How You Can Tell If A Spa Employee Plans To Stay Long Term


Not sure how to read a certain spa therapist on staff? There are subtle ways to gauge if they have a vested interest in your spa organization.

Ask if they would like business cards of their own to hand to spa guests when they are working.

I offer to order business cards for all therapists on staff. I pay a portion of the business card costs and the balance will come out of their pay check and will be noted accordingly.

If you’re email goes unanswered about the cards, it may be that they are part time and do not feel it would be worthwhile to spend the money since they are not there every day. But from my experience, it usually means:

They don’t foresee staying on board for very long for a number of reasons.

i.e. they could be referring the guests to another spa where they work; the commission is higher

i.e. their spouse might be taking a job that requires them to relocate

i.e. they are giving their personal massage business card to the guests instead

i.e. they are part time and don’t feel they need to build their book


Ask them to create a bio about themselves to be featured on the spa’s web site under “Staff Bios”

If your email goes unanswered after you have asked them to compile a few paragraphs about themselves that will entice the spa guests to book with them, chances are they are not all that interested in getting noticed. I have followed up with massage therapists reminding them that I need a bio from them by a certain deadline. When they don’t comply, I don’t take it personally, but it usually means:

They chose to fly under the radar for a number of reasons.

i.e. they have worked at another spa for years but needed extra hours so they applied with you

i.e. they feel in their own element at that other spa; they do their best work in that setting

i.e. if the commission is higher at the other spa, they may tell the guests to find them there

i.e. this may be their first massage position right out of school and view it as temporary

i.e. some people may not like being on display and in competition with other massage therapists


Offer them extra hours to sub on prime days when other spa therapists are away

If the opportunity to work some extra shifts falls on deaf ears, they are not the type of spa therapist who is a go-getter. They may have transformed into a “warm body” i.e. one that shows for their shift but coasts through the day while not being present as they give the treatment. It creates a cycle that doesn’t benefit anyone:

i.e. this will affect their ability to create repeat business for the spa

i.e. it will dictate how much gratuity a guest will give them

i.e. they will continue to work at the spa but without any repeat requests, it will result in them working on guests with gift certificates

i.e.  guests using gift certificates may not know spa etiquette and will present the certificate as payment without tipping


Examine how responsible your workers are when they need to call out. Ask your staff to text you or the spa manager should they need to call out because of illness.

It’s 2012. If a spa therapist leaves a voice mail on the spa’s phone stating they are not coming in, this person couldn’t care less about the experience your guests receive. This type of thing usually happens on a weekend (Saturday at 3AM). You may not even realize that the messages need to be checked just to ensure everyone will show for work on that day. It was purposely left on the voice mail so they did not have to face anyone with their bogus reasons for calling out. Trust me, a couple sitting in your spa lounge in robes awaiting two therapists to greet them for a couples massage, only to learn one of the therapists has called out (on the spa’s voice mail), is unacceptable.

I gave one of my massage therapists a warning not to leave a massage on the spa’s voice mail if they needed to call out. He had my cell phone, yet he did it again the very next weekend.

Receiving a text at 7am at least gives the management a chance to text other spa therapists to come in and sub thus covering all appointments for the day.

If you’re not sure how valuable a certain spa therapist will be to your organization, just put out these “feelers” and you will have an idea if they view their employment with your spa as long term.