ISPA recently released its annual findings of spa industry financial indicators, reporting among other things that the number of U.S. spa visits is at an all-time high.
Everything is up, in fact, including the number of employees, but the total available jobs remain out of balance with the number of hires.
There are currently 32,930 vacant positions for service providers in the spa industry and, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are still seven million people unemployed throughout the country. Clearly, spa and wellness have some work to do in communicating how amazing it is to work in this industry.
This shouldn’t be too difficult for a group of people whose professional lives are dedicated to enhancing beauty, joy, and wellbeing. Yet finding and keeping talent is often cited as the biggest challenge for spa directors and managers.
ISPA’s Lynne McNees says that effective communication of these job openings and opportunities will be a priority for ISPA in the future.
How can we all do our part in this?
As Lynne McNees says, we can promote the many benefits of working in this wonderful sector, including “schedule flexibility, opportunities to work in international environments, exceptional training, and career growth.”
I think we can add turning our own employees into ambassadors to the list of actionable items. Your employees can be your greatest champions or your biggest detractors. Create an environment where people love their work, and not only will you create evangelists for your workplace, but also for your business.
Millennials in particular care about feeling that their work is making a difference, and aren’t we in spa and wellness industry well positioned to provide this purpose?
One thing many of us can probably do to improve the lives of spa and wellness employees is to recognize that jobs in our sector are both physically and emotionally taxing.
For example, people often come to the spa to relieve stress, and our employees absorb a lot of that stress because stress is contagious. Research suggests that interaction with stressed individuals, and even just observing people in stressful situations can significantly raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And while not every encounter is stressful – or even the majority – it bears keeping in mind that some therapists are experiencing extended one-on-one time in close proximity with stressed out individuals.
Exploring ways of counterbalancing that stress absorption will go a long way towards reducing burnout and cultivating a happy workforce that is ready to go forth and spread the word.
This is just one idea.
I think we all need to look round us, at our teams, and ask ourselves how we can make their days better. It will benefit everyone.
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