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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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.