Although the economy seems to be improving, chances are you’re probably still feeling cautious when it comes to spending. Asking employees to do more with less is de rigueur these days. Not surprisingly, some of your staff may be feeling a bit under-appreciated right about now, especially considering the fact that raises and bonuses are in short supply. Fortunately, cash isn’t the only thing to bring a smile to their faces. “People will never admit it, but money is not the thing they desire most from their work,” says Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In (StepWise Press, 2011). “Instead, showing appreciation, respect, and, yes, even love are the three most important ways to make your people feel great about their work. And happy, engaged employees are the single best way to impact your company’s bottom line.” Here, Patkin reveals four strategies you can use in your spa to show your employees the love.
Send “love” notes. Writing a thank-you note when someone has done an excellent job or achieved a worthwhile goal can leave a lasting impression. “When you’re a leader, you’re busy and often overwhelmed,” says Patkin. “It’s understandable you might overlook saying the words ‘thank you,’ much less writing them. Remember, though, that positive reinforcement and sincere gratitude will increase the respect your team has for you and will improve their opinion of your entire organization.” Never underestimate the power of gratitude.
Distribute inspiration. If you’re like most people, you probably spend a great deal of your time at work or thinking about it. A place that demands that much of your attention should instill a sense of joy. Unfortunately, work is still work. However, you can make buoying your team’s spirits one of your goals. According to Patkin, helping them to see the world as a sunnier place will not only improve their attitudes but also their professional and personal productivity.
Share success stories. Everybody loves to be recognized and complimented, even those who downplay their achievements or seem uncomfortable with praise. Many bad attitudes have taken root when employees feel as though they’re being taken for granted. “When I saw that one of my people did something noteworthy, I made sure everyone else knew about it by sending the story about her accomplishment around in an email to the entire chain,” says Patkin. “I could literally see the glow on the highlighted employee’s face for weeks, and I also noticed that many of the other team members now worked even harder too in order to earn a write-up themselves. Remember to always praise in public as loudly as possibly, and conversely, criticize only in private.”
Identify stars. Take the sharing of success stories to the next level by regularly celebrating those who shine in your spa. “Instead of singling out just one person, you might consider recognizing multiple individuals every month,” suggests Patkin. “For example, I always wrote about several store managers in our ‘Managers of the Month’ newsletter. I know many within the team loved to read these personalized recognitions each month, and they motivated lots of the employees to work even harder to earn a spot on the pages themselves.”
Even though times may still feel tough, there are plenty of ways to create a positive work environment in your spa. “Showing people love, appreciation, and respect trumps money just about every time when it comes to building long-term motivation and boosting employee morale and loyalty,” says Patkin. “When you take the time to make your employees feel valued, they’ll know that you care about them on a more personal level, and they’ll be much happier at work. And in the end, when you’ve achieved a really positive atmosphere at work and the improved bottom line that will surely come from it, you’ll feel amazing, too.”