Enlightened spa owners and managers know their employees yearn to feel good about themselves. It probably will not surprise you that people with poor opinions of themselves (i.e.: lack of self-esteem) don't perform as well as those folks who have a healthy, balanced, self-opinion. Throughout life we are all exposed to negative messages about ourselves. Those messages of unworthiness can put dents in a person's confidence--and confidence is an important success ingredient.
Most likely, you don't have a degree in social work or counseling, which is fine. It doesn't require a degree for a spa owner or magnager to work with people and help them nurture their positive perceptions of themselves. Here are four keys that will help your employees self-perceptions. You'll want to incorporate these into all your interactions with them. The results? Over time, you'll see their productivity improve, your staff turnover will be reduced, and your spa's profitability will increase.
- Offer your employees unconditional acceptance as individuals: This says to them, while you value and accept them as individuals, no matter what, it does not mean you accept all their behavior. The good news is if their behavior is unacceptable, their behavior can be changed. Unconditional acceptance of individuals leads to your building an environment of trust, where employees feel free to take risks and make mistakes. Although some believe people perform best when they are under pressure, precisely the opposite holds true. People perform best when they're relaxed.
- Insist on excellence: When you hold a high standard of excellence, you are saying to your people, "I know you're capable of being the best you can be." In turn, your employees can say to themselves that they are too good to accept anything else other than the best.
- Set firm boundaries: You do this by defining (in writing) and enforcing standards. While some people believe standards restrict their ability to perform, in reality they do just the opposite. They give your people the freedom to operate within the boundaries of the standards. Your employees can feel confident that they won't have to continually look over their shoulder. If you want your people to perform at peak levels in the game of business, you have to define the rules of the game. People always perform better when they know the rules. Remember to give your people a chance to rise to the challenges you present to them.
- Pay attention to and accentuate your people's positive attributes rather than just their performance: Why? Isn't this all about performance? Yes; however, when you recognize what was accomplished and the person who accomplished it, you reinforce the persons' self-esteem. How? You make it difficult for people to separate themselves from the actual performance.
Use words that accentuate personal attributes, words such as thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, good judgment, and control. When you speak with your people, instead of saying "that was a good job, you are doing great, say something like "your determination and paying great attention to detail went a long way towards the success of our new product launch."