Improving communities through sport

How to Foster Positive Relationships with Aquatic Center Stakeholders

Community Swimming Pool

Image courtesy of Cheryl Casey on Adobe Stock

Famed marketer Gary Vaynerchuck once said, “Saying hello doesn’t have an ROI. It’s about building relationships.”

It rings true in all businesses and it’s just as vital when it comes to managing your aquatic center. Your success depends not only on the safety and satisfaction of guests but also on your ability to build strong relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders. Here are some effective tactics that will help you establish the trust and credibility needed to put your venue on the map. As a leading provider of aquatic center management services, we believe that these tips will be helpful for operators, lifeguard staffing companies, and water park leadership.

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Be a Good Listener

You know the saying, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s essential to take the time to listen to feedback, concerns, and suggestions from various stakeholders, including customers, employees, clients, vendors, and community members. Actively listening to stakeholders can help in gaining their trust, identifying areas for improvement, and finding solutions to issues that arise.

Keys to being a good listener include listening without judgment, reading non-verbal cues, and making the person feel like they’re the only person in the room when you speak with them.

Communication is Key

Knowledge equals trust for many of your stakeholders. Keep them informed about changes, events, and opportunities in the aquatic center through various communication channels such as email, social media, newsletters, or bulletin board postings. Also, identify significant stakeholders, plan regular meetings (quarterly, annual, etc.), and provide opportunities for their ideas and feedback. Also, never forget the power of inviting stakeholders to have a cup of coffee or grab lunch.

Collaborate with Stakeholders

In a similar vein, provide opportunities for collaboration with stakeholders. This gesture will demonstrate that you value their input and contributions. Pool management can involve stakeholders in the decision-making process, i.e., ask for their feedback on proposed plans or initiatives, and invite them to committees or advisory board meetings. Also, seek out opportunities to collaborate on community events or initiatives outside the aquatic center. It fosters relationships beyond the center and shows that you care about the community.

Show Your Appreciation

Expressing gratitude can go a long way in establishing trust and maintaining lasting relationships and must become a part of your organization’s culture. Even small gestures such as saying ‘thank you’ or sending a handwritten note can demonstrate your appreciation to vendors, staff, or customers. Celebrating milestones or achievements as a team is another great way to demonstrate your appreciation and help create a positive culture.

Be Transparent

Transparency builds trust and credibility with stakeholders. Whenever possible, be transparent and open with stakeholders about the decisions you make regarding the aquatic center. It helps stakeholders understand why certain changes are being made and how their feedback is used. Be transparent in your communication and be honest about what’s going on at the center. If there’s an issue that needs to be addressed, communicate openly and truthfully.

Fostering positive relationships with stakeholders is critical for any aquatic center’s success. Being a good listener, communicating effectively, collaborating, showing appreciation, and being transparent are key components of building strong relationships. At SFC, we understand the value of positive stakeholder relationships and incorporate these principles into our management services. By implementing these tips, we hope that aquatic centers can create long-lasting, positive relationships with their stakeholders, leading to a more successful and sustainable aquatic center.

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