The business benefits of learning a new skillSep 13, 2022
One of the beautiful things about the spa industry is that it doesn't stand still. There are new innovations, new experiences, new destinations and new knowledge bases to draw from all the time. The foundations might remain true but the capacity for developing specialist skills or expanding your knowledge base is always evolving.
In any business there is a lot to be gained by continuously learning and developing new skills. We ourselves are big believers in constant growth - particularly when it comes to the spa industry and supporting cancer patients. We know the importance of staying up to date with cancer treatments, and we know how many possibilities are open to spa businesses with tailored knowledge to target the needs of specific groups. For example, there are 13 million in one of the three stages of menopause in the UK alone.
At Jennifer Young we continually reflect on our training to make sure it reflects the most up to date knowledge in oncology touch therapies and hormone balancing treatments. As we launch our new Therapeutic Oncology Massage qualification this month, we look at the business benefits of learning new skills.
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How learning a new skill can boost your business
There are three reasons to learn a new skill or take up additional training for work:
- You have to in order to keep practising and keep your knowledge relevant.
- You choose to because you're interested and conscientious and know it will make you better at your job.
- It will give you the opportunity to expand your business in one way or another.
For some people, the motivation is a combination of all three factors, but we hope that the main driver is passion for your job. Research has shown that there are multiple benefits - personal and professional - to learning a new skill, which ultimately helps to boost your business.
Learning is good for your brain health
The Central Connecticut State University wrote that with learning your brain chemistry changes: "The white matter in your brain is called myelin, and it helps improve performance on a number of tasks. The more people practise a new skill they are learning, the more dense the myelin in their brains becomes, which helps them learn even better."
Professional training helps you to achieve your professional goals
Learning a new skill is often the bridge between taking another step on your professional career path. That might be enhancing the client experience, being eligible for a promotion or being able to offer more services.
Learning enhances confidence and motivation
Knowing what we're doing and feeling confident in our jobs is fundamental to feeling good and motivated about our work. One of the things we have spoken a lot about is the need for employees, and particularly therapists to feel empowered at work. In the spa environment in particular, that means having the skills to feel safe and confident in the treatments you're delivering, especially when it comes to vulnerable clients.
Upskilling increases connections between skill areas
The more you learn about your chosen profession, and the more specialist knowledge you gain, the more you can see connections between different skills and they weave together. Someone very wise once said to me, most people who are truly excellent at what they do know an enormous amount about a very small area. It's in having that knowledge that you see opportunities that others don't, gaps in the market and spaces where you can do things better.
Benefits of upskilling for spa businesses
Within the spa industry there are additional business benefits that upskilling can provide, both for individual therapists and for larger spa businesses. Here are a few examples:
Increased client base
While spa therapies cast a wide net in terms of suitability, wellness is becoming evermore personalised. We know, for example, that one in two people are now likely to get cancer at some point in their lifetime, so it's fitting for therapists to have skills that enable and empower them to support cancer patients rather than ruling them out altogether. Similarly, supporting women through menopause with dedicated treatments opens up a targeted market that's currently undeserved and in need of holistic wellbeing support.
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Better income generation
As therapists it can often feel uncomfortable to think about generating income when much of our work is about supporting people. However, in order to keep doing that we do need to earn a living. The deeper our knowledge and the more specialised our skill sets, the more value we offer to our clients in terms of meeting their needs. In return, the more we are likely to generate long-term relationships with those clients who are more likely to return for repeat visits if they gain meaningful experiences with us.
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Improved customer experience
Customer experience is essential to any business, but in something as personal as the spa world, it's so important for clients to have a positive time. Gaining new skills and feeling confident in your job, particularly when it comes to supporting vulnerable clients is so important for putting both you and your client at ease. So often, when new therapists are faced with a client who has had a mastectomy or other cancer treatment for example, the desire not to offend can create an uncomfortable environment. Learning specialist skills is in part about treatment delivery, but it's also about feeling confident and therefore being able to make the client feel safe and confident too.
Better staff retention
It's no secret that the spa industry has been one of many struggling to find and retain enough staff members post pandemic. Keeping staff has become crucial to sustainable business (it always was, but now it's even more obvious). Providing unique, career enhancing training opportunities is an invaluable way to support staff, make them feel valued and to give them even more reasons to stay, with the opportunity for career progression.
Our new Therapeutic Oncology Massage qualification takes our knowledge of acupressure points, skincare and aromatherapy and uses it to help ease the common side effects of cancer treatment, ranging from nausea to anxiety.
Help cancer patients through the common side effects of chemotherapy
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