Think back to Monday’s statistics on mental health – this has a huge impact on retention and potentially recruitment within our industry

Could you invest in an incentive for your employees today?

Could you implement ideas such as:

Employee of the Month

An Employee Recognition Policy

Physical Mobility Rewards Programme (e.g. free breakfast for those who cycle to work, or money towards the purchase of a bicycle for those who commit to cycling to work)

These are all great mid-term ideas but what can you do daily to improve your retention?

Today in your briefing, ask your team what the low’s of yesterdays’ shift were? Then finish by asking what the high was? Not only does this make employees feel like you listen, but that you care what the best thing about their day was!

Now we challenge you to ACT on this information. Create a simple sheet of highs and lows – evaluate your low’s and then create some SMART targets to overcome these.

  • ·Specific – State exactly what your goal is – who, what, where, when
  • ·Measureable  – How will you be able to measure the extent to which this goal has been met
  • ·Achievable – Stretch and challenging goals within ability to achieve the outcome – not unrealistic
  • ·Relevant – How does this goal map to your responsibilities?
  • ·Time constrained – Set yourself a date by which this should be achieved

It would be even better if you work with the team to overcome the lows. Not only do they feel involved, but you are leading and empowering them with decision making skills as you go.

Helena Field

Helena Field
CEO & Co-Founder of Spapulse


Helena Field has been lucky enough to have an exciting and varied career in Spa, Beauty and Fitness. Having gained professional qualifications in massage and fitness, Helena started her working life in gyms, quickly moving up the career ladder to management, where she had her first exposure to recruitment and the challenges facing candidates and leaders alike.

She went on to manage internationally recognised and highly respected luxury spas, including The Refinery in Harrods, Danesfield House Spa in Buckinghamshire, Pennyhill Park Spa in Surrey and finally the Mandarin Oriental Spa, Hyde Park London. Following her position as General Manager of the UK Spa Association, Helena went on to become the Co-founder and CEO of spa specialist job-listing site to serve the global spa community.

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Statistic One

Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work (Forbes, 2019)


Statistic Two

89% of professionals from a HR point agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes


Statistic Three

61% of employees are burned out on the job



Create a positive comment board for staff from staff

Introduce a “Recommend a friend initiative”. Introduce a friend to work for your company and receive an incentive

Incentivise all of the physical health / rewards opportunities

Got a therapist who LOVES using their mobile phone when they perhaps shouldn’t be…. Get them involved in Video blogs of the team (simply by using mobile devices) your team stating why they love their jobs and share this out via social media  - make use of the skills and passions of the teams.

Complete the salary review for the UKSA. A salary comparison report is being carried out nationwide and this can help in the fight for higher salaries for your employees especially within larger organisations.  Click here to download the form and email this in to 

Recognise your staff as discussed in the challenge – Never underestimate the power of a thank you.

Flexible working approaches. Whether it is flexible working hours where appropriate, or a new approach to a task – let your teams feel valued and trusted.






Work For Wellness, a new campaign by the UK Spa Association was unveiled during September’s Networking Day at South Lodge. As a conversation that is taking place across differing industries, it’s a topic that belongs to the wellness industry with the UKSA intending to lead from the front.

Now at a critical point, the UKSA recognises the difficulty in attracting new talent into the industry so has developed an initial plan to target the pool of young people. Feedback collected by the association, indicates that the industry needs to change not only the perception of young people but those of their teachers, career advisors and perhaps more importantly, that of their parents, who have been identified as the biggest barrier, in that their thinking seems to be, that spa is not an industry that can offer career growth and progression.

With that said, there is opportunity to dispel this myth! The UKSA propose that in the advent of Ofsted stipulating schools/colleges, actively seek the influence of third parties, the UKSA is to provide its members with materials, so that spa businesses can reach out to their local schools and educate youngsters of 11 years upwards about the opportunities that a career in spa and wellness can offer them.

Work For Wellness will be formed of a grass roots micro schools campaign for which the UKSA appealed for the support of operators, to underpin the longer term, macro national media relations and communications campaign. This to involve a major research piece, in order to support and inform active lobbying and a white paper, also consumer media round tables as well as a whole host of consumer engagement press and media activities. The UKSA proposes a hard hitting, drip feed campaign of at least 3 years activity. 


THE ART OF THE EMPLOYEE REFERRAL: a complete guide with tips and examples.

by Christina Pavlou of

Download Here 


Helena Field, CEO Spa Pulse 

The spa and wellness sector has exploded! According to the Global Wellness Institute from 2015-2017 the global wellness industry grew from a $3.7 trillion to a $4.2 trillion market. To put that in economic context, the wellness economy grew 6.4% annually, nearly twice as fast as global economic growth (3.6%)!

Among the ten wellness markets analysed the highest revenue growth leader from 2015-2017 (per annum) was the spa industry.

Fantastic news for those of us working in the sector. But wait – does it seem like it’s getting harder and harder to find and keep spa staff – in particular spa therapists?  A cruel irony really…the public demand for spa and wellness is there….but the quality and experienced therapists to work in the spas are in short supply.

