leadership

Patti-Komara        It’s easy to be nice at work, but do you carry that home to the spouse and the kids? It’s the old proverbial fact that we are the least patient, most easily irritated, possibly down-right mean to those closest to us. Why do we do that? I just know after all these years what makes me happy. I love looking forward to getting a lot accomplished and then looking forward to relaxing at night. My ability to integrate those two in my life is a challenge but I do my best to overcome that challenge on a daily basis.  

     To be a good leader is to inspire by example. How you handle stress, accidents at the gym, employee irritations, parent problems, and disappointing meet results will shout more about your personality and leadership ability than anything else. You can’t motivate anyone to do anything. People motivate themselves. What you can do is inspire them with your great attitude. Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude not your aptitude will ultimately determine your altitude in life.”Start right now and be different. Be the leader you want to be. You have the power to choose. It’s the greatest power we have. We can choose to be thin, fat, grouchy, nice, generous, greedy, average, or outstanding. Today is a new page in your book of life and it can be anything you want it to be. Go get ’em! 

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com.

 

Learn from Mistakes

Patti-KomaraBelow, is an excerpt from the letter United CEO emailed all of his customers. I think as gym owners and managers we can learn a lot from how he apologized for the incident when his customer was dragged from a plane. While reading this, think how daily we can do better at our front desk and any time a challenge occurs with a parent. I can tell you one thing, it’s a sure bet that you fair better if you take care of the customer from the start than to have to apologize over and over again for a bad situation. Our families are our bosses. There is no way around that. They hired us to teach their children gymnastics and they can fire us at a moment’s notice. Every encounter we have with them is a chance to “wow” them with our understanding, our caring nature, and our sincere pledge to bring them the safest, friendliest, and best lessons around. Let’s create happiness!
 

“It happened because our corporate policies were placed ahead of our shared values. Our procedures got in the way of our employees doing what they know is right.

We will also be rolling out a new app for our employees that will enable them to provide on-the-spot goodwill gestures in the form of miles, travel credit and other amenities when your experience with us misses the mark.

Our goal should be nothing less than to make you truly proud to say, “I fly United.”

Ultimately, the measure of our success is your satisfaction and the past several weeks have moved us to go further than ever before in elevating your experience with us. I know our 87,000 employees have taken this message to heart, and they are as energized as ever to fulfill our promise to serve you better with each flight and earn the trust you’ve given us.

We are working harder than ever for the privilege to serve you and I know we will be stronger, better and the customer-focused airline you expect and deserve.”

With Great Gratitude,

Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz
CEO
United Airlines

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com.

5 Ideas for Loving Your Staff

Patti-Komara1. Getting them to realize they are role-models-You can achieve this by highlighting their strengths and making them aware of good things kids and parents say about them. Always share any good testimonials and Facebook comments–showcase the staff member they wrote the testimonial or review about.

2. Give praise and small rewards-Run contests, give random shout-outs, surprise them with gas cards, flowers, candy, and cookies for no reason except that you love them and appreciate them.

3. Make your ideas their ideas- People hate being told what to do. Always ask in a way that makes the employee feel like they were part of the decision. Example-“Do you think it’s a good idea if we make Intermediate classes 75 minutes instead of 60?”

4. Benefits- The older the employees are the more they realize they need insurance, retirement, etc. Those young bucks think they’re invincible. Give benefits that make sense to that employee.

5. If they still live at home with their parents – Write the parents a thank you card expressing what a great job they did raising their child and how much you treasure them at your gym.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

Code Red – Active Shooter/Threatening Person in Neighborhood or in the Building… What I Give to My Staff

Patti-KomaraEvery gym should have a Code Red for Active Shooters in their staff handbook. We have Fire Drill, Tornado Drill, and Bomb Threat Drills along with these Code Red instructions. These should be played out at least twice a year at staff meetings. You are doing your staff a disservice if you don’t give them the tools to handle any situation that could arise. Below are my guidelines for these serious (and hopefully never used) situations. Obviously, this is specific to my gym, but you could easily adapt it to yours. For more information contact Homeland Security at https://www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness.

It is also the responsibility of each of my employees to ensure implementation of these Code Red procedures below.

What is An Active Shooter?
An active shooter is a person actively engaged in attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10-15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives. Individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation. Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation:
-Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
-Take note of the two nearest exits in your facility
-If you are in the office, stay there and secure the door
-If you are in a hallway, get in a room and secure the door
-As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him.
-Call 911 when it is safe

If there is a gunman in the neighborhood or outside in the parking lot:
1. Teachers and office personnel will lock all doors and call 911. Tell them (if possible):
• Location of the active shooter and identity
• Number of shooters and direction of travel or location last seen
• Physical description of shooter/s-race, sex, age, clothing, etc.
• Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
• Number of potential victims at the location
2. Wait patiently until a uniformed officer gives the “all clear”
Notes: The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises.
3. Unfamiliar voices may be an active shooter trying to lure you from safety; do not respond to voice commands until you can verify with certainty they are being issued by a police officer.

