In a world fraught with uncertainty and feelings of fear and insecurity about the political, social, and economic landscape, giving back serves to restore positivity, adjust attitudes, and provide a sense of satisfaction and joy. The good vibes gained from giving back benefit people individually and collectively.
To those who work in the spa industry, giving to others comes naturally. Skin care professionals give of themselves each moment they are with their clients – through their energy, by listening to clients' concerns, and through the power of touch. Giving is second nature in the skin care industry; therefore, incorporating giving back to the community through the spa can be a relatively seamless and simple process.
What benefits can skin care professionals expect to gain from giving back and how can they make giving to the community part of their everyday
BENEFITS OF GIVING BACK
Giving back brings people together on a unified front and forms a bond between team members. Working side by side while volunteering in the community helps to build respect, improve communication, facilitate teamwork, and increase awareness of everyone's role in the organization. Behind-the-scenes spa owners or managers should get out there with their team roll up their sleeves, and make a difference in the world. By doing so, it shows equality in the workplace, increasing trust and respect. It boosts the capacity to care for and empower one another to reach common goals. It also creates joy: there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. Giving creates a sense of accomplishment. Everyone wants to make an impact, whether or not they consciously realize it. The amazing feeling of having a positive effect on others is contagious. It can go viral in the most wonderful of ways, inspiring others to get involved in causes.
IMPLEMENTING A CULTURE OF GIVING BACK
Professionals will find there is some work involved in establishing ways to give back as a team. The good news is they do not have to do it all at once or all by themselves.
Just get started! Make the decision to do it and immediately involve the staff in the brainstorming process. Ask the staff which causes are important or close to their hearts. Does a team member have a family member who is suffering from diabetes, cancer, or multiple sclerosis? Is an employee an animal lover and involved with an animal rescue or shelter? Does the plight of the homeless population tug at an employee's heartstrings? Has someone's family member been touched by drug or alcohol abuse? Find out what is most important to the staff and try to incorporate it into plans for building a culture of giving back.
Start slow and simple sponsoring a resident of a local homeless shelter. Find out what that individual needs and assist in fulfilling those needs. For example, the spa could collect funds, donate a coat, provide toiletries, or write cards of encouragement.
Sponsor a drive. If animals are important to staff members, collect blankets, food, toys, pet-friendly cleaning products, collars, and leashes. Another option includes sponsoring a specific animal in need; many shelters request sponsors for dogs while they are awaiting rescue placement.
Match funds to help a non-profit of the team's choosing. For each dollar team members raise, match those donations (up to a certain dollar amount). Ask team members to discuss and vote on which local non-profit will receive the funds or allow each team member to decide where the funds are distributed.
Enable team members to volunteer their time. Consider providing some flexibility in the staff's work schedules to allow employees to contribute a set amount of time each week or throughout the month to volunteer at a non-profit organization.
Donate services through programs like Look Good Feel Better. Look Good Feel Better is a program where experienced cosmetologists and skin care professionals work as volunteers to help conduct group programs and/or one-on-one consultations for women undergoing cancer treatments.
Establish a giving back paid day off. Offer employees an annual paid day off reserved for volunteering at a charity or for a local cause of their choice.
Implement an extra end-of-year giving bonus. Donate the funds the company sets aside for this bonus to a non-profit organization chosen and agreed upon by the team.
Register to participate in a charity walk/run as a team. With little planning or coordination required on the professional's part, this option is incredibly easy to do. Multiple opportunities exist every year to join these events.
Get others involved. The more others are involved, the more impact the spa's efforts to give back will have. Leverage connections and resources to raise awareness and generate enthusiasm about volunteer endeavors. Consider a cooperative effort to donate a percentage of sales from certain services or products to a local non-profit.
Announce and share volunteer stories with the local media. Utilize press releases to newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television channels. Some outlets will publish your press release while others might reach out to interview the spa for an expanded story regarding philanthropic efforts.
Take advantage of the social media. Write posts, share images, and create short videos to announce these efforts.
It really does not matter how one chooses to give back to their community or how much they are able to give; what does matter is starting. As Mother Theresa once said, "It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving." Choose to make difference in the community and ask your team members for input and feedback on ideas on the best ways to begin. With a culture of caring that is embraced by all who work in the spa, the skin care professional and the staff will do great things and inspire others to become more giving.