Dear Sal, what can I do with 2 employees who hate each other?

dear sal

In Dear Sal, Sal Capizzi, Marketing Director at Book4Time and a former Director of Spa and Wellness at NEXUS Luxury Collection, shares his expert insight into your reader questions. Here he talks about how to hire the best spa employees.

Send your queries about managing staff, operations, and anything else you want to know (challenge him!) to

Q. Dear Sal,

I need help. I manage a medium-sized spa with about 30 employees, including massage therapists, aestheticians, and front desk staff. Most of them get along well, but there are two therapists who just don’t get along and I find this incredibly frustrating. One (1) has been with the company longer, is an excellent massage therapist, and has a long list of regular customers and many repeat requests. The other (2) is also a very good therapist who has fewer regulars because they are newer to the team. As such, 1 tends to leave menial tasks for 2 to take care of, the rationale being that they are “busier,” and also talks down to them and bosses them around. 2 was patient to a point but is beginning to crack – they will do the tasks, because they don’t want to leave things undone and are a good employee, but they are not enjoying it. This tension is spilling over onto the rest of the team and infecting the atmosphere at work. I don’t blame 2. I like this employee and their work ethic and don’t want to lose them. 

I’ve tried talking to 1 but they are a bit of a diva and not easy to reach, and frankly, they could go work anywhere they want and I can’t afford to lose them. I can’t afford to lose either of them, staffing challenges being what they are. What can I do??

A. Hey there, Thank you for reaching out! 

Wow this sounds like quite the conundrum. I’m sorry to hear about the challenges you’re facing.

First, let’s acknowledge the strengths of both therapists. It’s clear that both Therapist 1 and 2 bring valuable skills to the team. Their different styles and experiences can complement each other beautifully if you can find a way to bridge the communication gap. I personally would first have private conversations with each therapist. Praise them for their exceptional skills and contributions. Express your appreciation for their dedication to the spa.

But this is where I would also turn my leadership cap around to the other side where it says “manager.” You must clarify expectations during these meetings as well. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Emphasize that everyone is expected to contribute to the overall success of the spa, regardless of seniority.

If the problem continues after you have had your individual conversations with them both it’s time for some good ole fashion mediation and lay it all out on the table with another manager in the room also that can help suggest out of the box ideas and solutions. The purpose of this would be to come to a mutual conclusion so nothing as far as expectations can get lost in translation in further 1-on-1 meetings, you have a business to run. You could also subtly make them have a good time together by organizing a  team-building activity or workshops to strengthen the bonds among these two but also all of your staff members. It sounds like it might be a good time to start planning this! 

Also, be regimented with rewards and recognitions for the overall team! Implement a system to recognize and reward outstanding performance and teamwork. This will motivate everyone to work better together.

Remember, change may not happen overnight, but with consistent effort and positive reinforcement, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment! 


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

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