Six steps to improve leadership skills at your spa or massage practice
By Jean Shea on Mar 14, 2016
You can’t do it all. By now as the owner or director of your spa or massage practice, you’ve probably realized that. There’s far more that goes into the success of your business than professional expertise. Operations need to run smoothly, marketing continually needs attention to keep new and old clients coming through the door, finances need stay up to date, and you can never drop the ball on customer service since, at the end of the day; it is the lifeblood of any business.
Having a team that you can count on is vital to keep all the wheels of your spa or massage practice running smoothly. However without capable leadership, even the most experienced of employees will not thrive in your organization. Ultimately they may become dissatisfied and leave; and constant employee turnover is not good for any business. Even if you can find new hires, there is disruption to your business as they come up to speed. Plus clients form relationships with your staff, so you often need to rekindle relationships when a popular employee leaves.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of leadership, anyone can learn to become a good leader when you make it a priority and are honest in assessing your interpersonal skills and attitude. You can start by finding others who have demonstrated effective leadership and ask for advice from them. You also may want to employ a business coach. In the absence of finding a mentor or hiring a coach, here are some steps to take to help improve your leadership skills.
Plan: It’s very frustrating for employees when things keep changing without any advance notice. Sometimes outside forces demand sudden change. For example, one of your biggest competitors may offer a discounted rate on certain types of massage and you need to adjust your offering to attract prospects. However, most of the time, you should be able to anticipate change and so plan ahead so that you’re not constantly in reaction mode.
Be clear about expectations: Employees will complain that they don’t understand what their manager expects. It’s incumbent on you to be sure that you have clearly communicated what the goals and deadlines are for a certain project and that your employees understand exactly what you mean. At times, someone may need more coaching or training to handle a task. If that’s the case, make sure they get the training they need, whether from you, another employee or by taking a course outside your spa or massage practice.
Be honest: Being honest with your team earns their respect and trust. If there are issues or problems with your spa or massage practice that your team should know about, share what you feel is appropriate so that there are no surprises. Also when you are giving someone feedback, be honest. That doesn’t mean you need to be overly critical, but most people want to do the best they can and so value honest feedback.
Listen: I talked about the importance of listening in my post (PROVIDE LINK TO THURSDAY POST) last week. Listening to your employees not only demonstrates your concern for their wellbeing; it can help you grow. Your employees who are dealing with clients and suppliers of your professional and at home products or running marketing can be a great source of ideas to help expand business.
Give credit when due: Employees look to you for approval, whether they indicate so or not. Give credit for a job well done. Acknowledging good work motivates your team to strive to continue to do better.
Set an example: You can’t expect your employees to act or behave a certain way when you aren’t doing the same. Inspire your team by setting an example.
Becoming a leader requires a commitment to develop the necessary skills. If you are willing to make the effort, you can become a leader that takes your team and spa or massage practice to the next level and beyond.