The spa business is a competitive one. It’s difficult to become a standout. But it’s what we all want, so we work harder and we get serious. Because wellness is serious business, and determination a necessary component of success. But I was reminded of another important component by the interviews in this month’s issue of Spa Executive: fun. As determined as you are, if people aren’t having fun, nobody will want to work for you, and customers won’t come back.
Talking about what he learned about leadership from growing up on an Ontario dairy farm, Assistant Vice President of Spa at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Todd Hewitt, said, “I always say that the job needs to get done first, but that we can have fun doing it every day. And if we cannot share a laugh at least once per day, then the job is not worth doing.”
Reading this, it struck me that “fun” isn’t something we talk about a lot in spa and wellness.
So, it seemed coincidental that in another interview about designing signature treatments, Jean-Guy de Gabriac, CEO of TIP TOUCH International, also mentioned “fun.” De Gabriac said, “Whenever I create signature treatments for brands, I look for the fun part.”
I think we could all look a bit harder for the fun part. We might shy away from this idea, lest we come across as goofy or silly in an industry where guests expect us to take their luxuries seriously. But “fun” doesn’t have to be silly. It can be sophisticated and refreshing, like a new idea or an exhilarating experience.
Both Hewitt and de Gabriac clearly care as much about the happiness of their teams and associates as that of their guests – the fun. We also see fun in the spa menu at the new Albaro Spa at the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj, which offers grappa, absinthe, and cannabis-based treatments. As well as in the new 2019 menu at Kohler Waters Spa, which features a Virtual Reality Pedicure.
Fun is looking for exciting elements to add to a menu and experimenting with new technologies. Fun will keep your staff happy, bring joy to your guests, and inspire people to become your ambassadors and recruiters.
It’s a required element of rising above the competition. It’s also a key ingredient of a worthwhile and fulfilling life.
So we should work hard and take the guest experience seriously, but let’s not forget to look for the fun. It’s what makes the job worth doing.
Roger Sholanki, CEO