Some people thrive on change; others simply dread it. In any case, your spa or massage practice is going to experience it not once but many times as your business grows, and you need the support of your team to reach whatever goals you set. Some changes may be minimal but others might include a completely new way of doing something – from offering new types of massage therapy to service a new target market; to establishing e-commerce to augment retail sales; to installing new technology, such as online booking software, to support marketing and sales. In many of these situations, employees will have to acquire new skills or knowledge to perform their tasks. All of this adds up to a lot of stress and worry and you may experience pushback.
Here are some things you can do to get your team to work with you during times of change:
Communicate the Reason for Change
Seems like the obvious first step, but communication in time of change requires far more than simply telling your team what needs to be done. Especially when the change involves hard decisions, explain why there is a need for change – there may be financial reasons or changes in the competitive landscape. As part of your discussion, explain the process for implementing the changes and the goals you hope to achieve. Engage with your team through language such as, “I know things will be different going forward, but we need to work together to make this happen for the success of the business, which affects all of us.” Ask for their support and commitment to work together. After you talk, facilitate a discussion where everyone describes how they plan to contribute to the process.
Create a ‘Change’ Team
Select some of your team member – it can be your senior most staff or members who have credibility with the rest of the team – to be part of your change team. Appoint them certain areas of responsibility and then assign them to work with other team members to train them or be answer questions during the process.
Understand that the changes you are making will affect everyone differently. Many of your team members will find it difficult to change. Keep your door open to allow your employees to come in and discuss issues or concerns they have. Still manage resistance. In cases where someone has a chip on their shoulder or are dragging down morale with their negative comments, confront them. Ask them to try to cooperate and do the best they can. Also ask what you can do to help them through the period of change.
Set an Example
Your team will be looking at you to see how you handle the changes. Especially if the changes are happening under pressure, keep a positive attitude. It may be difficult, but your team’s ability to get through change will depend a lot on how you cope with it.
Change will be necessary at times to move your spa or massage business ahead. They key is to communicate and get everyone to buy in.