Strategies to Ensure Workplace Wellness for Spas and Salons

Six strategies to develop workplace wellness // Photo credit nensuria/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Happy employees are the core of any successful business. It’s no secret that the positive attitude of employees can have a direct impact on productivity, retention, and profitability of a company.  However, employee retention is one of the top challenges faced by most wellness organizations. Although workplace wellness includes monetary perks and benefits, management gurus believe that motivators beyond the money go a long way in keeping the staff happy, engaged, and motivated.

Alice O’ Donnell, vice president of people at Massage Heights, says employees these days are more mindful of their own health and wellbeing and hold these benefits on the list as a motivator when choosing a place of employment. “We did our own proprietary research study and asked our employees what was most important to them beyond pay,” says O’Donnell. “The most cited were recognition, rewards, a flexible work schedule, and the ability to grow their craft.”

Here, check out six key factors to ensure workplace wellness at your business.

1. Recognition

According to Gallup’s analysis, only 33 percent of employees believe they received regular recognition, and the rest felt undervalued due to lack of recognition. Employees look for genuine and positive feedback for a job well done. Celebrate the accomplishments of team members that increase employee workplace happiness. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are likely to be more efficient, productive, and stay at their company longer. “I treat my staff like family, value their input, and provide them with recognition and the opportunity for continued learning,” says Matthew Traiger, owner and CEO of Jesamondo Salon & Spa (Natick, MA). “The majority of staff have been with us for more than 10 years, with one of the stylists who has been an employee for 36 years.”

2. Leadership Opportunities

If you want your staff to be engaged in your business, create a culture which provides opportunities for the team to learn, grow, and lead. Employees feel valued when superiors invest time and effort to bring out the best in them. Employees appreciate a career more than a job, so identifying the potential of an employee coupled with growth opportunities will keep the staff actively engaged in your business. Empowering employees is not about telling them to implement changes and then micro-managing every move. Instead, inspire the team to be responsible and give them true autonomy. “I allow staff to implement new policies and procedures if they feel that improvements can be made,” says Traiger. “Since they are on the front line they often come to me with areas that could be improved to make a better customer experience.”

3. Know Your Employees

When you make your staff feel special, it goes a long way to add value to your business. Spend a few minutes getting to know how your team feels at work, their health, and encourage them to share their stories. It sends a message that their overall wellness is valued and fosters strong and healthy relationships. Every month, Traiger spends time with his staff at casual dinners after work and also organizes annual retreat and outings. “It’s important to spend time out of the spa as well,” says Traiger.

4. Open Communication

Effective communication promotes a positive work environment where there are less chances of misunderstanding and encourages transparency and accountability. “An open, honest communication and consistent feedback provide employees the direction they need to provide our guests with the best service,” says O’Donnell. Massage Heights has an open-dialogue forum called AM and PM Summits where team members can discuss and give feedback. Such a strategy breaks down silos and brings together both front of house staff and back of house staff to ensure the best guest experience. 

When you include your staff in critical decisions, employees know that their opinions matter and align them with the company’s goals. “I ask input from employees very often as they are in the know of popular and exciting new styles,” says Traiger. “This gives us the cutting edge. My stylists are typically following influencers and other folks in the beauty world, so it is important for them to share what they are seeing out there as new trends.”

5. Flexibility

A recent EY survey shows employees value work flexibility more than any of the perks associated with a job, apart from pay and benefits. Inflexible work hours leave employees stressed, exhausted, sick, and a lot less happy at work. An openness to flexibility improves employee engagement and boosts performance and productivity when they know they have better control over their lives. 

6. Rewards

Rewards show how you appreciate your team. It not only identifies the diligence of the employees but also encourages them to work harder towards your business goals. “I think it is so important to reward folks to show them that you value them as an employee and also care about their overall wellbeing and happiness,” says Traiger. “That is something that sets us apart and keeps employees wanting to come to work every day. When our customers come in they feel can feel the culture and the overall environment.” 


As a business that primarily focuses on the wellness of people, spas and salons that pay attention to things besides pay and benefits can promote a deeper sense of engagement and improve welfare among teams. Workplace wellness isn’t just about a list of staff programs but nurturing the best qualities in people through positive reinforcement, which will in turn boost your company’s bottom line.



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