In the business of nurturing others, spas have long touted the importance of wellness and self-care. However, that message is sometimes lost on therapists and other employees who give their all to promote the wellbeing of their clients. Recently, there has been a shift in the industry, as more spa professionals have begun to recognize the fact that nurturers need nurturing, too. One spa at the forefront of caring for its staff is Rancho La Puerta (Tecate, Mexico). Launched in 2014, the destination spa’s Employee Wellness program has since grown to include 440 employees, two doctors, a nutritionist, a psychologist, and an exercise psychologist.
According to CEO Roberto Arjona, the program is intended to inspire staff members and their families to live a healthy lifestyle by following the founding practices of Rancho La Puerta. Employees can take advantage of classes and workshops that tackle topics, such as cancer prevention, drinking risks, and healthy eating practices. They can also take part in daily fitness classes that take place Monday through Friday on property specifically for staff and members of their families. What’s more, the program also gives participants access to complimentary lab work and physical exams every six months, which provides a snapshot of their progress in the program.
Since its launch, employees have lost a total of 1,268 pounds of body fat and approximately 500 inches from around their waists. “The program has shown a drop in obesity and overweight levels, an increase in productivity, and a decrease in absenteeism,” says Arjona. It has also helped decrease chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.
Going beyond just physical well-being, the spa also addresses employees’ financial wellness with company loans for the purchase of land, construction, and housing and a debt consolidation and management program to help employees pay off debts and manage the repayment of loans and finances with zero interest. “The repayment of loans is based on the employee’s ability to make payments without compromising his or her daily or basic needs,” says Arjona. According to him, the financial help is much appreciated by employees as are nutritional consultations for the entire family.