The annual process of recruiting new and returning lifeguards is in full swing as peak swimming season returns, according to Athletic Business. Pool management is tasked with having enough lifeguards ready by the time swimmers arrive, which can be difficult if there are no returning staff members.
Though the priority lies in having enough trained and certified lifeguards, there should be a focus on the best ways to retain them as well. Pool managers can do this by speaking to lifeguards throughout the peak season. Finding out what would bring them back will show your commitment to their level of job satisfaction and that you value their presence on the team.
Establish good communication
Chances are, pool managers are incredibly busy as the facility prepares for the summer months. Once the season picks up, you may have little time to speak with lifeguards directly. However, finding the time to do so will ensure that you always recognize and address their concerns. This creates a stronger manager/employee relationship, which can pay off. A weekly huddle will give you insight into your lifeguards’ daily experiences and the overall atmosphere of the pool during operating hours.
Perhaps most importantly, establishing this relationship may increase the chances of your lifeguards returning next year. If you’re unaware of the benefits of this, here are three that may lead you to focus on lifeguard retention.
1. Save recruiting work: The hiring process is tedious. This is especially true for new lifeguards who aren’t trained. You’ll have to make sure that they’re trained and certified on time and receive the proper lessons. Additionally, if they weren’t trained on your site, they have to undergo facility-specific training at your pool. Because no two pools are the same, going over the details of your facility is important.
2. Build strong relationships: The more you work with your lifeguards, the stronger your bond with them will be and the more likely they’ll return every year. This extends beyond manager/employee relationships. It also impacts guest satisfaction. Swimmers likely appreciate seeing familiar faces every year and this can create consumer loyalty. Reward guards for exemplary performance and share their accomplishments with other members of your team.
3. Furthering an aquatics career: Returning lifeguards exhibit an interest in the aquatics industry. You can help them develop a career, which will create a bond with your pool that will pay off when they move into a higher role within the industry.