Identifying Challenges and Risks that Create Gaps in the Hotel Spa

By Mia A. Mackman President & Owner, Mackman ES | June 17, 2018

When it comes to creating program success, identifying impending challenges can be one of the most efficient ways to eradicate gaps in performance and profitability. Some of the most common challenges stem from disjointed department overlays, noncompliance with industry benchmarks and lack of employee training. These areas can either create ripples of proficiency or dilute efforts and operating efficacy.

As liability and risk remain in the forefront of industry concerns, establishing systemizations that properly support new policies and procedures have become an essential integration. While, there are a number of organized, regulations and compliancy standards in place to mitigate public health risks, design and occupational safety, etc. i.e. OSHA, ADA, insurances, and so on. These systemizations do not review the operational nuances of patterns, employee behavior or examine the functionality of spa or wellness fiscal or target performance.

People thrive on positive reinforcement and supportive feedback. While constructive criticism is still an important facet of the employee review process. The frequency of feedback preferences is accelerating. "According to Forbes, 58 percent of millennial leaders engage in weekly performance conversations versus only 39 percent of their baby boomer counterparts. " The increasing regularity of new and different performance reviews and acute inspection styles hold untold advantages for the implementation of advancing reliable benefits for everyone.

Spa and Wellness Inspections

It's common for hidden opportunities to increase revenue through unique department overlays to go unnoticed in the course of managing clients, staff and busy daily schedules. The intervention of qualified reviews can offer a full-lens overview with the ability to also inspect the granular functionality and distinct compartmental or constant challenges. Whereas, to some degree compartmentalization has specific paybacks, substantial breakdowns can often become holes in quality and functionality.

Spa facilities must be evaluated on a regular basis. This should to be considered a regular part of spa business maintenance on a monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual schedule with budgeted time and funds to enable accordingly. Some spas will need more assistance than others and many times spas will require different levels of discovery and review. Having a fixed review process can dramatically lead to important and relative perspectives that advance the success of the business. 

For example, a spa that has been under-performing for a long period of time, may not show major signs of being in need of an analysis. A spa like this may even be considered generally in good financial and operational health. However, just because the trajectory of success has been trending steadily, doesn't mean the business isn't performing well below its prime capabilities. Imparting an objective outlook, can shed light on these areas and provide powerful and constructive feedback.

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In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.