3 tips for working with new lifeguards

3 tips for working with new lifeguards

Retaining pool staff members is a challenge for pool management. After all, most lifeguard jobs are seasonal, resulting in high turnover. Retaining talented young lifeguards relies heavily on management. Building rapport with new employees can be difficult because managers already have so much on their plates. However, doing so can mean the difference between whether or not a valuable staff member returns next season.

Avoid extra work
The process of finding and hiring new lifeguards is a tedious one. You can streamline the process by screening individuals who aren’t already trained and certified lifeguards. However, doing so will thin the applicant pool, in which case it may not be worthwhile.

Once you interview and hire the right people for the job, it’s up to you to build a strong work culture that’s appealing, fun and encourages personal and professional growth. Here are three tips to keep in mind as you start working with these individuals.

1. Provide guidance: The first few days of work can be difficult for new lifeguards, even if they’ve worked at a pool before. Every facility has its unique challenges, whether it’s the layout, amenities or traffic flow. As the manager, you’re likely aware of these details and can share tips that can allow new lifeguards to quickly adapt to the facility. This will boost their confidence and show that you’re invested in their success.

2. Recognize their efforts: All too often, the idea of being pulled aside by a manager is associated with getting in trouble for having done something improperly. This seemingly innocent thought has bigger implications, though. Your presence outside of your office may intimidate new lifeguards, which negatively impacts the work culture. Avoid this problem by making a point of pulling new lifeguards aside and letting them know when they do a good job.

3. Encourage socializing outside of work: Lifeguards who work at one-lifeguard facilities can have difficulty making friends at the pool. Their work requires them to focus solely on the safety of swimmers, which means that when the next lifeguard arrives, there’s little to no time for them to socialize. Therefore, social gatherings outside of work can be a good way to not only welcome new lifeguards, but also allow them to network and make new friends.