Finding and Keeping Employees

Finding and training employees can be expensive, the money and effort spent on retaining them is a drop in the bucket in comparison. Consider what is lost if, instead of retaining employees, you must continue to recruit:

  • Employee replacement expenses total 50 percent or more of a job candidate’s first year salary. With turnover rates increasing for experienced technicians, not to mention competent support staff, employee replacement represents a huge out-of-pocket expense without any increase in production—in fact, you suffer a decrease.
  • In addition to recruiting costs, high turnover costs you productivity. The best-case scenario would be that your new hire already has the skills and experience to fill your job opening immediately and effectively. However, more than likely—even if your new hire is well qualified—there’s a significant learning curve necessary for the new hire upon arrival at your spa. This only adds to the amount of time your spa won’t operate at top capacity.
  • When employees leave, those who are left behind inevitably suffer. Not only must they take on extra work to cover the absent employee, chances are they’ll experience lower morale for some time after the departure. Turnover breaks apart employee relationships and teams—and the new hire, in addition to learning the ropes of working at your spa, will also have to find a way to function and fit in with already existing employees.

It is far easier to keep your current workforce content and motivated instead of periodically replacing your key players. By offering challenging, interesting work for employees in a positive environment, and providing fair compensation and rewards for jobs well done, you increase your chances of developing relationships with your employees that endure and prosper over time.

New Hires

From the beginning of a new hire’s career with your spa, each workday should be a productive and positive experience. Don’t leave new hires in a room with a stack of brochures and employment forms and expect them to find work for themselves. Instead, follow these steps to ensure you start your new employees on the right path:

  • Be prepared for the first day. Schedule time to spend with each new employee. Walk through each step of the employment process with the new hire from filling out perfunctory paper work to finding their personal locker.
  • Review policies and procedures. It may be information overload, but it is important that new hires are able to fit in with the group and avoid breaking rules.
  • Communicate your spa’s mission statement. Verbally explain your vision and how the new hire contributes to your spa’s success. Give examples of your mission statement in action.
  • Outline your expectations and offer it to the new hire in a written format. Establish periodic reviews to track performance and stick to the schedule. Prevent performance problems by being aware of training needs and confusion about requirements. Make performance requirements easy to understand, possible to achieve and easy to measure.
  • Give a tour of your spa. Introduce new hires to co-workers, point out where they’ll be working, and suggest who the new hires can ask for help. Make new hires feel at home while highlighting the accomplishments of your current employees.
  • Have tasks ready for new hires to complete. Make sure you or another competent employee is available to answer questions.
  • At the end of the first day, sit down with new hires and obtain feedback about their progress. Are there concerns to be addressed? Do they have questions that need to be answered?

Assigning a buddy, or mentor, to help new hires adjust is a good idea. Choose a current staff member to “shadow” your new employee and lend a hand when it’s needed. Because work buddies shape new hires’ initial impressions and behaviors, be careful about whom you select for this role.

Choose buddies who do the same work as the new hire. Common ground creates camaraderie and more productive communications. Also remember that employees who are skilled but are relatively new to your spa—hired within the last eighteen months—relate best to new hires, anticipating their needs and areas of confusion. Select buddies who maintain a positive attitude toward working at your spa and will foster commitment in new hires. High performers provide positive role models.

Before you assign an employee to be a buddy, make sure the individual is willing and able to take on the task. Those who display particular aptitude for mentoring should be recognized for their contribution to your spa’s continued success.

As your new hires begin their careers with you, keep the positive momentum going. Don’t limit your orientation program to the first day. Ongoing training, two-way communication, praise, and encouragement help build new-hire performance and commitment.


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