Whether your facility is returning to in-person classes or reopening with a hybrid class model- you’re going to need parents and students to comply with the new rules and regulations of your swim school, gymnastics gym or dance studio to ensure the health of your students and staff. You’ll also need full cooperation to help keep your facility doors open.
Chances are a majority of your customers will not have any issues obeying the rules, but it’s inevitable that some will struggle to fall in line. So what’s the easiest way to get everyone on the same page of the rulebook?
The short answer is: Communication.
The long answer is: If you help parents understand new policies, while making them feel like their concerns have been heard, you will see greater adoption of safety protocols at your facility. The following tips will help you thoughtfully communicate policy updates to parents.
How to address parent concerns when updating policies and setting new safety protocols
Similar to change, people resist the unknown. So the first step to getting parents to comply with the new rules and safety regulations of your program is to properly and respectfully address their concerns.
Don’t take it personally. If a parent is worried about your programs updated policies, chances are they simply don’t understand them. Try using this as an opportunity to enhance your communication strategy to deepen your relationship with the concerned families.
While communicating with parents during the time of coronavirus is easier said than done, there are several easy outreach strategies you and your staff can implement to alleviate concerns and increase adoption of new policies and procedures.
3 ways to help parents understand new policies and procedures
Provide a virtual tour
Just because your facility isn’t open to the masses doesn’t mean you can’t virtually open your doors to parents and students. Before in-person classes resume at your facility, consider offering a virtual tour that highlights the changes that have occurred at your swim school, gymnastics gym or dance studio.
A clear visual representation of what’s expected from parents and children upon entering your facility will help answer questions such as:
- Does your swim school have doors dedicated for entrances and exits only?
- Do gymnasts need to have their temperature taken at a certain spot upon entering your facility?
- Do grids mark off how closely dancers can stand to one another at the ballet barre?
Recording a walk-through video of your facility may be more work than you’re used to. But in this case, a video detailing the step-by-step processes customers are expected to take while at your facility will go a long way to increase customer happiness and regulation compliance.
Ask for feedback
Remember when I said the first step to getting parents to comply with the new rules and safety regulations of your program is to respectfully address their concerns? This is where that comes in.
How are you supposed to know which concerns to address until you ask?
Creating a short, open-ended question survey will go a long way in helping you understand where you might run into any compliance issues before they become a real problem.
Normally, I’d say something about a survey response rate here. But in this case, any feedback will be helpful. You know if one parent says it, a whole lot more are thinking it!
Offer more than one option if available
Some parents are ready for their kids to resume in-person activities but hesitate for their child to be out in public. These families wouldn’t disobey new rules and safety regulations, they just wouldn’t sign them in the first place.
For those families who just aren’t ready, alternative class offerings, such as virtual or outdoor classes will go a long way to help them feel more welcome at your facility.
Then, when the time is right for that student to reenter the pool, gym or studio, they will be much more likely to follow every new policy your program has in place.
How to streamline communication using Jackrabbit’s Parent Portal
Staying connected to families at your youth activity center has never been more important. And thanks to the right class management software, staying connected has never been easier.
The Jackrabbit Parent Portal is an all-in-one resource for swim school, gymnastics gym and dance studio owners and staff to communicate with students unlike any other class management software. From sharing news and announcements upon log-in to allowing families to communicate and schedule upcoming absences directly with you- there’s something in the Parent Portal for every one!
Ready to learn more about the features of the Jackrabbit Parent Portal? Start your 30-day free trial and start building your database with our easy-to-use Quick Start Wizard!