Courtesy of The Raithwaite Estate Spa, N Yorks
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UK Spa Association

News and views from the UK Spa Association

Spa Staff Engagement starts in the Interview

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I have always believed that the key to engaging your staff and ultimately retaining them begins at the interview.

Whilst every candidate needs to come prepared for the role for which they are being interviewed, so too should the interviewer. Study their CV and be prepared with questions. If you are interviewing for Therapists, you may get your Treatments Manager to conduct the initial interview and trade test. However, it’s essential that you as Spa Manager see them too. Meet every person for every role within your spa. Not only to check they are suitable for the role but to set your expectations of the role and what you will expect from them. This will enable them to make a clear decision on whether this is the job for them and they will have respect for you for taking the time to see them. Allow yourself a valuable 10/15 minutes to meet every potential employee.

When will I hear?

Set yourself a two-week timeframe for recruiting each role. After you have shortlisted your CV’s, choose up to six to interview. At the end of the interview give them an idea of when they will hear back from the company and stick to this. There is nothing worse than waiting to hear back from a company after a job interview. As Spa Manager, personally make the call of the offer to the successful candidate and in addition write to all the unsuccessful candidates in a timely manner.

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Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa in Cumbria was the host of the UK Spa Association Spring Networking Event.

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Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa in Cumbria was the host of the UK Spa Association Spring Networking Event.

The UK spa industry headed to The Lake District in full force with over 100 of the UK’s top spa professionals, including owners, suppliers and consultants, attending a full day of networking event. As one of the nation’s leading, multi-award winning spas achieving the prestigious ‘5 Bubbles’ in the Good Spa Guide, Armathwaite Hall made the ideal location for hosting such a prestigious event.

Following a welcome talk from Armathwaite Hall’s General Manager Simon Steele, networking amongst spa industry insiders took place alongside two inspiring talks.

This included a discussion on ‘Dementia in Spa’ from Danielle Alen, Spa Director of Lifehouse Spa in Essex, which covered the specific needs of guests with dementia, and ‘The Alternative Kitchen’ from renowned food and beverage consultant Stu Henshall which highlighted the role of plant-based menus and the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options in hotels and spas. 

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The Retail Experience

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Our Spa Guests want to shop, what they don’t want is to be sold to. Here are some tips on effective retailing from my own experience working in Spas.

Selling shouldn’t be a chore, it shouldn’t feel uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be forced. The Therapists with the highest sales in my experience are those that simply express passion for the products demonstrating a genuine belief in the benefit to the customer. The products will sell themselves if combined with a wonderful treatment and to emphasize this the Therapist has the opportunity to select the most appropriate products for that client’s skin type and requirements. The key is to then gently advise on why they have selected the products that they have chosen, discuss the client’s current beauty regime, identify any specific needs and concerns and simply make recommendations.

The Therapist should have had thorough training in the product brand that they are using and it’s vital they have been able to experience the products themselves. The most genuine and effective sales come from Therapists who can vouch for the product they are recommending.

Let the client finish their treatment in a wonderfully relaxing way by offering them a drink and then ideally taking them to a relaxation space where they may continue to rest. The worst end to a treatment is to have a sale pushed on you. 

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