Pulse May 2019 - Page 47

“I've found that today's spa-goers can pick up on the negative moods of therapists who are being used rather than supported.” P: You contributed a chapter to the whitepaper on “Caring for the Carers.” Can you tell us more about that? o: Based on my twenty-five years’ experience in setting up successful spas, i cautioned that a lack of adequate staff support systems exacerbates burn-out among staff. i’ve seen it time and time again. Working weekends, every weekend…it’s unsustainable not to have a personal life. moreover, lack of support for the emotional and physical stressors experienced by staff can cause these individuals to abandon their spa careers. Given these current trends, as iSPa has identified, the industry will face—or is already facing—a serious shortage of qualified experienced personnel. if we do not have the foundations of mental wellness underpinning spa culture this shortage will be exacerbated further. The irony is that the general population has accepted the messaging of our industry and become increasingly aware of the health benefits of spa, but many spas are unable or unwilling to apply that knowledge to their own staff. P: So fostering mental health is essential for the survival of the industry? o: absolutely. not only is it leading to a shortage of employees, but i’ve found that today’s spa-goers can pick up on the negative moods of therapists who are being used rather than supported. The informed consumer of the future will not choose a spa that is not in integrity. mentally healthy leaders and team members will be a basic requirement, as consumers will detect organiza- tions not practicing a culture of therapeutic congruency. caring for the mental wellness of your staff can lead to long-term cost savings, too. fewer sick days taken, less turnover, reduced hiring costs, lower medical costs. People want to work with businesses that respect them, that promote having a personal life. They want to be in that kind of environment. P: What are the main problems facing the mental health of the spa industry? o: here we are in the spa industry and people continue to struggle with mental wellness. We’re not immune to phone addiction, drug addition, alcohol addiction. and i know that everyone reading this article has heard someone say, “you work in the spa business, it must be so relaxing!” But we all know that it’s a very challenging MAY ■ PULSE 2019 45