The link between employee happiness and customer satisfaction

People visit spas for a variety of reasons – celebrations with friends, to spend quality time with that special someone or simply to relax. Whatever the reason, you want the client to feel refreshed when they leave, content that their decision to visit was the right one.

A huge part of delivering that sublime customer experience is down to staff. From the friendly welcome through to the specialist, high-quality treatments and aftercare advice, it’s your people who can turn an excellent day into the perfect day.

Spa treatments are intimate, personal experiences. Therapists need to understand their clients’ needs and expectations and empathise with them. Regular customers will also have their favourite therapist, and this is just one reason why staff satisfaction and retention is so important.

Putting the right training plans in place 

It’s not enough to just invest in facilities; you need to invest in your people too. At The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, we dedicate a significant amount of time, effort and resource into our staff training and development processes, contributing not only to continuing excellent service but also to the wellbeing and loyalty of our employees.  

Alongside me, we have a dedicated training manager, plus senior therapists, to ensure continuing development of the team. All employees have individual appraisals and agreed career paths, benefiting along the way from bespoke training courses and outsourced teaching from our carefully selected product houses. 

For therapists alone, as well as their expected NVQ Level 2 and Level 3 or equivalent qualifications, they also benefit from specialist training in areas such as Wellness For Cancer, neuromuscular techniques and Indian head massage.

Why you need a wellness manager

Our wellness manager plays a key role in nurturing and empowering employees by providing wellness advice, support and activities for staff, encouraging them to think about their own health and wellbeing – both at work and beyond. 

Therapists, in particular, are encouraged to take a little time out to experience and enjoy one of our own alternative therapies, such as physiotherapy or hypnotherapy, and their enthusiastic take up on this has been welcomed.

The contribution made by our hospitality staff to the overall Spa Hotel experience cannot be underestimated either. To boost their knowledge and confidence, our bar and restaurant teams enjoy training sessions on Cognac, champagne, cocktails and wine, while our chefs, supervisory and management teams learn from visits to Michelin starred restaurants and other top performing establishments, in a bid to share best practice. 

Invest in an apprentice scheme

We’re particularly excited about our Spa Hotel Apprentice Scheme, launched this year. Our two young trainees, Caitlin and Jessica, have already been trained in the spa host, reception and beauty desk roles, being supported and mentored by senior members of the team. 

Since starting college in September, their training has been backed up by specialist treatment training at the spa, working alongside experienced therapists and excellent product houses. 

This enables them to develop their skills in a real workplace situation, while becoming fully immersed in the ethos of our business, resulting in valued members of the team. Their skills and confidence are building fast. We look forward to working alongside them for many years. 

Jane Tregonning is spa manager at The Spa at Ribby Hall, which won the 2018 North West Spa of the Year Professional Beauty Regional Award. Read her article on the best way to build relationships with leading product houses

Read our pros and cons of self-employed vs payroll staff article, written by fellow 2018 PB Regional Awards winner Peaches Wax Bar. 

Image: ©The Spa at Ribby Hall