Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks

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Spa Staff Engagement starts in the Interview

I have always believed that the key to engaging your staff and ultimately retaining them begins at the interview.

Whilst every candidate needs to come prepared for the role they are interviewing for so should the interviewer. Study their CV and be prepared with questions. If you are interviewing for Therapists, you may get your Treatments Manager to conduct the initial interview and trade test. However, it’s essential that you as Spa Manager see them too. Meet every person for every role within your spa. Not only to check they are suitable for the role but to set your expectations of the role and what you will expect from them. This will enable them to make a clear decision on whether this is the job for them and they will have respect for you for taking the time to see them. Allow yourself a valuable 10/15 minutes to meet every potential employee.

When will I hear?

Set yourself a two-week timeframe for recruiting each role. After you have shortlisted your CV’s, choose up to six to interview. At the end of the interview give them an idea of when they will hear back from the company and stick to this. There is nothing worse than waiting to hear back from a company after a job interview. As Spa Manager, personally make the call of the offer to the successful candidate and in addition write to all the unsuccessful candidates in a timely manner.

How will my new role begin?

Send your new employee an email or letter clearly outlining the start date and time, where to meet you when they arrive, plans of what to wear, lunch arrangements and what to expect on day one. This information should go out with the contract as soon as possible. Doing so sets the tone and the new employee will feel at ease. Ask them to write a short bio and send a picture of themselves that you can display in the staff room to introduce them to the rest of the team.

Meet and greet

On day one the Spa Manager should personally meet the new employee with a warm welcome. Issue them with a schedule for the first couple of weeks, ideally including a company induction, time to meet the other staff members and training times and requirements.

Buddy up

It’s daunting starting any new job. A great way to support your new employee is to allocate them a buddy. Ideally someone on the same level and in the same role that has some experience of the company. This person can then be there ‘go to’ for advice and support. This is not only helpful to the new employee but can also be rewarding for the buddy.

Cuppa and catch up

As a Spa Manager you have probably left your new employee to get on with their training plan in the capable hands of your line staff. After one week of employment it’s good to have an informal chat with your new employee. How are they finding the new role? Anything further they require in terms of support? This will enable you to revise their starter plan if required and to ensure they feel you are interested. Thereafter check in with them weekly, a five-minute check will be reassuring to them.


Performance reviews are so important. After the initial three-month probation review ensure your team members receive an annual review and a mid-year discussion. Whilst it is a great opportunity for you to set goals and evaluate their performance, it is also a chance for you as Spa Manager to spend some quality time with your employee and allow them to be open with their feedback. Often employees wait until these valuable reviews to really reflect on their performance and feelings towards the role. Use it as a time to find out what motivates your team member.

Ongoing engagement

There are many ways to keep your team motivated and engaged within the company. Be an involved, supportive, hands-on Spa Manager and you will find your role truly rewarding.

Put simply, Happy Staff mean Happy Customers. Happy Customers mean Successful Spa.

Helena Field. , General Manager of National Spa Association and

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Thursday, 06 August 2020