Disciplining staff over text message

It can be overwhelming dealing with staff. Even more so, it takes a special person to manage your staff.

Behaviors that really cause managers / business owners to go over the edge.

  1. Staff members that try to call out of their shift with no coverage.
  2. Staff members that look for every reason to not work.
  3. Staff members that complain to other team members with a purpose of creating a toxic work environment.
  4. Staff members that throw tantrums in front of other team members or clients.
  5. Staff members that add unnecessary drama to another team members situation.
  6. Staff members that try to hurt the reputation of the business.

Under NO circumstance should a manager or a business owner respond via text message.

Why do managers respond via text message?

1. To avoid confrontation.

2. To avoid a hostile conversation.

3. Insecurities.

4. To avoid dealing with the emotions of the staff Member.

5. Theory that there is confidentiality.

Why is it a bad idea to send a text message when terminating or disciplining a staff member?

1. No text message is confidential.

2. Text messages are often misconstrued regarding delivery and tone.

3. Employees feel that its impersonal and insensitive.

4. Text messages can be easily broadcasted over social media. The wrong responses can cause others to respond negatively.

5. In extreme situations, social media followers always take the side of the employee and not the business because the business legally can not discuss the specifics behind the comments without legal consequences.

6. In other extreme situations, businesses have faced death threats and boycotts. Thus, hurting the businesses reputation.

How to Handle staffing concerns?

1. If you are feeling emotional or angry, you need to remove yourself from the situation and contact a friend or a family member to vent (off the work premises).

2. Write down what the issues are and narrow down to the issue.

3. Go over how you are planning to handle the situation with a colleague or a supervisor.

4. If you have an HR department, you should run everything by HR. HR’s job is to handle these situations objectively and diplomatically using the proper documentation and forms.

5. Set a meeting with the staff member privately. You should be in the room with a colleague, HR, or your supervisor.

A.) get right to the point as to why your meeting and cite specific examples within the past day.

B.) Review Company policy and expectations. Clearly spell out what you expect.

C.) discuss the consequences that will result if the behaviors that need to be fixed continue.

D.) follow up in writing what you discussed.

E.) Do periodic check-ins with the staff member.

* Allow the staff member to voice concerns and communicate successes as well as setbacks.

The most important lesson that I have learned is that you need to try to work with others. The job of a great leader is to build leadership and independence. It is not about creating fear or terminating staff members as an ego trip, but to create an environment where results are produced and work is competitive in a healthy way.

Join me on 12/19/18 at 8pm for a twitter chat on how to handle work place toxicity. My twitter handle is @certsfolife

What lifeguard recruitment should look like

Are you struggling at finding lifeguards? If so, part of the problem is your recruitment model.


  1. Cool down and get a drink. Every pool season gets tougher with new training requirements and bather code policies.
  2. Mid September, you need to meet with your full time staffing directors and managers in the field to find out what worked and what didn’t work. If your field supervisors are at college, give them a brief phone call to get their professional opinions.
  3. End of September- start looking at the budgets for staffing and recruitment, and drafting a plan.


1. Talk with your clients at your pools to find out what worked well and what didn’t .

2. Start letting go of any seasonal staff that you will not be asking back.

3. Plan a meeting with all stakeholders/senior administrators/ investors etc. To discuss your plan and go over any potential issues or funds that might be needed.

4. Draft training courses needed, timelines of the courses, trainers, supplies, and vendors if needed.


  1. Reach out to the vendors and start planning the training courses. Depending on where you are located, this might be to early or late. However, if you are using an outside vendor to do your trainings, they may need to reserve training rooms and pool space.
  2. Keep finessing your recruitment plan with senior officials/stakeholders/investors.
  3. Plan your plan for senior management training, positions, or needs.


  1. Send out thank you and holiday post cards to the staff.
  2. Early bird or discounts on training.
  3. Interviewing/ hiring your pool managers.
  4. Keep in contact with your training programs to make sure you are ready to go.
  5. Reach out to colleges, high schools, job fairs, swim teams, swim coaches etc. and book your recruitment fairs.
  6. Get your marketing materials and pay that bill.
  7. Provide a small #inexpensive giveaway.
  8. Set up a system to track all your recruits Information. This should take 2 minutes. ( first name, last name, phone number, email)
  9. Draft your plan for follow up.


  1. Your calendar for the next 8 weeks should be filled with weekly visits.
  2. Your table should be filled with Marketing materials or short videos as to why it’s fun working with your company.
  3. The staff that you choose to attend these fairs need to be high energy and highly communicative. If they look tired, withdrawn, or look like they came off the street, you are leaving your prospective staff with a feeling that your company has no core values.
  4. A senior manager or you as the owner need to be at these recruitment sessions to monitor, coach, and data track the success of the events.
  5. Always recruit more than you need.

March-May ( before Memorial Day weekend)

1. You should be having your lifeguard trainings, NSPF CPO trainings, and in-services.

2. A staff member should be actively communicating with the guards answering questions, scheduling for trainings, and monitoring numbers of recruits who choose to not continue or not pass the course.

3. Continue your school visits, job fairs, and advertising for staff.

4. Hold meeting with your staff to prepare for the opening weekend.

5. Have a rewards program ready for your staff.

6, have your uniforms ready to go and be prepared to answer questions.

You should be actively looking, checking in on staff, and evaluating the needs of your team.