Getting off on the right foot is important in any relationship, which applies to bringing on a new member of your spa or massage practice team. Technically the human resources term for making employees feel “at home” and assimilating them into your business is onboarding. As an employer or manager, your responsibility is to ensure that new employees understand the policies and procedures of your establishment and their own duties, whether they on the front desk dealing with clients or part of the professional team providing massage therapies or skin treatments.
Depending on your organization's size, you may be responsible for onboarding, or the person who handles HR will. In either case, a successful onboarding process starts by having a conversation with the new hire to make the individual feel at home. The initial “chat” also provides the opportunity to talk about your spa or massage practice regarding its mission, culture, values, and goals for the organization.
It’s helpful to provide each new employee with a packet of relevant information, even though you’ll want to walk them through each of the items to answer questions. That packet should include:
administration and benefit forms
company marketing materials
an organizational chart with names/responsibilities of each employee
During the onboarding process, you’ll also want to review, including company-sponsored training and education, community activities that your spa or massage practice supports; and other extracurricular activities such as off-sites, if you have them.
As appropriate, address computer and security issues, such as the use of desktop computers (Will you allow employees to get onto the Internet for personal use, for example?) and mobile devices. For example, you may use a cloud-based platform to handle appointments, retails, and financial information. If so, you need to set a policy on who can access that information and from what device. If you allow employees to use their own mobile devices on the job under a Bring Your Own Device policy, you’ll want to be sure that they follow strict security protocol to ensure that viruses or hackers do not compromise your company information.
Meet the team
Arrange for the new hire to meet the current team. You may hold a team meeting or lunch or provide time for your new employee to meet one-on-one with each of the current staff. You may even assign one individual to take the new employee under his or her wing. In some cases, this can be a formal mentorship type arrangement, or it may be more casual, providing the new team member with a “buddy” to turn to with their questions.
Tour the facility
Take your new hire on your spa or massage practice tour, pointing to allowing them to ask questions about equipment, client changing rooms, retail section, break room, and where to find materials and supplies.
Discuss the marketplace
Sometime during the onboarding process, discuss with your new hire about the marketplace, including trends and the local competitive environment. Since your team is a big part of your selling proposition, your new hires should understand their responsibility to help market your spa or massage practice in terms of their interaction with clients and prospects in person and on the phone,
Onboarding doesn’t stop with the initial conversations and meetings. Over the course of a new employee’s first three or so months, meet with them periodically to answer questions and give them an update on their progress. Such reviews are critical to making sure your new employees know they are on track or, if they aren’t, to provide tips to help them get there.