staﬀers walk together in a yearly charity walk to raise money for travelers in distress. “There’s a lot of camaraderie,” according to ah Sam, which improves retention. Staﬀ who stay for years and years develop strong bonds with recurring customers, which then leads to exceptional service: “we have therapists who will come in on a day oﬀ to provide a service for a guest that they know from prior visits,” ah Sam says. in that way, Kahala’s strong company culture is directly linked to a world-class guest experience. The Kahala also oﬀers a number of beneﬁts and perks to employees, including complimentary meals for staﬀ— a beneﬁt that the vast majority of employees take advantage of, according to ah Sam. The company also pays for its employees’ health insurance premiums. although perks like these may not be feasible for every spa, the core idea is widely applicable: thinking outside the box to reward your employees creates a happier, more positive culture in the spa. Lastly, ah Sam notes that “good communication is absolutely key to a good culture,” especially when it reinforces other unique aspects of the spa’s culture. for example, ah Sam strives for the spa to have a “local hawaiian” culture and attitude; appropriately, each weekly employee newsletter features a cultural hawaiian phrase, picked out by the resort’s cultural advisor, that employees are encourage to learn, understand and use to guide their workplace attitude. Prioritizing Culture from the Start of course, there’s only so much that one can do to build a culture on their own. To create a strong spa culture that drives bottom-line success, you have to ﬁnd people who ﬁt the right mold and will contribute positively to the culture from day one, rather than being a drain on a workplace’s energy.