By Cyndi Juarez, USAG Benelux Public AffairsMarch 27, 2019
BRUSSELS -- U.S. Army Installation Management Command made a long-term commitment to providing the best possible customer service to service members, families and community members. Examples of the commitment include employees being knowledgeable in their field, treating every customer with respect and to making customers feel special.
Tara Graves, a group fitness instructor in Brussels, personified IMCOM's commitment to service culture. Graves teaches group fitness classes five times a week at Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation's fitness center in Brussels.
"Graves is a local fitness powerhouse who is making a serious impact in the community" according to Dan Frazier, supervisory sports specialist at the Brussels Fitness Center.
DEVELOPING FITNESS PROGRAMS
In January 2019, she brought the first Les Mills BodyPump classes to the community. BodyPump is a weight-based group-fitness program.
Graves led fitness classes since 2007. Prior to moving to Brussels with her active-duty Army husband, Graves was the fitness coordinator for Family and MWR's Davidson Fitness Center at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. It was in this role that she first discovered Les Mills BodyPump classes and worked with Family and MWR staff to make the classes available for all fitness center customers.
Graves grew the program there from initially only a handful of participants to 30 to 40 people per class. Graves maintains that BodyPump classes are a great way to have fun and get in shape. She knows firsthand how effective BodyPump can be as the class helped her lose over 100 pounds and meet her personal fitness goals.
BRINGING A POSITIVE ENERGY
For Graves, safety comes first in her classes. She emphasizes that participants "make the class." She is careful when offering modifications to participants and encourages each person to work to at their own level.
Graves explains that she is able to see people find that change in themselves, in their confidence as they progress in her classes. Her goal is to bring positive energy to every class and share it with every participant. She learned that when people share positivity in a group workout class they feel good, they go home and are able to share that feeling with their family.
MAKING CUSTOMERS FEEL SPECIAL
According to Graves, her service is about giving back to the community and creating something bigger than self. She wants to bring joy to the community and strives to make everyone feel welcome in her classes. One participant, Emily Cornell describes Graves as an inspiring individual to the community. She credits Graves with greatly and positively impacting her resiliency. Cornell further states that Graves' "enthusiasm for teaching as well as her ability to model a positive mindset are absolutely infectious. It's great fun to be in one of her classes, and I find myself smiling almost all the way through class."
CREATING A CULTURE OF SERVICE EXCELLENCE
Cornell was inspired to write a letter to the fitness center to inform leadership of the way Graves' commitment positively impacts the community. Cornell recognized the positive contributions when she experienced them and hoped that others will also demonstrate gratitude for Graves' outstanding service and commitment.
Customers are encouraged to submit an Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) comment for candid feedback. Every survey is reviewed by the garrison commander and provides important feedback, essential for creating a culture of customer service excellence. For more information about group fitness classes in the Benelux, visit the Family and MWR website.