Spa Development and Asset Management: Human Capital Management
By Peter Anderson Founder, Anderson & Associates | October 28, 2008
In a spa environment, both customer and employee expectations are different expectations... from many other business environments. Specific medical and psychotherapy environments aside, there are few business environments where "customers" are expected to be naked physically, metaphorically or both. This exposure, in turn sets the bar for the therapists to deliver an ultra-high level of care and nurturing which is (not surprisingly) independent of the price of the treatment.
Insight, sensitivity and compassion are elements that should be organically incorporated into a spa's corporate culture. Spa employees, like other departments in a hotel, should think of themselves as a "family". Respect of the faux-family means minimizing opportunities for in-fighting while maximizing the synergistic power of the spa team. Building a team of competent and caring technicians is the most important step in creating a successful spa.
Items that go into building that team, discussed in this article, include:
Establish Proactive Communication
As the resort or spa manager/owner, one of your main objectives is to convey to your employees what you want of them. Establishing and maintaining this mutual understanding is one of the keys to successful management of a spa.
Communication in a spa environment through regular, informal conversation is necessary because this is part of the continual management process. Vision and Mission must be reiterated in EVERY manner possible...i.e., written, orally, newsletters, e-mails, conversations, and most of all in ACTIONS. Because communication is both a function of words and deeds, nothing undermines effective leadership more than when words and actions (from management) are not in sync. As a default, the workers will always believe the actions.