Friday, 28 August 2020 12:56

Four Highly Successful Ways to Motivate Spa Staff

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A staff that is motivated is essential to the success of a spa. It is possibly the most important component. Without a motivated staff, business will be less lucrative, and employee turnover could be endless. Both issues are very costly. People generally fall into three categories, self-motivated overachievers who require little push to succeed, those who shine with leadership, and those who may not be motivated to succeed. Most people fall into the middle category. Not every employee will be the brightest shining star. Self-motivated employees raise the bar of success, while others need motivation from the leaders in the business. For the business to thrive, steps must be followed to achieve and maintain the motivation of the staff and service providers. A motivated staff will increase revenue, reduce employee turnover, and produce satisfied clients.


A clear mission statement with the core values of the business should appear in all communications within the physical business and digital communications, like the website. Be sure to talk about these values with new hires to clarify that the value system is shared. Employees prefer to work for a company that aligns with their own vision. The work of each employee should be tied to the success of the company through the mission statement. A clear mission statement sets the tone for what is expected and valued. If wellness is a shared value, this is a good fit. Be the example of the values. If a spa does not have a mission statement, it can be created as a team and finalized by the owner.


A positive culture with positive vibes is essential for staff members to be motivated for success. The morale of the team is crucial to keep motivation high for all staff members and service providers. The environment created will be mirrored by its employees. To have a work environment free of drama or gossip means the leaders are not engaged in that activity. Be the leader and the example. It is human nature that employees will emulate their leaders.

An owner who is on time, organized, professional, and positive will ensure that the staff and service providers are the same. Stick to the mission statement and emulate what is desired in your business. Negative employees may need to be let go of. Keeping a negative employee will demotivate other staff members. Negativity spreads like a weed. Clients are attracted to a positive environment. Many spas offer wellness opportunities to maintain a positive culture in the form of a weekly yoga class, a treadmill onsite, a meditation opportunity, or ensuring work life balance.


To feel valued, different people have different needs. Team building activities can highlight what a staff needs to feel valued and appreciated. One person may need a verbal statement to reinforce they are doing a good job, where others may need a monetary bonus. Employees need to be respected and valued to be motivated to succeed. One way to achieve this is to include staff in decision making. The management, or owner, will make final decisions but with input of the staff. Most people feel valued when they are celebrated.

Professionals need to celebrate goals reached, including educational achievements. Celebrating an employee’s start date is also an option. Thanking and acknowledging an employee who has went above and beyond will confirm that they are valued. The result is a motivated team member. Of course, these actions will have to be authentic. Remember, an employee who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.


A balancing act is required to ensure the business owner and service provider both feel compensated. Spas have varied pay structures, such as commission, hourly, and even rental. The key point is to create a pay structure that is a win-win. If either party feels they are being taken advantage of, this can lead to hostility and demotivation. If the owner is too generous — leaving little resources left for emergencies can put the business at risk. If the owner is thinking one-sided and only of the business, it may be hard to retain employees.

There are many business resources to guide with formulas for pay structure. It is critical to do the research. Offering a competitive pay structure is motivating for employees. In addition, offer a clear career path with educational opportunities that will keep staff motivated with goals to strive for. More and more spas are offering vacation and sick, paid time off, health, dental, vision insurance, investment opportunities, and more. To stay competitive, keep spa staff highly motivated by offering benefits.



Trusting employees to do the tasks they are hired to do is key. Micromanagement is a quick way for owners or managers to lose focus on the bigger picture. They may become exhausted, and this can de-motivate their staff. If there is a fault found in an employee, look at the leader first. Spa owners need to question if enough direction, guidance, or support was offered. Managers need to create the environment where motivation is inspired in the employee without the need to micromanage.

Burn Out

A work life balance is important to avoid burn out. Remember employees have other aspects to their life other than their work. Employees will be more motivated by their leaders acknowledging and encouraging them to enjoy life outside of the workplace.

Little Incentive

Paying a living wage is important. Employees may view a job as temporary versus a career opportunity in the absence of goals and incentive. In the same respect, unattainable goals that offer low incentive may lead to demotivation or a lost employee.

It is truly a win-win when an environment is created that set employees and clients as a high priority. Spa owners and skin care professionals should consider this when coming up with new ways to motivate employees and find success within their spa business. The result of planning, training, and bring incentives to a spa business is highly motivating to staff, brings in happy clients, and an incredibly lucrative business.



Cali Vanaelst




Since graduating from Pivot Point in 1989, Cali VanAelst has been a practicing aesthetician and licensed cosmetologist. VanAelst paved her way within the industry and was named “Best Waxer” by New City Chicago Magazine, as well as being featured in many articles. VanAelst has become an expert in the waxing field and a contributing writer for many industry magazines. She has been educating aestheticians in waxing for the last 15 years. Currently the national training director for Perron Rigot, Inc., VanAelst’s passion for waxing is fueled through her hands-on education and coaching fellow aestheticians. She grew a strong successful waxing business through her Brazilian and eyebrow services. Now a highly sought-after speaker and educator, she continues to inspire new and fresh ideas in the waxing genre.

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