Hello All,

I supervise several indoor pools and am looking for ways to motivate our lifeguards so they don't get complacent and lazy.  We have small incentive gifts and Guard of the Week shirts we hand out, but at this point pretty much all of my guards have gotten all of the stuff already, so I am running out of ideas.  Is there anything you do at your facilities that really keeps the guards motivated to do a great job?  I am looking for great ideas that won't break the bank.  Thank you in advance for any ideas you may offer.

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I am part of a group called the Pinellas Aquatics Council that is hosting a seminar call Creating Revenue in Aquatics. We felt that with the current economic status that lifeguard and staff moral will effect your bottom line. One of our speakers is presenting on this exact subject. All are welcome to attend, there is no registration fee as our sponsor is covering the costs.
Find out more online at http://pinellasaquatics.org/training/pac-seminars/creating-revenue-....
Rob:

Your website is pretty neat and I think it's great. Was reading about your upcoming seminar and I think it would be even awesome if in the near future you guys could consider offering that seminar as a webminar too, either simultaneously or after the event, in some form of a presentation for those out of state who would like to also benefit from it.
Thanks. We are considering this because many people have told us that they would like to get the information. We are making plans to have some presentations available as speakers will permit and we are trying to get a recording too, but with limited funds and resources, the wheels of progress move slowly.
Rob,

That's good. Funds and resources...I know how that goes :-) we can all relate :-). But even if power points, maybe pdf's are available I think would be great. Like incorporating using slideshare for example. Anyway, good stuff Rob, thanks for the note.

What is the status of a webinar presentation? :)

 

One thing that you can do is call the local movie theater and see about discounted movie tickets. Also for your guards you can use a bead program that is always fun. Also spice up training.

What do you mean by bead program?

You can always run lifeguard games, have a lifeguard of the month recognition with whatever criteria you choose to measure and post their picture on a "hall of fame" area, maybe have a recognition for perfect attendance or showing up on time. May ideas out there. In-service training is always good, but sometimes they turn more into a routine. Consider including "team building" activities withing your in-service training, or just have additional separate team building activities for your staff. This is very important to have.

On another note, I have also invited many agencies/groups (you name it!) like fire department, police department, bomb squad unit, gang unit from police, EMS with their ambulances and helicopters (so much you can do there), fire dept. scuba diving rescue units, military, 911 services, and I tell you,- much more, to interact with our staff at many different capacities/levels whether is for in-service training or not. Keeps them motivated, they learn new things, incorporate those things they learn with that they are doing, give them a sense of community, and keeps my collaborations fresh and even stronger among various local/state agencies.
Also wanted to follow up on Zachary's great idea about the movie theater discounts. We have done that in the past, and could be fun for your staff. Another way to look at it is reciprocating benefits among agencies. You could figure out the equivalence (in $$ amount) of offering several free passes to your facility for members of the movie staff, in exchange for the same for movie tickets, so that you are close to a $$ amount of exchange.

At one point I wanted to expand the opportunities and went a bit further in having partnerships, alliances, or collaborations with other local business in your area, could be clothing, food, entertainment, etc. So, exclusive for my staff created some kind of a discount card (they got when hired) that included several of these local business discounts (valid for whatever deal you negotiate or it's being offered) so they could use. Even that the economy is not so good, you will be surprised that even your local business still wants people to show up at their doors so they will or might work with you if you explore it. Of coarse it's not to justify one reason a person would want to work for you,
but I found it's another good tool for motivating your staff. Again, this could be in exchange dollar for dollar, or maybe even better if you find a deal from a business even willing to offer discounts on their part or maybe other form of donations.

Remember always consult the "conflict of interest" guidelines or any other legal policies from your own organization about those kind of things before you proceed to see what is permissible or not.
Sounds like we all do some Guard of the Week and recognition type things which I think are really great. I did buy the guard of the week rescue tube in an alternate color so when they work all the patrons see that guard has been recognized and a lot of the patrons get involved and compliment my staff because recognition is visible. I have been putting up a quote of the week, a motivational quote, something funny or a character development type blurb along with the guard of the week post in the office. They have been generating some really nice disucussions amongst the staff and I think are aiding in the development of my guards as young men and women in addition to developing them as guards. I think its important that staff of any facility feel invested in the goals of the facility. If you don't already have a mission statement work on one as a group at a staff meeting. Set goals for the entire staff and encourage your guards to set professional goals for themselves as well. If you have positive patron feedback about any of your staff make sure they hear about it. Be sincere about any praise you give as a supervisor. Cultivating and maintaining positivity in the workplace will keep good staff and attract more good staff.
Good info there Jeanne-Marie.

I absolutely love the different-colored rescue tube idea. I bright, visual reminder is an excellent way to encourage the other lifeguards and let patrons know you're actively monitoring the staff.

 

I plan on sharing this idea with our Y partners. Thanks!

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