Panelists weigh in on the issues impacting the efforts of spas in their pursuit of top talent and the things they can do to retain their expertise
Healthy employees make happy clients
In a business where the whole goal of service delivery is to create greater wellness for the client, the leadership and business does not always respond the same way to the people who work in it. More simply, the job of the spa is to make its clients look good and feel good, but does the spa also help, inspire, assist or coach the people who work there to look good and feel good? Do the owners, managers, supervisors and leaders create a culture of wellness for all employees? If you believe in treating your team like you want them to treat your clients, this should be a common attitude in the spa industry. This is not always the case. In an industry where weekend and night work is not uncommon, as well as mentally and physically demanding work, being tired, burned out or simply drained is the norm.
Creating a culture of accountability
This starts, as most things do, at the top. What does the leader believe is most important in delivering consistently excellent service to guests? Since the industry is built upon the one-on-one experience created by the service provider and their guest, it is paramount the service provider be provided the tools and environment to flourish. These are the four keys to creating this culture of wellness:
Being prepared to do your best can be the difference between good and great. Although the leader of any business cannot control all aspects of a team member’s life, providing a workplace that values clear communication, team work, support and shared goals provides a forum for clear thinking. This allows them to be present and focused on their clients and not on the operation. Team members are stressed when they don’t get a clear understanding of expectations and there is confusion about what to do and when to do it, how will they be evaluated, etc.
Solution: Have weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member. Make sure you support them in settings goals for personal and professional growth. Have monthly team meetings and an open forum for team sharing. Implement an open door policy.
The majority of services delivered in spas today involve a service member touching the client. Standing, sitting, lifting, squatting, twisting, turning, reaching, and rubbing are just a few of the activities that take place. In order to have a long and enjoyable career, services providers must be physically able to perform multiple services per day and have the twelfth service of the day be as good as the first.
Solution: Be aware of the physical health of your team and invest in teaching them how to properly execute their duties while minimizing stress on their bodies. Support a workout regime, general fitness or strength training program for your employees. Make sure team members are scheduled appropriately. Figure out how many consecutive services each person can reasonably perform and how many breaks are required. Encourage and support eating, drinking and sleeping wellness.
Across North America we continue to become more and more diverse in our languages, cultures and beliefs. With a growing challenge to find and keep good staff, it is important to create an environment that embraces all people and allows them to find peace and balance at work. A spa space that has calm and peaceful team members has a positive and powerful impact on the guest experience.
Solution: Ensure that the sharing of beliefs in the workplace is done so with acceptance. Consider making skills like meditation, yoga, and mindfulness training part of your business. Ask yourself whether you as a leader introduce and inspire positive thinking and energy.
Bottom Line WELLNESS
The vast majority of service providers in the spa business enter due to a passion for helping others. Many talented service providers leave it due to a lack of income. The ability and willingness to help more people comes with the ability to make a living doing it. To succeed in today’s environment, leaders in our industry must teach service providers how to execute the necessary business operations that will allow them to build a sustainable clientele and financial wellness doing what they love to do.
Solution: Provide your employees with job descriptions and evaluations, and help them set professional goals. Provide skills training in consultations, upgrading, home care, sales, rebooking, referrals, and marketing. Actively train each team member on how to build a business within a business.
The wellness of a spa business depends on a leader’s commitment to creating a culture that supports wellness for the people they lead and the people they serve.
Robert C. Cass is the CEO of Spaformation, a marketing, training and consulting business.