Employee wellbeing: what does it mean for your spa business?Jan 24, 2022
According to a study at the end of 2021, 87% of companies agree that employee wellbeing is critical but only 25% are doing anything about it.
Nonetheless, the Global Wellness Institute, amongst others, has forecast a growing trend in workplace wellbeing, with businesses finally cottoning onto the realisation that the health and success of a business is directly linked to the overall wellbeing of their staff. With the current skills shortage it’s more important than ever that spa businesses find, value and look after good spa therapists in order to retain them and the standards of care for clients.
However, employee wellbeing is not just in terms of the spa industry’s own team members - it also presents an opportunity for spa businesses to:
- Help other companies take care of their team
- Have a positive influence on the nation’s health and wellbeing
- And develop their own commercial proposition
In this article we look at some of the ways spa therapists and spa businesses can support one another, and also look at the commercial opportunities that the rise in employee wellness can present to the spa industry.
What workplace wellness means for spa therapists as employees
Most spa business owners are supportive people who value their team and the work that they do. Most are either working therapists or have done in the past, so they understand the pressures that you’re under and empathise with them enormously.
That said, they are not mind readers, and with the best will in the world, they will to some extent depend on open communication to understand how you’re feeling. So what can you do as an employee to protect your own wellbeing and help your employer understand what you need.
Looking after yourself
Of course, there are certain things you can do to help look after your own wellbeing. None of the self-care advice we can offer will be a surprise to you, but we have detailed a number of things that you might find helpful to review and reconsider in our downloadable wellness guide.
DOWNLOAD OUR WELLNESS GUIDE
Getting support from your employer
Having an open dialogue with your employer is also important. A lot of people find it hard to talk to their boss about how they feel when they feel overworked or even about ideas they have to support team members. As a result it often gets left too late, and reaches a point where you feel burnt out. That’s absolutely not to say that burnout is in anyway your fault; it’s not. However, it’s empowering to find ways to take control and help prevent it from happening. The best way to do that is to talk.
- Speak to your colleagues to check in and see how they are.
- If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed or something in particular has happened that’s affecting your wellbeing, try to speak to your boss when you are feeling calm. Ask to have a scheduled conversation and explain how you’re feeling. If you have ideas around potential solutions, it can be a great way to start a constructive conversation.
- Try to remember that your boss wants to help you feel happy and well at work - it’s in the best interests of everyone.
What workplace wellness means for spa business owners
When it comes to the impact of workplace wellness for spa business owners, there are two sides to the coin. The first is about how you look after your team and the second is being aware of the marketing possibilities that the increased awareness around employee wellbeing presents for your business.
Workplace wellness as an employer
Happy, healthy therapists will deliver a better standard of care and service to your clients. They will be more likely to stay with your spa business, which in turn will save you money on recruitment and training but will also ensure consistency of service. Finally, it will make for a better working environment for all… it’s also the right thing to do.
While the list of recommendations is endless, and we have discussed this from different points of view in other articles, including our interview with Steve Charleton, Founder of the The REAL. Leadership Consultancy, here are a few things that might help you foster a healthy workplace that supports employee wellbeing:
- Respect individuals’ out-of-work hours: Most therapists are conscientious people who care deeply about their work. That means that they will likely answer the phone or an email even when they really need to be resting. Therapists are highly susceptible to burnout because of the nature of their work. Sometimes it falls to the employer to respect their time and limit communications to working hours.
- Setting work boundaries: It’s important to stay aware of the number of hours that members of your team are working, and to make sure that they don’t get overworked. Sometimes that will depend on the type of treatments they’re delivering on any given day as well as the number of hours they’re working in a week. While we’re all responsible for our own health, employers do have a duty of care towards those who work for them.
- Create a culture of communication: Communication is the best way to help employees address any issues before they become overwhelming, to generate ideas and to generally look after one another. Creating a culture of open communication and support in the workplace isn’t easy but does create a supportive working environment. Explore different ways of talking to one another from general conversation to more formal meetings both one-on-one and as a team. You can also try using team newsletters and dedicated staff social media platforms to keep in touch.
- Appoint an employee wellness advocate: Another suggestion that many businesses find helpful is to appoint an employee wellness advocate within the team, who can liaise between staff members and senior leadership. Not everyone finds it easy to chat to their boss, so if someone is dedicated to taking the general temperature of the team and keeping an eye out for anyone who’s struggling, it can help to look after one another.
- Train your team: One of the biggest threats to employee wellbeing when it comes to spa therapists is feeling vulnerable or unprepared at work. This feeling has been especially heightened by the pandemic, where therapists are acutely aware of risk management - protecting themselves and their clients from infection. This is particularly prevalent where vulnerable clients are concerned. The best way to address it is to stay aware of challenges that are facing the team and the industry, keep up to date with training opportunities that could empower your team and be prepared to invest in their ongoing education. It will not only help them but will also extend the service that you offer your clients.
Employee wellbeing business opportunities
Last but by no means least, there are business opportunities that come from the increased awareness around employee wellbeing. It’s not just spa businesses that want to take care of their team; it’s businesses in general.
While spa business owners might have the upper hand when it comes to knowledge about caring for their own team members, lots of business owners don’t have the same privilege, and look to us for guidance and ideas.
It’s a great opportunity to think about your marketing and your business offering with a view to ideas such as:
- Providing packages for team wellness days
- Offering treatment subscriptions for companies to give to employees
- Developing loyalty schemes and discount codes for corporate wellness programmes
It was estimated that 12 million working days were lost in the UK to work-related mental health conditions in 2019, and that was before the impact of Covid-19. Lots of business owners want to do something about it but don’t know where to turn. As spa therapists and spa businesses it’s within our gift to lead the way and offer ideas both by setting a good example, and by creating corporate wellness offerings that truly support individuals and their health.
We’d love to hear more about your ideas for supporting employee wellness! Share your thoughts on our Facebook and Instagram.