Take your pick of the reasons proffered to be behind the shortage. Some say the industry has grown too quickly and quality/properly trained staff just don’t get time to come through the ranks fast enough to meet demand. Others hold the wider industry accountable for not promoting itself loudly and proudly enough to attract new blood. Some even blame those ‘pesky work-shy’ millenials and zennials  - who drop out straight after they’ve graduated beauty college in order to pursue an easier career, such as instant instagram blogging superstardom!

The fact is, whatever the debates behind the shortage, you are a spa today, trying to build a profitable business based on brand excellence and consistency of experience…and yet you are having to work harder than ever to attract and retain the very people that will enable you to achieve that goal.

Because the way we recruit has changed. Candidates – especially spa therapists have far more power during the job search. It is estimated that the current job market is 90% candidate driven. That means you don’t pick talent anymore. Talent picks you!

And it’s not just as easy as offering the highest salary either. Linkedin Global Recruiting Trends 2017 that advancement opportunities and challenging work are just as important as compensation and benefits.

attract 1So how are you going to stand out from the rest of the spa operator crowd to attract and keep the best employees?

The answer is to create, implement and consistently deliver a well thought out, well structured Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

It’s actually not dissimilar to the approach your business already takes to attracting clients! You will no doubt have identified and built on a number of values, attributes and unique selling points that differentiate you over the competition.

Your entire brand is likely built upon these collective beliefs and behaviours – in other words your Customer Value Proposition (CVP). It’s what attracts new clients in….and keeps them coming back. It can be so powerful that clients start coming to you simply because of word of mouth recommendation.




Linkedin Global Recruiting Trends 2017

attract2An EVP therefore works on exactly the same principle. It’s just aimed at attracting employees instead of clients.

It’s a set of values that you, as an employer, offer to your employees, and use as a magnet for attracting new hires. Think of it as your internal cultural brand. Your EVP can even help you engage and retain employees.

A great EVP should encompass everything that employees get in return for their time and effort invested in their performance in the workplace. It doesn’t just include salary and benefits but intangible rewards such as interesting, varied and meaningful work, positive company culture, flexible working hours etc.

Let’s face it, without your spa therapists, spa managers, fitness instructors, beauty therapists, receptionists, etc you quite simply don’t have a spa business.

It doesn’t have to be daunting to create an EVP though. With a logical approach that takes the following components into account, you could start seeing the benefits of an EVP in no time! 

Natalie Saunders, Director of HR at Leeds Beckett University has a vast array of senior HR experience across including law and financial services plus a variety of SME industries during her time as Managing Director of her own specialist employment and HR law firm, Pharos Legal.  Below, Natalie offers a number of tips and insights into her experience of creating an organisational EVP.

 “An EVP is, in a nutshell, the “promise” that you make to individuals who seek to work for you. It should answer 2 questions: “why should I join your organisation?” and “where is your business going?”

Everyone needs to be involved

“It is tempting to think that an EVP can be created in isolation, by the most senior people in an organisation, or its owners, dictating what they think the EVP ‘should’ be. That approach is unlikely to create an EVP that will resonate with candidates and existing employees; an EVP is something that is “uncovered” rather than created.

“That said, a business owner, or its management team, will have a part to play in developing an EVP as it is they who define where the organisation is heading strategically, what the next 2-3 years look like and how great people would contribute to that direction of travel. They provide the answer to the question about where the organisation is headed.

Research Your Existing Employees

“The next phase in EVP development is understanding the current employment experience. Why do people love what they do? Where they do it? Who do they do it alongside?

“Some segmentation may be needed here - what a spa therapist appreciates most about working for you may differ from what appeals most to a spa manager…and that may differ again from a fitness instructor, to a hair stylist etc. Bearing those different audiences in mind, seek to understand why they came, and why they stay. Do you offer great flexibility and autonomy? A great benefits package? A commitment to providing learning and development opportunities so people can grow their skills and experience? Do they feel inspired by the journey you are on? The EVP has to be shaped by your own people, informed by their experiences and stories, and not imposed on them.

Research How The Outside World Really Perceives You

“Lastly, external audience research helps you understand how you are perceived, both as a business and as a potential employer. To what extent are you an employer of choice? How do you differentiate yourself from other employers within your field? Suppliers and other business partners might be able to help with this; recruitment agencies typically have a substantial amount of insight into external perceptions of your organisation.

“Once you are clear on the themes that make up your EVP you will need to assess those against the lived experience of candidates and employees. How aligned are your policies and processes with how your EVP describes your business?

“If you say, for example, that you are a modern, flexible employer but your application processes are all on paper and you don’t offer flexible working as standard, your EVP doesn’t align to what you do. That will soon become apparent to candidates and existing employees, and is likely to impact their confidence in you as a credible employer and will drive people away.

“This all comes at considerable cost; recruiting and training new employees is time-consuming and reduces productivity.

It’s A Candidates Market

“We’ve all heard recruitment horror stories – where a company believes that “if the candidate wants the job they’ll jump through any hoops necessary to get it”. That won’t work in today’s market, where there are more vacancies in the economy – 845,000 – than ever before (ONS) and 62% of recruiters feel their job is harder today than a year ago (Monster).

