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Spa Turnover: Top Tips for the Industry Post COVID-19

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Allan Share, president of the Spa Industry Association, offers helpful insight around hiring post COVID 19

"Let's be honest, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately, it does not seem like we are out of the woods just yet. Among some of the biggest challenges that spa owners and managers face today is staffing and employee retention."

Here are some of the most common dynamics he sees from hundreds of interactions with spas and salons:
  • Employees who have been working over the last two years and are gainfully employed.

  • Employees deciding to stop working and are out of the current workforce.

  • Potential employees are vacillating. The current environment concerns them and they’re not committed to working right now.

  • There are less industry schools than a few years ago, and therefore, less new employees to the industry and less opportunities for potential employees to receive an education through these schools (this has now become a circular challenge).

  • Large non-industry-related companies and employers are paying employees higher salaries and offering stronger benefits, so some potential employees have left the industry.

"Don’t give up just yet", he warns. If you've been discouraged with some of the larger online employment resource websites by paying fees or not getting the kind of employees they are seeking. He advises utilizing resources like (the Spa Industry Association’s (SIA) free hiring site) and (the International Spa Association’s (ISPA) job bank search tool"

He also mentions going old fashioned by offering to paying your current team a bonus when they help you find new staff members or trying out hiring recruiters, but to be prepared to pay about 20 percent of the employee’s first-year salary.

He notes the challenging process of interviewing but hiring must now be an ongoing part of your business. "Regardless of how good your current team is, you are going to need to hire in advance of someone leaving to ensure stability. Even in these tight financial times, spas and salons may have to be heavier on payroll to protect themselves and their business.
Given today’s staffing challenges, it’s important that all employees feel like they are an important part of the team, not just in words, but in actions, too" .

These are the tips he provided on how to take care of your team members:
  • Train employees to a five-star level, compensate them fairly, and show interest in their families and their lives.

  • Be flexible to the needs of your employees, and meet frequently to talk about their job satisfaction.

  • Make sure your employees understand the culture of your business, create an incentive program for them to bring in new employees, and compensate them for these efforts.

  • Be friendly with other facilities in your area (you may need each other down the road).

  • Consider your expenses and review your prices. If you need to increase them, do so slowly, but regularly.

He leaves off with words of encouragement for the future of the industry
"While the last couple of years have been difficult for our industry, with a positive attitude and the desire to work at it, our best years are coming."

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