Lower than desired wages, high demand, and many other factors can cause spas employees to quit with regularity, often going on to become self-employed. This has a high price. According to research, the cost of losing and replacing an employee can be upwards to 200% of that employee’s salary. And if you’re doing that on repeat, you’re basically bleeding money.
There are ways to stem the tide and avoid many of these losses. Here are 7 strategies for reducing spa employee turnover:
Don’t burn your people out
Burnout is extremely common in spa and wellness. Short-sighted leaders often work their service providers to the point of exhaustion. This has a number of impacts, one of which is employee attrition. Spa managers and directors need to be mindful of how hard they’re working people and whether levels are sustainable. It’s important to keep the long goal in mind: is it worth it to cram in all those appointments today, rather than putting them of to tomorrow.
Be the support
A good performance management system can show you what is happening with your team on a granular level. These systems track KPIs, they deliver reports to tell you everything you need to know, like who is meeting sales goals and who isn’t. Use this information to then provide extra support to those who need it through additional training. A little guidance is often all you need to turn an underachiever into a star performer. This has the added benefit of instilling a feeling of gratitude and loyalty in the employee you took the time to support.
Reward good performance
Few things are as demotivating as not being recognized for one’s work. Be sure to incentivize effort and engagement with recognition. This can be in the form of prizes and monetary bonuses, but also just simple praise. There’s a reason companies hand out quarterly performance rewards: they work. This makes people feel appreciated, and people who feel appreciated are less likely to leave. Don’t consistently reward only star performers. Be sure to reward people for improvement as well.
Offer opportunities for advancement
Few people want to stay on the road to nowhere, performing the same duties every day with no way forward. According to research, all things being equal with compensation, benefits, and location, the most important factor for job seekers (across industries) when evaluating a potential employment opportunity is “opportunities for advancement.” But managers usually look outside to hire for senior roles and 88% of employees have to change companies to move up. Creating pathways to advancement not only stops the flow of attrition, but it also has the added benefit of providing you with a pool of leadership talent that is trained to your exact specifications.
Give employees a sense of ownership
Empowered people are motivated people – and those with a sense of ownership of something are less likely to leave it behind. This means aligning your entire team on goals and directions and creating a shared vision. Make sure you and your staff are working towards a common goal and, most important, that they all understand how their individual contribution affects the company’s success. Research suggests employees are more motivated when they understand the impact of their work.
Empower your staff
Every team member should feel that he or she has a voice and that their opinions matter. They should be made to feel a part of the decision process and also encouraged to create their own projects within the organization, when reasonable. Continuing on the theme of ownership, when someone has implemented and then finds themselves in charge of something – like an annual charity drive or a social media initiative – they’re not going to want to leave that behind. They’re going to stay because they are invested.
Be willing to invest
If you want people to feel invested in you, they need to feel that you’re invested in them. Stephanie Rest of Caribbean Wellness & Education said in a recent interview that the spa and wellness industry is reaching a point where it is becoming necessary to take this idea seriously. She said, “Like everyone, we have a huge deficit in providers. So, if we find someone with great attitude and an interest, we’ll put that person through school. Managers must be the advocates for their spa and consistently be recruiting to acquire talent. We must peruse non-traditional recruitment practices, go out and find people, and potentially put good people with great capacity through school. Most of us are at the tipping point now where it is not an available avenue, but a necessity.”
Some of these strategies may require a shift in outlook and a little more work in the beginning. But they will cost you less than steady attrition in the long term, and that’s worth it.