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Employee Engagement

Ever look around the spa or wellness center and feel like your staff is just going through the motions? They’re showing up at work, they’re servicing clients, but there is not a lot of energy or enthusiasm?

Staff engagement is a key component of your business success, but how do you get it? And how do you know when you have it? Happy employees are not the same as engaged employees; staff members can be personally happy, but still not engaged in their work.

The 2016 Global Employee Engagement Report from Aon Hewitt showed that only 59% of employees were likely to stay with their current employer, and that number has dropped from the previous year. And 15% are actively disengaged; they are disrupting their coworkers and driving away clients through poor communications and bad service. Imagine how much more productive, and profitable, your spa could be if you could make some inroads in engaging that other 85%! But it’s easier said than done.

Why aren’t your spa employees engaged in their work? There are multiple reasons, and it can be a combination of more than one of these:

· You may not be selecting the applicants who are the best fit for your business and culture

· Your compensation plan may not reward high-performers or provide a career advancement path, causing people to stagnate

· There is not clear vision and leadership driving the business forward

· The spa is not well-marketed, and is not attracting a diverse clientele to keep your “artists” motivated

· There are too many cliques operating in your business, and those on the outside tend to dis-connect

Part of the challenge facing spa management is that we are not human resource professionals. Our creative orientation sometimes causes us to believe that if we hire someone who is technically good at massage or esthetics, the rest will take care of itself. But all too often, that’s not what happens. Engagement in our work doesn’t just happen; it requires the creation of behind the scenes processes and structure to select the right people, and ongoing training, compensation and career development to keep them mentally tuned in. Certainly, spa staff members are interested in their earnings potential, but they’re also interested in opportunities to train and grow as professionals; in fact, their artistic backgrounds often mean that these factors can outweigh financial compensation. That explains the importance of creating annual budgets that allow the business to provide regular high-quality training for all staff members.

Human Resource consultant Josh Bersin of Deloitte explores tactics business leaders can follow in this post titled “Five Elements of a Simply Irresistible™ Organization;” while these are targeted to large employers, the basics he espouses are exactly the same for spas and small businesses. Put a little energy into considering the environment and culture you are providing, and it will come back to you in multiples.

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