We talk a lot about the “guest experience” in the spa industry, but do we talk enough about the spa “employee experience?”
Your employee experience matters a great deal. Are your employees happy? Do you treat them with the same respect that you do your guests? If not, you might want to start.
Treat your employees like your internal guests
Your staff is what makes your guest experience. Without them, you haven’t got one. Treat them the way you want them to treat your guests and they will pay it forward. Give them the same respect and consideration.
Daisy Tepper, Director at the Post Oak Hotel’s Forbes Five-Star-rated spa, once told us that caring for your team and being there for them is what makes a good spa director. “Treating them with the utmost respect is very important to me,” she said. “The way I see it, they’re my internal guests, and if I take care of them, they will take care of the other guests. The bread and butter comes from these people. If you treat people well, they will go above and beyond.”
A great employee experience has the added bonus of elevating your employer brand. If your spa is a great place to work, you will attract top talent, which will in turn attract customers. Your guest experience starts with your employee experience.
At Book4Time, we have created a guide to the ultimate guest experience. Here is your guide to creating the ultimate employee experience.
Focus on your company culture
“Culture” is exclusive to your particular working environment and defines the way everyone conducts themselves within that environment. Your culture is what makes your spa fun, productive, and an attractive workplace. Your company’s culture should be heavily rooted in its mission and values, and totally unique. However, there are some universal elements of a good company culture. These include open communication, a collaborative environment, trust, and a shared vision. From there, it’s up to your company to decide that makes its culture remarkable. Maybe it’s team activities, a cool employee rewards program, or gifts of appreciation. What happens during time you spend together, inside and outside of work, will define your culture. It’s up to management to create the foundation for this and make sure that everyone feels included in it.
Understand the employee journey
Like the customer journey, the employee experience is a journey. This means that, every experience, from the application and hiring process, through training and onboarding, to working at your spa and, ultimately, leaving it, should be a positive one. Don’t skimp on your onboarding and training. These will set the foundation for your employees to do a great job by showing them what is expected of them. A well-trained employee is a confident one. And keep the feedback coming – always. Don’t limit feedback to criticism or correction. If you let your team members know when they have done something well, they will be more receptive to hearing about where they can improve.
Make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them at all times. In a Spotlight interview with Spa Executive, Emma Darby, COO of Resense, said the following about the customer journey: “There should not be a time during a guest’s spa journey that they don’t know where they should be, what they should be doing, or what they should be wearing. They should be comfortable from the moment of first contact all the way through the treatment and leaving experience.”
The same principle applies to your employee journey. Team members can only shine when they know what is expected of them.
That being said, don’t micromanage! Nobody does their best work with someone breathing down their neck. Give your team autonomy and let them prove themselves.
Include everyone in the decision-making process
Decisions should not be made in a bubble, and including your team in the company decision making process benefits everyone. It makes them feel valued and empowered, and allows them to see the impact of their work. And when someone feels that their contribution is integral to the success of an organization, they become invested in that success and will work harder to be a part of it. This will make your spa more successful.
Conversely, when decisions are made at the top and communicated down, your employees will feel devalued and powerless. They will not feel invested in the success of the company because they haven’t been made to feel that they are an integral part of it.
Teams work better when they work together, rather than when they function as a collection of individuals in silos. Also, you’ll make better decisions with the input of everyone involved.
Support career development
Nobody likes to feel stagnant. Humans like to feel that we are moving forward and getting somewhere. Performing the same duties, day in and day out, gets old, and people start looking for change if they don’t feel any forward motion. Support employee growth by offering career development support and career pathing. Promoting from within is ideal, and some companies are now providing the necessary training for spa therapists to become managers.
One study found that, across all industries, more than 80% of workers had to move on to move up due to companies’ refusal to promote from within. This refusal can hurt spas in more ways than one. It can lead to high turnover, and to leaders who don’t understand what it is to be a therapist.
If you don’t get actively involved in your employees’ growth, they will outgrow you.
Ask yourself what you can do for your team
You think regularly about how you can go above and beyond for your customers. Ask yourself the same question regarding your team. If you go the extra mile for them, they will do the same for you and your guests.
Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.