In the Know: Glenis Wade

I have just been promoted to spa manager. What do I need to think about to be a good and effective leader? 

Congratulations for wanting to be a good and effective leader. Sometimes being effective and being good can have opposing aims.

In my role as a leadership coach and management trainer, I help leaders become effective while being great heads of their teams. 

Be aware that new managers often confuse being effective with being efficient in their role. When taken to the extreme, this means they concentrate on the end results and on meeting targets with limited resources. 

This leads to poor staff retention, erroneous cost cutting and extraneous demands on staff. On the other hand, being a good leader is often mistaken for getting everyone who reports to you to like everything you do. Playing “Mrs Nice” in this way means it is difficult to challenge you staff whenever you need to. 

Great leadership is about connecting with the hearts and minds of your team in order to meet company goals. A survey I carried out, the Spa, Beauty and Aesthetic Staff Well-being Management Survey, shows that spa managers need to consider the wellbeing of staff as much as the wellness of their clients. 

If you want to be a greater leader, I would suggest starting by following these three tips: 

Develop your soft skills
Invest in leadership development and training. Update your skills, either by enrolling on an accredited short leadership course or retaining the personalised skills development services of a highly qualified leadership coach

Consider staff wellbeing
To reduce problems such as repetitive strain injury and back problems, redesign the workflow and insist that everyone takes their full breaks. Also adapt the work environment so that there are less intensive working styles in your team.This could mean adjusting the treatment delivery processes so that your staff  are able to cope with the workload. 

In practical terms this means, for example, asking your team members how often they need to have a break after a massage or other strenuous work. Then plan their day to suite what they can manage. This could also mean that you ensure your booking system allows for breaks between treatments. 

Shape company strategy
Learn how to manage up (your boss) as well as down (your team) while excelling at creative problem solving. This will help you recommend business improvements and make a difference, which will demonstrate your effectiveness in your role. 

Glenis Wade comes from a spa practitioner/ manager background and is a management consultant and leadership development trainer - supporting businesses in developing their employee engagement and people management.