APR 2016

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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76 DAYSPA | APRIL 2016 MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP If your business has the budget, consider offering scholarships and donations to selected schools. In do- ing so, you'll develop quality relationships with these institutions, and in effect help turn them into recruiters of sorts for your business. According to Soukup, training is the most crucial aspect of modern HR management—and an area in which many spa owners drop the ball. "It's amazing to me how many spa owners fail to realize the im- portance of investing in employee development," she says. "It's a major reason that many spa owners will never achieve the levels of success they might otherwise reach." Soukup thinks that training should be structured, ongoing and all encompassing, particularly when it comes to increasing profi ts. "Many spa owners don't train employees on how to maximize the revenue real- ized from each client," she points out. "They'll teach them to perform spa-specifi c tasks—a certain facial or massage, for example—but they don't provide more general business training." That's a mistake, Soukup believes, because the business owner is failing to in- vest in their own—and their employees'—success. Coll-Buell is also an advocate of ongoing training, particularly early on. "The fi rst 90 days are key," she says. "They set the tone for the future relationship between the employee and the company." Follow-up is vital too: the industry pro recommends that progress be evaluated every 30 days. "Offer employees feed- back that includes specifi cs about what they're doing well, what they need to improve and guidelines for making changes," she suggests. Another of Soukup's top tips: Before hiring a new employee, create a nonlegal "commitment agree- ment" that outlines everything required of them. "We use it during the interview process to spell out expec- tations and responsibilities, and they sign it before ac- cepting the job," she says. "It's a great way to be cer- tain that they understand what their duties will be." A commitment agreement is also a useful man- agement tool after the candidate has been hired, points out Soukup, "Because if you begin to see undesirable behavior from the employee, you can use the agreement to remind them of the standards and responsibilities that they agreed to uphold before they were hired." Leslie Lyon, president of Spas2b, a leader in ad- vanced spa business management education, pro poses a continual, structured training program to bolster your staff's skills that consists of: • I n-house, certifi ed, service-ready training for new-hires • Ongoing standards training and testing for all staff members • Off-site training for employees who meet specifi ed achievement criteria Lyon is also a fan of a 1970s- and '80s-era man- agement principle that seems to be making a come- back: that of MBWA, or Management By Wandering Around. "I recommend that spa managers spend 50% to 60% of their time interacting with staff," she says, adding that this may help resolve issues in areas where management often falls short: transparency, communication and employee wellness. Although the foundational aspects of human nature don't change over time, very defi nite and distinguish- ing characteristics can be associated with specifi c generations. This is especially true when it comes to millennials—people born between 1980 and the early 2000s—who, according to Pew Research Center, now represent the largest labor pool in the U.S., at more than 53 million individuals. Savyy HR managers are cognizant of this group's unique attributes, and know to accommodate them as necessary. One key area in which millennials differ from their older coworkers is retention. Lyon has observed that employees in younger age brackets tend not to stay with any one employer for long. "To millennials, a two-year tenure would be roughly comparable with a 10-year tenure for a member of the Baby Boomer generation," she offers. Coll-Buell has witnessed additional challenges posed to HR managers by this younger generation. "Some millennials lack the social skills and communi- cations etiquette of previous generations," she says. "They tend to question direction more; they need to know and understand why things have to be done as requested. They also require more direct communica- tion, and ongoing feedback and encouragement." Chris Delker is a freelance writer based in Dallas.

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