A team is only as good as its weakest link!
Swim School owners and operators should put a huge emphasis on their in-house staff training. Remember the saying ‘a team is only as good as it’s weakest link’. Regular staff training will produce good quality, well-educated staff, and professional staff members. These staff will keep clients happy and wanting to return to the centre each week. Returning clientele will also give the centre excellent reports to their friends and great word of mouth feedback. This will help keep classes full, bring in revenue and maintain class numbers for instructors resulting in a happy and well-run swim centre. Here, we take a closer look at the importance of staff training.
Why offer in-house training
Well-educated staff will sell your program for you! If they know the reasons WHY instructors teach your curriculum and can answer any questions a new parent may have, that parent will be more likely to commence swimming at your centre and also refer their friends. Therefore, the importance of staff training is high. It’s important for swim school owners and managers to take the time to educate all staff when they first begin working at the centre so that they are well versed in your swim schools curriculum and policies.
Induction and refresher training
It’s not only your beginner staff that will need training sessions. Your staff should participate in constant training sessions within your program. Trainers can get ideas on what to present from watching regular lessons and seeing how instructors are progressing. Every swim school will be different in what specific training sessions are needed but below are some examples that may work well for many swim schools out there.
Session topic ideas
- Curriculum presentation and revision
- Booking and payment policies
- Health and Safety procedures for staff and clients
- Team teaching with a shadow teacher/junior staff member
- Behaviour management techniques
- Lesson planning for various age groups and ability levels
- Teaching a frightened beginner class
- Maximum practice time and keeping classes moving
- The benefits of land drill in a swimming program
- Effective water safety skills and drills
- Q&A with staff – any questions discussed and answered
- The importance of manipulation within a swimming lesson
- Using certificates or rewards systems efficiently.
Training sessions may be in a face to face or online setting. These sessions may be presented with PowerPoint slides, a presenter led group discussion, videos or work in small groups. Some sessions may be practical in the water sessions or a role-play scenario. Types of training provided will be determined by management depending on the specific needs of the group. More experienced instructors may relish an opportunity to share knowledge with the group, others may prefer to sit back and listen. Try to incorporate many different styles of training sessions as people learn differently.
Swim School Hub
At WWSS we have designed the Swim School Hub to assist with your ongoing training and upskill of your staff. Being online means you can undertake training with your staff remotely. Learn more about it how it can benefit you here.
Emergency Risk Ready
Are you staff emergency risk ready? Do they know how to respond to an emergency? We have developed with ERR a package for your staff induction and refresher training for all swim school staff. The package is online allowing staff to complete the training remotely. Learn more about the benefits here.
With time and practice your team will relish the opportunity to participate in staff training events. Don’t be afraid to ask staff for suggestions of what to present to the group – after all, the staff are the ones who need the information: why not go straight to the source! Good luck in your training endeavors – may they bring great success to your business and smart confident employees within your swim centre.
By Laurie Lawrence.