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Managing a Changing Workforce Post CV19

It doesn't need to be said, the journey we have all been on since March 2020 has been a rollercoaster of emotions, stress, anxiety, uncertainty, fear and so much more.

While things are still working themselves out and the overall situation remains 'fluid' at best, generally we are in a much better place now than where we were 18 months, 12 months, even 6 months ago.

As we get ourselves back to 'normality', we find ourselves having to work out how to manage what is a very different employment/Team Management landscape. This has been a tremendously challenging time, perhaps the MOST challenging time we have experienced over the last two years+ and we want to make sure we communicate with our families about what's happening, why it is happening, and what are we doing to minimise any effect on how we deliver our Program.

To simplify things, let's bullet-point the major issues we now see that have emerged:

  • During the uncertainty of the pandemic, many people reconsidered their career path. Some wanted a change, some wanted a challenge, some wanted to not work at all. This decision process happened across all industries and most businesses. Team retention challenges has been a common problem for lots of businesses and the DLSA has not been immune to this. We have had to manage the transition of bringing new Team Members into the program and get them up to speed. This has contributed to higher than usual Team changeover over the last 12 months.

  • This is happening at a time of an extremely low national unemployment level, which means it is a tremendous challenge to find and hire new Team members. This has made it harder to recruit new people.

  • We have all spent over two years taking extra care of ourselves, wearing masks, washing and sanitising our hands, being socially distanced. It was a great way to reduce the chance of contracting COVID 19, but as a result, our immune systems didn't get their usual 'workout' by coming into contact with regular/everyday germs and bugs. As a result, regular sickness (cold/flu/tummy bug) is making a real resurgence in our community. The DLSA Team is experiencing this on a daily basis. This has contributed to higher than usual need for Teacher Replacements on a weekly basis.

  • Our Teaching Team particularly are continually putting themselves in front of children who can cough and sneeze and spread germs etc, even when they are not yet exhibiting symptoms themselves. This contributes to DLSA Teachers needing to stay home and recover. This has contributed to a higher than normal number of Teachers becoming sick at short notice.

  • Now that things are getting back to a bit of normality, many industries and businesses are noticing a reduction in the work commitment from their employees. Pre-COVID, generally employees were working hard to earn their wage and advance their career. Post-COVID, there is a definite change in priorities. More and more businesses are finding it hard to fill shifts, whether that be a regular shift or a shift replacement. Again, the DLSA has very definitely experienced this and sometimes we have found it incredibly hard to cover shifts at short notice. This has made it a daily challenge to cover Teaching shifts for Teachers who have called in sick at short notice.

  • These issues are not exclusive to the DLSA Program. As a member of a number of National Governing bodies within the Aquatic Industry, we are in touch with many other swim programs from all around the country who are facing the same challenges. Further to this, when communicating with friends and associates from other businesses and industries outside the Aquatic Industry, these issues are affecting them the same.

Why are we putting this information out to our DLSA Families? We want you to know:
  1. We are so grateful for your continued support during this challenging time.

  2. We work hard every single day to continue to provide a positive customer experience to our families, despite the multiple challenges we face every day.

  3. Individual members of Team DLSA have also endured their own personal COVID 19 journey. We are mums, dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers. We all have experienced very real challenges over the last few years. We continue to, and always will, support our Team with whatever challenges they/we face.

  4. By our own standards, we haven't been able to provide our usual high standard service in certain areas, specifically class teacher regularity, and we are disappointed about this. But this will improve in the New Year.

  5. We continue to recruit, train and evolve our Team. This is our highest priority. We do have a number of newer Teachers on right now and we are working hard to support them through their initial few programs while they gain a huge amount of hands-on experience.

  6. The DLSA has always put an emphasis on Lesson Plans and Teacher Training. Your child may face a different Teacher at some point, but will receive the same lesson.

  7. We understand and share your frustration. Our Team is working very hard to manage this. Your patience and understanding is required. Verbal abuse of our Team will not be tolerated.

In conclusion, to quote the mantra we continue to promote to our Team:

This, too, shall pass.

Things will be better. Things will get easier.

Kind regards,

Darren Lange OLY


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