This week we had the pleasant experience of talking with Lucia Peris, expert in thermal techniques and treatments and one of the most prominent voices that give life to the wellness lifestyle movement in Spain and the rest of Europe.
Throughout her professional career in the sector, Lucia has focused on spa techniques, management and direction. She is currently the Corporate Director in Europe of the Palladium Hotel Group Spa.
Due to her experience in the sector, we wanted to deepen with her about the figure of the Spa Manager. Who is this person in the spa? What are its attributes and what objectives should it pursue? Although it is a fundamental member of the staff that works in a wellness center, not all employers are fully aware of the importance of their role in the place and among the other members of the team.
Let's start by defining what the Spa Manager is.
The spa manager or spa administrator oversees all aspects of the operations of establishments for beauty, health and wellness.
In general, its functions range from personnel management, supervision of the maintenance of facilities, to the development and proper management of budgets and the creation of marketing campaigns and promotions. He even has obligations related to personnel such as hiring, training and scheduling employees.
In addition, spa managers in some cases have the task of creating a menu of treatments and action protocols, therefore interact directly with customers to solve problems and ensure satisfaction with the services and with the spa staff.
That is why, it is a highly qualified figure whose main function is to make your department highly productive, for which you need to have knowledge in revenue management.
Hotels, tourist stays, health clubs, beauty centers and natural therapies are just a sample of the establishments that require the presence of this figure that, in Lucia's words, "is fundamental for the good management and organization of the department. In the same way that a Hotel is not conceived without a Director of Accommodation or without a Head of Reception, the Spa does not either".
Skills that every Spa Manager requires to be successful.
Successful spa managers tend to use strong organizational communication and critical thinking skills to handle all of their managerial responsibilities. All spa managers must be detail oriented, have leadership skills and time management. Also he must anticipate the types of services that customers enjoy the most and those the spa will benefit from, and be able to implement them creatively and successfully.
On the other hand, the expert emphasizes that aspects such as customer service, problem solving with efficiency and in a timely manner, and interpersonal skills are essential for spa managers, since they interact daily with clients, staff, suppliers and the costumer. So in his absence "not only the staff of the spa would be affected, but also the own organization of the department and consequently the results of it. The implementation of the department's standards, the supervision of their compliance, the analysis of the results, the action plans to improve customer satisfaction and production, they are all part of the functions of a spa manager; and therefore, their absence would affect the whole team. A staff without a leader who knows how to lead and accompany them will work without a specific direction and this does not make it easy to reach the stipulated objectives".
What training should a Spa Manager have?
For all of the above we understand that the spa manager must be a highly qualified person, so the subject of their training is of the utmost importance. Some employers prefer that spa managers have at least a degree in business administration, for example, to be very clear about the economic management of the center. Others insist on knowing the basics of massage therapies or treatments offered by the spa, or have knowledge in cosmetology, health and wellness areas.
Another thing that can help to have a better profile is the legal framework that surrounds the activities and services offered by the spa. The knowledge of labor laws, the regulations that treat spas and the licensing requirements for masseurs and other workers is important, since in this way the spa manager can always be prepared to deal with any problem related to job stability in the workplace.
However, each center or spa will look for the profile that best suits what they are really looking for. If we talk about the case of an international hotel, for example, the spa manager must have a fairly organizational and managerial profile; or if it is a spa that does not depend on an international structure, perhaps the desired profile is more in line with their management skills and knowledge of the services and therapies offered by the center.
The Spa Manager, teamwork and leadership.
Under any circumstance, the spa manager is a leader who must know each one of those who make up the work team, know perfectly how to work with their weaknesses and strengths to reach the objectives with creativity and discipline, in a bold and effective way.
Our interviewee also talks about the spa manager as a cohesive agent. That person has the responsibility to use all their knowledge, not only in administration, regulations, marketing and management, but in the products, services and therapies offered by the spa, to be a good team leader and to keep them cohesive.
Lucia argues that the spa manager must always work hand in hand with the staff, "accompanying them, directing them, (...) detecting points to improve and establishing management plans and training to make that team work 100%. A team works like a band and needs a director to guide them and help them grow and be cohesive. Teamwork, transparency in information and objectives, incentive plans, they all are part of the spa manager's job whose goal is to get a united and motivated teamwork."
All of which will always form a fundamental part of the client's experience, since all these actions are completely tangible, from the reservation of the service to its departure from the spa. Therefore, it is an indispensable figure for the proper functioning and revenue of the spa; and that today it is perhaps the one who best knows the needs of the sector and step into the future.
For more information about the work that Lucia Peris does, access her profile at linkedin.
If you want to know more about this and other topics related to the wellness sector, do not miss a next installment of our cycle of professional interviews.