Top tips for managing a spa team

Published 15th Apr 2024 by PB Admin

Ashley Ashton, spa director at Rockliffe Hall, explains how to build up your team, prevent friction between team members and succeed at management.

Why is building a good working environment for your team so important?

“It’s mutually beneficial for your therapists and you to keep your team happy – they’re the jewel in the crown!

“The spa industry is booming, so what sets each spa apart? And it’s the team. Customer service, the balance between being friendly and open but keeping to five-star levels of professionalism.

“Last year I was at the Catey Awards, where the manager of Gleneagles summed it up by saying: ‘You can't be a five-star hotel or resort without having five-star staff’.”

How do you build good relationships between the spa team and senior management?

“As a management team, we sit amongst the rest of the team in an open office with an open-door policy.

“We start our relationship before the therapists join us, going into colleges from the start and through level two and level three so they get to know their potential future managers.

“As for our current team, we have regularly monthly meetings for therapists and whole group biannual meetings. I think by holding these meetings as well as our open door policy stops fear that employees can’t ask for help or support, and sparks their development even further.”

How do you approach any conflict or friction within your team?

“Working is a lot like a family – you can’t pick who you have to work with.

“We try to put into perspective that everyone is different, learns in different ways, and acts in different ways. We recently did personality profiling with the team as well.

“We’re here to work and do a job, so we try to work through any conflict by helping to understand both sides and so that, even if you don’t agree with the way something happened, you can understand it.”

What did winning Employer of the Year at the Professional Beauty Awards 2023 mean to you?

“It’s such a nice title to have and know you’re doing the right thing for your team, especially after all the changed we made as the business after Covid to focus on our team, what they do, and the service they provide."

What advice would you give people stepping into a management role?

“Take a step back and listen to your team. Be a leader. You can learn how to be a manager, but I think to be a successful manager you need to be a successful leader, and lead by example.

Involve people through all stages of decision making so it limits the resistance to any changes of decisions you’re making, and let your team learn from what you do.”

Ashley Ashton is the spa director at Rockliffe Hall in Darlington, County Durham.

PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 15th Apr 2024

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