Pulse January / February 2016 - Page 47

explained to the employee. Role-playing and hands-on training are very important to training leaders.” As she puts it, an employee that displays a “thirst for knowledge” is someone who needs to be nurtured for future leadership. Seeking leadership potential internally is something every spa should consider, especially among small day spas wherein the number of workforce may be lean. The prospect of hiring externally is often a challenging prospect. Owners and managers need to be on the lookout for staff members who show potential not only in how they deal with customers but also in how they deal with stressful situations. Four Seasons also has an intensive Manager in Training program in place for future leaders, which is designed to give potential leaders the tools they need to accelerate their careers and succeed as future leaders. “We have a monthly training schedule to develop all employees, as well as a web-based platform with video and training courses available. We also have a mentorship program which is very successful,” Dieutegard says, adding that Four Seasons also conducts an annual review of performance in order to establish and assess the staff development plan. Learning Opportunities Without continued training, any business manager or owner may find themselves unable to fill a leadership role when they themselves cannot do work, potentially a disaster for any business. Therefore, the importance of preparation cannot be overstated—“it won’t happen to me” is not a convincing or wise business plan. While training is more formal (and still very important), nurturing future leaders with the kind of soft skills they will need to develop must not be overlooked. Giving talented staff a little bit of extra responsibility and a little bit of extra incentive gradually over time will allow further assessment of their skills and their readiness to assume even more responsibility. “Future leaders take ownership of challenges and mistakes and resolve them with long-term solutions.” — ARNAUD DIEUTEGARD • Spa Director Four Seasons Bora Bora, Indonesia January/February 2016 ■ PULSE 45