Attracting and keeping top talent is the most often cited as the biggest challenge in the spa industry – and truly, it’s just about every manager’s biggest problem. A recent Glassdoor survey found that 76% of recruiters say the struggle to find qualified candidates is their No. 1 complaint. So, it’s hard for everyone.
Staffing in the spa industry, however, comes with its own set of challenges, because the jobs usually require both hard skills and a level of soft skills that isn’t required for most jobs. Because spa settings involve touching people, talking to them, and listening to them.
How to attract and retain qualified spa employees? Here are six actions you can take that will help you do just that.
Develop your employer brand: If you want people to want to work for you, showcase that yours is a great place to work. Make this evident on your website, on your company social media pages, and in your work environment. Do some research on how to build your employer brand, figure out exactly what the brand is that you want to embody as an employer, then work on building that reputation.
Make existing employees gloriously happy: Your team can be your greatest evangelists or your worst detractors. Happy employees will share their experience with their peers, and – surprise! — disgruntled ones will do the same. Happy employees will refer fellow therapists or other potential employees to you, because they enjoy their workplace. Unhappy employees will tell their peers to stay away, and ask them to keep an eye out for open positions so they can leave you and work somewhere better. But how to keep employees happy?
Leave no team member untrained: It’s imperative that your staff receive proper onboarding and full training so that they feel empowered to do their jobs, make decisions, and be contributing members of your team. Don’t assume that anyone knows what is expected of them without being told. That way lies madness, and disappointment. Team members who aren’t trained ultimately underperform, which is frustrating for both you and them.
Listen: Listening is arguably the most valuable skill anyone can develop. Aim to listen twice as much as you talk, including to your team. Make sure that the communication lines are open, that they feel they can approach you – and that their concerns and needs are taken seriously.
Provide feedback: Employees need to be told where they need to improve. Nobody can be expected to improve their performance without guidance on what requires improvement. Obvious, no? But too many managers in all types of business say nothing for a variety of reasons – they’re too busy, the don’t know how to handle a situation, they hope it will right itself – until it’s too late. And those same managers also make the mistake of working on the “no news is good news” system, only providing feedback when it’s negative. Don’t do this to your employees. Commend and recognize people for doing a great job. Remember to say “thank you” for contributions to your success and for jobs well done. Everyone needs to feel appreciated.
Provide support: Nobody should be expected to go it alone, and when someone does need to improve, they should be supported in that improvement. Book4Time has a variety of features that allow you to take a granular look at how your employees are performing, and where they could use some encouragement and possibly more training.
For example, you can see each team member’s total revenue, retail sales performance, tips, and occupancy rate in our reporting suite. You can also see if they are being specifically requested by your spa customers – and if any of these metrics is below what should be expected, you can then offer training and support.
Customer satisfaction surveys also give you insight into your team’s professionalism and performance.
Use this information to improve your team’s performance. When you do that, you’ll find that the team is happy – everyone likes to feel that they are a contributing and valued team member. And when your spa employees are happy, they stay, and they tell their friends about it.
Before you know it, you’ll have all the qualified spa employees you need.
Get in touch to learn more about how Book4Time can help you with your spa staffing needs.