Monday, 21 November 2016 12:15

What’s your recipe for fostering a positive work environment?

Written by   Rachael Pontillo, L.E., creator of Holistically Haute

For aestheticians, massage therapists, energy workers, and other hands-on practitioners, the level of stress they feel can have a negative impact on their clients and business.

Stress affects more than just the person feeling it; it spreads to every single person with which that person comes in contact. While it might seem like it is possible to shift into professional mode or put on a game face to cover stress or other negative emotions, from an energy standpoint, it always comes through. If a client senses a stressed professional or a negative or stressful working environment at the spa, they are unlikely to return or refer their friends.

Between 2013 and 2016, the top four contributors to workplace-related stress and a negative workplace environment were low pay, an unreasonable workload, unpredictability, and annoying co-workers.3 Fortunately, there are things a spa owner or manager can do to address these factors and foster a positive work environment.

Evaluate the current pay structure or payment arrangement. Spas are unique in that there is more than one arrangement a professional can have while working at a spa. They may be part-time or full-time employees who are paid an hourly wage in addition to gratuity and benefits, commission-based employees, or independent contractors. Other times, they are not employees at all; for example, the practitioner may be renting space from the spa. Whatever the arrangement, it should be agreed upon and fair to all parties and some type of monetary incentive or bonus structure should be built in.

Create guidelines around scheduling and stick to them. It can be difficult to gauge how many clients professionals should see each day. While overbooking may seem like a good way to compensate for no-show clients, it is a sure-fire way to increase workload-related stress. Scheduling a reasonable amount of time between clients and not over-booking are extremely important. While the unpredictability of whether a client will show or not is stressful, downtime can be translated into productive time. If a professional does end up with a cancellation or no-show, there are many productive ways they can spend that time, like marketing, interacting on social media, and networking. This time will help to grow the business.

Having a plan in place with weekly goals that need to be accomplished will ensure a reasonable workload and sense of security in the workplace.

Finally, workplace gossip needs to stop. This behavior still happens far too often in spa break rooms and during downtime. It spreads negative energy that, just like stress, affects everyone in the environment and the business. Spa managers should have specific guidelines with clearly stated consequences surrounding workplace gossip in order to ensure professional behavior and a positive work environment for all who work in the building, as well as for clients who come in for self-care and relaxation.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (24 June 2016) American Time Use Survey Summary.
2 (n.d.) Reader Reaction: Job Stress Survey Results.
3 GlobeNewswire News Room. NASDAQ Global Newswire, Inc, (9 Apr. 2013.) Workplace Stress on the Rise With 83% of Americans Frazzled by Something at Work.

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