How to respond when law enforcement arrives:
Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.
• Officers usually arrive in teams of four (4)
• Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment
• Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns
• Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
• Officers may shout commands, and may push individuals to the ground for their safety

How to react when law enforcement arrives:
• Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions
• Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
• Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
• Keep hands visible at all times
• Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding onto them for safety
• Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
• Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

Remember:
• Keep calm. If you’re upset, that will upset your students and parents. The one and only thought is to keep everyone safe.
• Announce lockdown by telling the parents what is happening. Always tell the truth.
• Remove children from areas of doors and windows.
• Remain with your students. Let the parents come into the gym and be with their children.
• If you need to hide the children, go to the mini-trak and the trampoline area, where kids can get under the mats and trampoline, and there are no mirrors nearby. Keep all children away from the mirrors, windows, and doors.

Evacuation of building
1. If the police instructions are to evacuate the building, it’s imperative teachers take their kindles/cell phones with them to ensure all students are present (can be checked online through Jackrabbit). Students must exit and move far enough away from the building to allow sufficient room for all people to evacuate. Use all available doors. Follow these procedures even if it is raining or snowing. Get everyone out quickly.
1. Main Door
2. Outside door by the balance beams
3. Outside door by the shed
4. Outside door by the cubbies
5. Outside dance room door

2. If parents want to leave or come to the door and want to take their children home, do not stop them. You must, however, see ID to allow a child to leave if you do not know them.
3. Depending on circumstances, consideration may also be given to exiting ground floor windows as safely and quietly as possible.

If there is a gunman in the building:
1. Evacuate as described above
2. If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.
3. Your hiding place should:
• Be out of the active shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
• Do not trap yourself or restrict your options for movement

4. If the active shooter is nearby:
• Silence your cell phone and/or pager
• Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
• Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
• Remain quiet

5. If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:
• Remain calm
• Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
• If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

6. As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by taking these actions against the active shooter:
• Act as aggressively as possible against him/her
• Throw items and improvising weapons
• Yell
• Commit to your actions

If an intruder approaches you:
Press the Panic Button in the upper left by the keyboard at the front desk. The button is a silent alarm that alerts our alarm company. They, in turn, call the Dyer Police Department. If an intruder walks you over to the alarm itself and tells you to disengage the alarm, just press 11299 (this number is located in red print on the actual alarm). It will just beep as if the alarm was turned off but actually it is alerting Alert Alarm to dispatch the police. For any other reason to summon the police, fire department, or an ambulance, you can either call 911 directly or press the buttons on the left and right side of the corresponding icon on the actual alarm.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

Great Assignment for Your Staff

Patti-KomaraHere is an email I sent to my staff with an assignment for them. Maybe you could do this too. I heard that managers from T.G.I. Friday’s Restaurants are required once a month to sit in every seat in their restaurant to get every customer’s point-of-view.  Below is my version…

Here is a fun assignment. I want each of you to take an hour within the next two weeks and observe classes. I want you to pick a gym or dance class and take a pad of paper and just write what comes to mind (as if you were a parent of a child out there). I want you to “pick a kid” and pretend that child is your own. Watch and observe what “your” child is experiencing from the minute a parent lets them off until they pick them up. I want ½ hour of the time on the downstairs bleachers and the other half upstairs watching from that angle. What do you see, smell, hear, and experience?  It would be preferable for you not to wear your uniform and somewhat sit there un-noticed. I don’t want you chatting with the parents at this point. Your assignment is to “see what the parents see” and “feel as the parents feel”. If a parent does notice you and they ask you what you’re doing, tell them exactly what you’re doing. You’re on a fact-finding mission to get the experience from a parent’s point of view. Please write down anything you see in the facility that could be improved… the class, the teachers, etc. This isn’t a peer observation as much as it is a time for you to experience what the parents experience and what we each can learn from it. Please put all your sheets in Rhonda’s box with your name, the day, time, and class you watched. Any questions email me back or ask any of the managers. You do get one hour of OCW for this — please put it on your timecard after handing in your notes. Have fun!”

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com

Gymnastics and Tumbling are Great for All Sports

Patti-KomaraParticipation in gymnastics increases strength, agility, balance, flexibility, and coordination.  Hand-eye coordination can be achieved at an early age and can carry over to sports like tennis, basketball, football, and baseball.  Foot-eye coordination which will help in soccer and football .

The four main aspects of fitness are muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility.  These areas can be achieved in many sports, but none so completely as gymnastics. Not only do children increase their chances of making that special athletic team later in life by taking gymnastics as a child, but they also increase their social skills.  One of the reasons kids can have trouble in school is their lack of ability to concentrate and the lack of affective development. Social skills are emphasized in class such as working with a partner, standing in line, waiting their turn, working in a group, listening to their teacher, and understanding when to be quiet.  Gymnastics increases the ability to concentrate by learning to control their body by doing difficult skills and maneuvers.

Lastly, as boys and girls grow older they’re more conscious of their bodies.  Feeling good about themselves makes children feel confident, and therefore, more likely to make a good decisions when it comes to everyday teen pressures. As they continue with gymnastics, they become more confident in themselves and that is something they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.

Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known  Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears,  YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com  Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com