This month we spoke to Art Krueger, the director of The Wave Aquatic and Fitness Center, about aquatics operations.
What are the biggest challenges to aquatics operations?
The top of the list right now is COVID-19 and the restrictions that come with operating in this environment. Creating and maintaining a good customer experience while ensuring face coverings are worn, adequate spacing is maintained and effectively keeping the environment sanitized is a hard juggling act. Beyond COVID-19, we still struggle to recruit and retain well-qualified staff members.
How are you overcoming these challenges?
The key to a positive customer experience has always been and will continue to be culture. Of course, this has become increasingly challenging as we navigate operations during the pandemic. It is imperative the leaders in the organization are visible and connect individually with staff members to reinforce culture and celebrate when those expectations are being met.
How can health clubs ensure they’re maximizing pool usage and encourage participation?
We can do this by educating our members and the general public on how safe it is to be in our facilities and the importance of regular exercise. IHRSA has done an amazing job putting together resources for facility operators to use in this educational process. For us, we are focused on letting people know:
∙ We are open operationally at nearly 100%.
∙ We are safe.
∙ Exercise is medicine.
∙ Come in and see for yourself what we are doing.
What are your most popular aquatics programs?
Our most popular programs are youth swim lessons, youth swim team, water aerobics and open swim.
Art Krueger’s five tips for offering aquatics successfully:
- Use other facilities and colleagues for help to answer questions and concerns.
- Have a relationship with your local health department and medical professionals.
- Check in to alternative methods of teaching, coaching and instructing/training.
- Use online platforms for registration, sign in/waivers and schedules.
- Celebrate your staff. Happy employees equal happy members.
To learn more about Art Krueger and his leadership journey, connect with him on LinkedIn.