There is much discussion about bringing wellness to the arena of spa, of serving the guest holistically in mind, body and spirit. Of course we should do this: spa is a wonderful atmosphere in which to relax and let go, and we all hope that they will be able to gain something in the process.
I would like to take a few minutes here to address the wellness of the spa itself. More and more spas are moving toward being eco-friendly, and “greenwashing” notwithstanding, are asking for more and more certified organic products. This is good for the environment and for the marketing potential of the spa. Moving past this physical aspect of the spa, “the what we use and what we do” aspect, there is the wellness of the most integral part of any spa: the therapists.
Therapists are what separate a particular spa from all other spas, and can separate a spa from all the other spas in the area, and make it a formidable competitor. Many spas use the same product lines and offer the same treatments. What can make a spa stand out as a spa among many other spas: a spa where people want to come often, and a spa that people talk about to other people as the place to go are the therapists and the excellence with which they perform the services on the menu.
Certainly, the therapists should all be highly trained and have impeccable guest relation skills. More than that, though, there should be a dynamic synergy—where there is a feeling that all the staff are in a rhythm and a pace of working that holds the guest’s well being as the highest goal. All the therapists should be diverse in their knowledge as a whole, and also be specialists in their specific areas of expertise. Each person, secure in their own knowledge, can accept and support the knowledge of others….especially when talking to guests at the spa.
As a team, and all spa staff, and therapists most importantly, must do more than verbally represent the spa in this way. They need to feel it. They need to believe it. They have to know it and operate from that knowledge. Only then will it become real, and when it is real, there is the energy of teamwork that permeates the entire spa. It creates a flow and a rhythm that becomes synergistic to where the whole becomes more than the some of its parts. This will bring success to the spa through the dynamic wellness it fosters.
It should never be a thought, much less an issue, that one person can do a better treatment than another. It should be that each and every therapist gives the absolute best treatment for the person in their care in the moment. And how the therapists, as a team, do that? Of course they are present and caring; secure in the knowledge that they know what they know and can do it well.
But, there can be more to it than that. There could/should be the desire to expand awareness, to expand knowledge, and to want to discover new and different ways of approaching treatments. If this is accomplished with the support of each other and of management, there is both progress and added wellness in the process of the learning and the growing. The attitude of “I don’t get what you’re talking about” and closing the mind is replaced with the attitude of “Wow, that’s intriguing…tell me more” The latter attitude is how we grow and broaden, both individually and collectively. It’s also how we educate our guests and help them move toward their own wellness.
Working as a team, and moving the spa forward effectively, is impeded if therapists see themselves as independent. It should never be a (spoken or unspoken) fight to see who gets more treatments or a competition over who knows more. Sometimes, the better way is to give up a treatment in deference to the interests of the guest, or because by doing it, one can create a little more abundance for a teammate. It can be a very good thing to step outside ourselves and look at the bigger picture to create abundance and success for the team and for the spa as a whole.
One cannot be innovative and be “in the box” at the same time. The spa must keep up with, if not surpass, the current trends in the industry. This means that staff, as a team, needs to be available to training in innovative spa treatments. Things cannot be done as they always have been and maintain a place on the forefront of the industry at the same time. In the present atmosphere of competition in the spa industry, there is no room for competition within the spa itself. No one therapist is better than another, though each has certain training that others may not have. Certainly, all have experience that, if shared, can only work to increase the holism of the spa and wellness of the spa environment.
One part of the equation is being willing to share. Another part of the equation is being willing to receive. To be competitive as a business, management cannot rely on what they have “always done” or “always known”. To create this internal wellness of the spa is to move forward in an innovative way that will allow the spa to flow in to progress and thereby flow in to success.