Guest blog: how to train spa staff to management level with real-world learning

Sian Jones, spa manager at The Devonshire Spa in Buxton, which won the Professional Beauty Award for Day Spa of the Year 2016, explores how you can train staff to be exceptional managers by setting clear expectations and giving real-world learning

How do you train someone to be a certain way? Standards and spa etiquette are behavioural and the majority of spas – be it destination, day or hotel – have certain levels of expectation. It’s common at any spa to find lists of standards, procedures and the do’s and don’ts, but ensuring procedures are followed and training managers to think this way is something else. It’s about leading by example, setting clear expectations and valuing your staff.

At Devonshire Spa we create an environment that is five-star excellence, we know and understand our guest expectations and ensure we exceed them in every possible way. We believe that if our degree students are exposed to this, working in this environment and then managing this level of delivery from day one, then they will take it with them where ever they go.

Staff are encouraged to put theory into practice, allowing them to take the relevant action and make decisions with our guidance if needed. We ask them to evaluate and reflect and this is a large part of their development – think, do, reflect and evaluate, and then the circle repeats.

In a classroom environment our budding future industry leaders develop through problem-based learning, as an example they may take a situation that has occurred in the commercial environment, reflect on it, evaluate and propose how they may or may not do it differently next time.

We give our staff the opportunity to work as part of a team, take responsibility and work commercially in our spa, and this is no different to an operation they would face on a daily basis in any spa. Our team supports and empowers them, building their confidence and experience to eventually manage the daily operation.

5 ways you can train your staff to management level with real-world learning:

Image: ©TheDevonshireSpa