Wednesday, September 01, 2021 - 12:30 PM

Continuous Improvement: Aquatics Scheduling

lifeguards in red shirts standing side by side and smiling

The City of St. John's uses proven continuous improvement tools and methods to tackle process problems and engage staff in problem solving. Learn more on our webpage

The City’s Recreation Division manages 100+ staff seasonally at five aquatics facilities:

  • Paul Reynolds Community Centre
  • H.G.R. Mews Community Centre
  • Bannerman Park Pool
  • Bowring Park Pool
  • Rotary Park

A recent continuous improvement project reviewed and improved our process for seasonal shift listings, daily call-ins, coverage and shift replacement, reducing scheduling errors and ensuring staff are on site and available for the public.
The Challenge
Aquatics staff are mainly students and their personal and work schedules change frequently (up to 6 times per year for core shifts and more frequently when they are looking for a shift change). The existing system for scheduling staff was manual, time consuming and inefficient, often leading to rework when the paper-based system could not keep up with rapid changes. This could lead to frustration for staff and, more importantly, the potential for shifts not to be covered – affecting our ability to meet our quality and safety standards.

The Solution
Working with our Information Systems team, the division replaced the manual process with an electronic staff scheduler which also keeps track of staff certifications and other important data for the aquatics team, removing a cumbersome manual process. The Recreation team is looking at how this new tool can be used in other divisions throughout the organization with similar scheduling issues.

How You Benefit
By reducing rework, errors and manual processes, the organization improves its efficiency, meaning our human resources can better be used to focus on improving our services to you. Most importantly, scheduling in real time ensures that we have our staff in place when you want to visit one of our pools, which improves our overall safety supervision standards. 

The City of St. John’s is committed to continuously looking at what we do and how we do it to ensure we are performing effectively and achieving results. Through continuous improvement, we are making our processes more efficient to deliver more value to our citizens.