One of the challenges facing the Spa industry is how to manage training during high season. It’s an interesting one because for many operators it is an intensive revenue generating period and maximizing financial opportunities often becomes the priority.
While it’s natural – and smart – to capitalise on high season revenues it can be detrimental to the long-term success of the business if it becomes the sole priority. If the message you send to your team is ‘revenue above all else’ they may disregard or dismiss your other priorities, such as operating procedures and guest care.
A team that is busy and under pressure can easily loose sight of the bigger picture and corner-cutting may seem like an acceptable, and even necessary, survival skill. So, while you satisfyingly watch your suddenly abundant clientele come and go, it would be wise to consider…are they feeling the same sense of satisfaction?
It’s so obvious when you think about it, but easily forgotten when the pressure of financial performance is peaking.
This is what I’ve seen happen in spas during peak periods. Staff burn out is high, resulting in resignations and sick days. Standards slip, sometimes drastically. Team members are less likely to work cohesively and harmoniously because individual survival becomes the priority. Respect for management diminishes because team members don’t feel supported, rewarded or inspired. Mistakes and accidents, which often have a domino affect, happen more frequently. Operating costs are often proportionately higher because more hurry often means less control and care. Team development comes to a standstill because staff are focused on how much they can do rather than how well they can do it.
It makes good sense to schedule any technical training outside of peak periods. However, soft skills training and coaching – such as sales techniques, guest care, service flow – has the biggest impact when it is conducted regularly throughout the entire year. You don’t need to spend a lot of time, as little as 10 minutes a day will get results. In this way, consistent performance is maintained by a happier and more focused team. When you continue this type of training through your peak times, your team will be more motivated and better equipped to sell to, delight and retain the increased client numbers.
Preparation is the key to even greater high season success. If there are any problems with your team’s performance or service delivery, it’s best to get them ironed out before your appointment book fills up. A secret shopper program conducted prior to high season can highlight any problems that need to be addressed or specific skills that could be improved.
With increased business coming in through peak times, your potential for success is only limited by how well your team performs.