You are here: blog / advice

Spa & wellness careers blog: advice

New spa language for developing employees

26 Apr 2016
Rarely at a spa industry conference do you find a blend of spa suppliers, spa operators, academia’s and policy makers. Washington, D.C. was the perfect backdrop for an unlikely mismatched group of industry professionals attending the 6th Annual Washington Spa Alliance Symposium on March 22, 2016.

The day alone makes for an unusual experience outside of our normal industry conferences. We were challenged to network with other industries and disseminate emerging information from a variety of high level presenters, calling on attendees to examine our roles outside of the typical four spa walls. The common thread of the content-rich day was 'The New Spa Language'.

A highlight, on the importance of our role as leaders in developing the human resources of the spa industry, came from Chairman of the International Spa Association, Michael Tompkins. He stressed, "Bring one additional person to an industry conference, there is an urgent workforce need. It is a responsibility of senior persons to develop our teams to be more engaged participants. This is a crucial aspect in growing the spa industry to be sustainable and strong."

The Global Wellness Institute is predicting the need for spa employees to have doubled over 10 years by 2018. A conversation within the 'New Spa Language' must be "how are we going to staff our spas?" To do this we must be developing the next generation of leaders now. It is a role we need to embrace, by making space and carving a path to engage our employees and take a concrete effort in their development.

New Spa Language for Developing Employees:

An engaged employee - is a happy employee and a productive employee! The Dale Carnegie Training found engaged employees to be over 200% more productive. Making personal time for an employee once a quarter to give feedback and assisting them with goal setting is an excellent way to build a relationship. Allowing you to tie that employee to the larger goal of your organization that coincides with their future plans.

Collective Creation - As a leader we are most successful when the solution is tied to the team. When looking for a new product line, development opportunity or solution to a problem - involve your team. Have them experience the line, provide feedback and get their buy-in prior to a decision.

Atta boy TEAM! – Yes, recognize and promote employees who go above and beyond. Do you make it a team decision? Do you give employees the opportunity to recognize one another for jobs well done? As leaders we need to know it is never about us. When you involve the entire team, it creates a powerful synergy. Establishing that we are reliant on one another and not individual performances

The bigger world - Are you allowing your staff to see the industry outside of your four spa walls? Bring a manger or lead to a conference or send them instead of you. Ensure you have a budget for educational development, which is crucial to employee retention and happiness.

What's the next step for my career? I know you are asking yourself this, so assume your employees are too. Be the cultivator of dreams and show them a career path and how to achieve it. You have done it for yourself and it is crucial to outline this for your team.

Senior spa leaders were called upon at the WSPA Symposium to not leave the conversation in Washington, D.C., but to engage in a 'New Spa Language' and continue the 'New Spa Language' dialogue with our teams. On behalf of our Careership Committee with Global Wellness Institute, I ask, what are you doing to develop the next generation of Spa Professionals?

By Stephanie Rest (pictured)


Michael Tompkins, author and ISPA Chair, speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., when WSPA holds its Annual Symposium / Courtesy of the Washington Spa Alliance

Susie Ellis speaks at the National Press Club on the latest Global Wellness Institute initiatives when the Washington Spa Alliance holds its Annual Symposium / Courtesy of the Washington Spa Alliance

Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic leads a discussion on healing with Josh Luckow of Canyon Ranch and best-selling author, Dr. Pam Peeke / Courtesy of the Washington Spa Alliance

Mark Wuttke, principal of the Wuttke Group, at the lectern at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. for the Washington Spa Alliance's Annual Symposium / Courtesy of the Washington Spa Alliance

Rose Fernandez, who heads up Jurlique, the Australian skin care brand, for North America, speaks to the Washington Spa Alliance about pollination and collaboration / Courtesy of the Washington Spa Alliance

Stephanie Rest networking with ISPA Chairman, Michael Tompkins and ISPA President, Lynne McNees

Careership Initiative Members Stephanie Rest and Paul Schmidt with Ilana Moses of the Florida Spa Association (far left) and Sandra Sadowski with ESPA International (far right)

More advice

Get your weekly ezines and FREE digital magazines – sign up here

Get the latest spa news, career opportunities and FREE digital magazines from Spa Business and Spa Business insider

Job opportunities

Showing 1 - 0 of 0 jobs