Regardless of the blood, sweat and tears expended in making a trampoline park safe and user-friendly, unless the court monitors are doing their jobs well the chances are that serious problems may arise. We see the role of the court monitor as being vital and therefore the attention given towards their recruitment, training and supervision must be of paramount importance.
We have been speaking to operators and risk management experts in the UK and the US and compiled the pick of the ideas so you may be interested in the following:
- Look to recruit staff with a sporting background or a drama or entertainment background
- Attitude is more important than experience
- Employ those with the confidence and responsible attitude to enforce the rules – bearing in mind they may need to discipline their peers or those older than them.
- Cast the net wide and only accept the best
- Each monitor must pass an induction training phase prior to being allowed to operate as a court monitor
- Specific training needs such as First Aid should be addressed as soon as it practical.
- Training needs to be continuous and focused on individual and well as operational needs
- Make sure the training makes clear the rules that are to be enforced and the possible implications of not enforcing them – Don’t be afraid to be blunt and forthright!
- Document and record all training with sign off by employee and management
Supervision of Participants by Court Monitors
- Ensure there is a sufficient number of court monitors. Bear in mind you will need at least 1 court monitor for each area (dodgeball, foam pit, obstacle course etc.) and therefore you may need several for the Open Jump area.
- Rotate the monitors to encourage attentiveness and teamwork
- Make sure Court monitors do not use their mobile phones whilst working. You may wish to implement a rule that they are not allowed to take them on to the park floor at all.
- Court monitors should always point out when a participant is doing something which is dangerous but must not provide instruction unless they have a specific trampolining qualification
- It is very important that the court monitors do not do tricks on the trampolines during opening hours as this will encourage others to try who may not be capable.
Supervision of Court Monitors by Management
- Management need to be clearly visible to customers and to staff – walking and talking is key
- Clarify and constantly remind monitors of their responsibilities and precisely what is expected of them
- Provide ongoing feedback – positive praise or identifying shortcomings
- Hold review meetings at least monthly
- Where appropriate obtain customer feedback – consider Employee of the Month scheme
- Encourage a 2 way dialogue where court monitors feel comfortable to discuss the issues they have witnessed.
Taking all of this into account, it’s easy to see that the court monitors role can greatly enrich the customer experience in terms of having fun safely. We cannot therefore overstate the importance of getting it right.