Not only do you need a compelling “sell” that draws relevant candidates in – but you need to make the process as slick and digitally-enabled as possible.

“Good candidates won’t complete page upon page of turgid application forms and won’t hang around if the recruitment process stalls and communication is intermittent (or worse still, non-existent). There are clever, expensive systems that can help with these things - but a positive candidate experience isn’t dependent on having such systems. It just needs a degree of willingness to put yourself in the shoes of someone applying to join your business and mapping out the journey they go on and how you might improve it. The simple things, like regular unsolicited updates about the progress of a recruitment application, really do make a difference.

Live And Breathe The EVP ‘Evidence’

“You also need to take care over how it feels to actually join your organisation. Is the contract of employment sent out quickly after the offer is made? Is it written in plain English? Does it come with a warm covering letter? Is the experience of the first day, and the first week, a positive, welcoming one? Do colleagues make new joiners a cup of tea, show them where to eat lunch and make themselves available to ask questions? Do they foster a sense of belonging from the start?

“Once your EVP is established and it aligns with what people experience in applying to join, and in working for your business; you need to bring it to life.

“Many different channels are available to communicate with internal and external audiences and provide ‘evidence’ of your EVP. The more visually compelling and creative you can be, the better.

“Attractive photography and short but impactful videos from your most enthusiastic team members can go a long way to give candidates a sense of what it would feel like to work as part of your business.

Rich Bennigsen, Director of Consumer Hub is a flat-cap wearing, story-telling recruiter from Yorkshire. He’s had years of experience helping some of the UK’s biggest consumer brands and food businesses (FMCG) recruit Marketing, Innovation & Sales roles. These are indeed cut-throat sectors for which to recruit, and competition among his clients for the best candidates is fierce.

Contrary to the above Richard believes that EVP in organisations should by now simply be a given. To the point where if you’ve not yet used it to create your ‘organisational story’ then you are well and truly behind the curve! His philosophy on candidate attraction is nowadays more reliant on the oft forgotten art of story-telling.

“Where did you last go on holiday? Abroad for the sun, a beach with a book? City break with the Fella or Mrs? Spa date maybe for a cheeky long weekend somewhere near a nice cottage? Cotswolds are nice in the autumn…

“I’m guessing that wherever you went fitted with your ‘story’. It was part of your journey through 2018 and was a natural progression of rest of your life?

“My wife and I went to Rome last year. We’ve got three young kids and usually go camping! So why, this time, did we choose Rome?

“Well, we’d been to together 10 years since we were 20 and were both turning 30. Despite the cost, and worry about how the kids and grandparents would cope, it was the right time in our ‘story’ to celebrate.

“So what has this got to do with EVP? Great question! In my experience finding a new job is like buying a holiday; and let’s not kid ourselves here, you don’t ‘get’ jobs, you ‘buy’ them with your hard-earned CV.

“Like any busy 21st century person, shopping for a holiday usually starts over a glass of wine on a cold Saturday evening with a significant other. Contemplating the dreariness of the January grind, your thoughts turn to brighter places and a light-hearted argument over holiday destinations ensues. Your friends all chip in with their top tips on the nicest bars and Trattorias tucked away in the Trastevere District of Rome and before you know it, you’re purchased a Lonely Planet guide.

“Naturally at this point, you take out your laptop, create a spreadsheet and an algorithm to accurately evaluate the Holiday Value Proposition of Rome and its underlying Brand Architecture….

“Erm nope, no you don’t – never even crosses your mind in fact!

“It’s not that Rome’s HVP and brand doesn’t exist. But, fundamentally it’s not important to you. What’s important is your life story and whether Rome fits into your story this year. You are celebrating a ten year romance – where is the most romantic place on earth to re-live that story? Where will Rome take your story…..more than just literally on holiday?

“EVP, Employer Branding etc, are all great concepts to use if they help us understand our story as a business and what it might add to an employees’ story. But, if it doesn’t put the human experience front and centre, it’s probably just a boring exercise in business-speaking lingo-bingo.

“Does the talent in your market understand your story and want to be a part of it?

“That’s really the only question you need to ask. Once you know the answer, you can ask the Why? The What Next? The How? And the When?

“Your story is your sell.

“Like any good book, it needs a great cover, good merchandising, good reviews and attentive customer service in-store or on-line. But, if the story itself is incoherent or badly written, none of the other dynamics really matter.

“Know your story, be proud of it, tell it well and be interested in the stories of those you want in yours”.

So what to take from this article?

Both Natalie and Richard agree that if spa operators take anything away with regards to EVP it should be the following points.

A well thought out, well structured, relevant and consistently delivered EVP should benefit your business’ bottom line in reducing recruitment-related expenses including time-to-hire and cost-per-hire. Most importantly, it should attract the sorts of individuals who want what you offer and will go the extra mile to help your business thrive. However, recruitment is about people and people think in stories. So, whatever your EVP, don’t miss your chance to tell your story!