• staff engagement

5 Strategies to Help Make Sure Your Staff Stays With You

Summer is on the horizon and chances are you’re looking for ways to keep staff engaged during a time when they are in a more relaxed state of mind. Whether you’re concerned a few long-term coaches may say farewell or newer, part-time staff will churn– you can add these strategies to your toolbelt to help keep your staff engaged with your program no matter the time of year.

4 ways to keep staff engaged to ensure they stay with your program

Communicate with your staff

This may seem obvious but communication is a crucial part of keeping staff engaged with your program during the summer.

Keep coaches and instructors in the loop with things regarding your facility. Did you change the aesthetic in your lobby? Did you decide to switch class management software? No matter the scale of change, it’s important to notify your staff so they feel brought in from the get-go.

Another way to communicate with staff is to ask for their feedback from the previous season. This could be something more formal, such as an annual review or just a casual conversation. Either way, make sure you actively listen. When you take the time to hear the feedback your staff has to give, and actually act on it- they are more likely to remain engaged with your program throughout the summer and for seasons to come.

Keep these approaches in mind when communicating with staff:

  • Be clear, concise and consistent
  • Be the facilitator and set the tone
  • Use multiple channels
  • Notify them before others
  • Talk the talk and walk the walk
  • Measure its effectiveness

(—>Discover how to communicate with staff at your swim school, dance studio or gymnastics gym in this ultimate guide to Jackrabbit’s Staff Portal)

Show staff you appreciate them

When was the last time someone acknowledged your work? It felt pretty good, right?

Expressing genuine gratitude for your coaches and staff not only makes the employee feel appreciated, it has the ability to boost morale for your entire program. Think about it: when coaches and staff are happy, students are happy. And when students are happy, their parents are happy. And when parents are happy … need I go on?

If that isn’t a perfect scenario as a youth activity center owner, I don’t know what is.

Here are some quick ways to show staff how much you appreciate them:

  • Let employees give and receive ‘props’
  • Give employees real choice and real voice
  • Express your gratitude on social media
  • Give individual and team awards
  • Offer fitness opportunities and extra time off
  • Encourage their feedback

Celebrate with your staff

When it comes to your employees, don’t be shy about celebrating the big and little things. Whether you’re working in a more remote environment or your program is completely open, it’s still never been more important to make sure everyone feels like they are part of the team.

The feeling of being united as a team– the team that works together, grows together and celebrates together is one that’s tough to leave. Make sure celebrating is in your staff engagement toolbelt!

Ideas for celebrating employees:

  • Celebrate everything with official and unofficial parties – have online parties with zoom
  • Cheers from peers – use social media to offer your entire staff a platform for praising and inspiring their teammates
  • Ask your employees what they would like – make them part of the decision process
  • Track team wins to bolster confidence
  • Encourage breaks to prevent burnout
  • Set an example of positive energy and praise others when you see them reflecting the same positivity

Help staff improve their skills

Pause the Allice Cooper because school’s not entirely out for summer.

There’s no better time to offer educational opportunities to your staff than during a session transition.

Whether you’re training a new office manager on business software, hosting a CPR class or attending a seminar at a trade show- investing in enriching opportunities for your staff is undoubtedly one of the most important ways to keep them engaged with your program.

Unique approaches to providing developmental opportunities for your staff:

  • Provide feedback in real-time, not just during annual reviews – use annual reviews for goal setting and accomplishment recap
  • Use a Training System – achieve consistency in each staff member’s knowledge base
  • Encourage mentoring and coaching – learning from and helping each other produces amazing results
  • Define a career path and soft skills for each staff member – each staff member benefits from having ways to grow
  • Implement cross-departmental training programs – staff members are better able to help each other
  • Give rewards that are career based – this contributes to staff members’ opportunities to grow

Not many things can give you more comfort than believing that you can always have your full-staff onboard. And just as you look to effective ways to retain your students (and their families), you should be looking at ways to retain your staff. By putting these four actions to practice, you have a great chance of ensuring instructor and staff loyalty.

Discovery ways class management software and Jackrabbit Class can help improve your staff’s experience at your program by starting your 30-day free trial now!

Join Jackrabbit Class now!

About the Author:

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After studying graphic design at the University of Georgia, Jill held several positions in media and marketing including Art Director, Editor and Marketing Director. As a student of dance, she has spent plenty of time in children’s activity centers and puts that experience to work for her in the work she does with Jackrabbit. In addition to her interest in dance, Jill also enjoys sports, gourmet cooking, entertaining, singing and spoiling her five grandchildren.

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