In What Ways Do You Empower Your Staff?

"In staff meetings, I ask employees for their feedback. We discuss how to give savvy service and how each provider has the opportunity to make a difference with their guest, perhaps by offering a glass of complimentary wine during a nail treatment or giving a discount coupon to a guest for future treatments. With our front desk staff, we empower each [employee] to resolve any conflict before the customer leaves the spa, either by waiving a fee or giving a complimentary bottle of wine or gift. We really support the staff in standing behind their decision, whatever that may have been at the time, and then going over scenarios after the guest is gone so that we can provide excellent customer service."—Patty Field, spa director, Raindance Spa, The Lodge at Sonoma (Sonoma, CA)

Spa Desk
Spa Desk

"My staff is given the opportunity and responsibility to make important decisions. The thoughts and recommendations of the technicians and therapists are incorporated into the spa, whether the decision is about a massage table or product. The staff is also empowered by the recognition and support they receive from their colleagues and mentors. The Peninsula Spa has been consistently rated as one of the best hotel spas in the country—the way we got there is through our staff's hard work and the power they have to anticipate guests' needs and go above and beyond."—Danielle DeVaux, spa director, The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Chicago (Chicago)

"At spa claremont, staff empowerment leads the way to five-star service and customer satisfaction. Each department is given customer service responses that they can provide if necessary. For example, they can give up to ten percent off a service, ten percent off retail, or an invitation to return at a discount of twenty percent. When asked for guidance by associates, managers respond first with, 'What do you think should be done?' These are just a few of the practices we employ."—Kevin MacDonald, spa director, Claremont Resort & Spa (Berkeley, CA)

"I empower my staff by building a strong team-based work environment that affects every aspect of our business. There are no indi- vidual departments, meaning no one works for the 'massage department,' etcetera. Everyone works for the 'spa.' This fosters an environment that thrives on communication, commitment, and the ability to compromise in any given situation in order to get the job done. It also creates a staff with great pride and passion not only for what they do as professionals but also for the team with which they work. From this, staff members realize they are free to stand on their own and make decisions for the betterment of the customer as well as the business."—Laura Latronico, spa director, The Spa at Casa Del Mar (Santa Monica, CA)—Compiled and edited by Heather Mikesell