By: Joey LaNeve, Aquatics Supervisor, Queen Creek, Arizona
As a manager or operator for a pool, building a culture of learning and development in your staff is critical to the success of your organization. A culture that values continuous learning and development encourages employees to stay engaged and motivated, helps to attract and retain top talent, and creates a more productive workplace. Here are some steps you can take to build a culture of learning and development in your staff:
Create a clear vision: The first step to building a culture of learning and development is to create a clear vision for what that looks like in your organization. What skills and knowledge do you want your staff to acquire? What are your expectations for employee engagement in training such as in-service and even initial certification courses? By setting a clear vision, you provide direction for your staff.
Provide resources: One of the toughest barriers to promoting learning and development is resources like time and money. Build time into in-service training to run leadership training, use your quality veteran staff to mentor the rookie staff, offer reduced/free instructor certifications so that staff can advance in your organization. By dedicating resources efficiently you can build a development-focused culture without adding extra time and cost.
Lead by example: As a leader, you have a significant impact on the culture of your team. By actively engaging in learning and development activities yourself, you set a powerful example for your staff to follow. Share your experiences and insights with your team, and encourage others to do the same.
Make it a priority: Make it a priority in your organization. This means incorporating it into your strategic planning, setting goals for employee development, and allocating resources to support it. By making it a priority, you send a clear message to your staff that learning and development is important to the success of the organization.
Recognize and reward learning: When employees take the initiative to learn and develop new skills, it’s important to recognize and reward their efforts. This could be as simple as publicly acknowledging their achievements or offering opportunities for advancement. By recognizing and rewarding learning, you create a culture that values and encourages continuous improvement.
Provide opportunities for feedback: It’s important to provide opportunities for feedback. This includes feedback on training programs and resources, as well as feedback on individual performance and development plans. By seeking feedback from your staff, you demonstrate your commitment to their growth and development, and create a culture of open communication and collaboration.
Foster a growth mindset: Finally, building a culture of learning and development requires a growth mindset. This means valuing mistakes and failures as opportunities for learning and growth, rather than as sources of shame or blame. Encourage your staff to take risks, experiment with new ideas, and learn from their experiences, and create a culture that supports and rewards this kind of growth mindset.
Building a culture of learning and development takes time and effort, but the rewards are significant. By creating a workplace where learning and development are valued and supported, you create a more engaged and motivated staff, a more innovative and productive workplace, and a more successful organization overall.