INDUSTRY INSIGHTS HOW TO EVOLVE FROM SPA DIRECTOR TO WELLNESS DIRECTOR ● While you may be the spa director there’s
no reason why you shouldn’t be thinking like a wellness director, with a positive attitude. Put your creative hat on and approach this with a desire to do well for your colleagues and guests, rather than a way to get promotion, higher salary or recognition. ● Become the source of knowledge
● Align with the events and banqueting
team to seek times to use meeting spaces. During lockdowns many became creative in using public spaces to host guests outdoors. Collaborate to create wellness events.
● With the support of your HR department,
nutritionist support and info charts so guests understand your philosophy on food. ● Discuss with your line manager
become the self-appointed director of wellness for employees. Start with simple activities for colleagues by using your network of therapists and wellness providers
● Align with your F&B manager and chefs to
services and continue as a healthy level of demand once the surge has passed. Added to this we’re likely to see demand for wider wellbeing services teaching people how to live well, such as meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques; healthy eating; awareness of mental wellness and stress resilience; supporting family bonding; educational classes and activities which provide information on self-care; the evolution of services and diagnostics. This provides a great opportunity for the role of the spa director to adapt. However, unless there’s a corporate shift in brand values, with a resulting change in the management structure, it’s unlikely the general hotel operator will recognise this much needed role. It’s up to spa directors to take control and become the wellness director in everything but title.
Behave like a wellnes s dire
see how to expand the healthy options menu. Take this further into open table meetings for guests with the chef, classes, open kitchens,
While spa services are generally defined by the range of facilities on offer, the hotel often has many other facilities ideally suited to expanding the wellness package, creating additional revenue opportunities, improving the wellness of colleagues working at the hotel, increasing the publicity and marketing awareness of the hotel and promoting a positive workplace. This will require time and commitment beyond the spa directors’ job description and pay scale, but the rewards are worth it. The workplace will become more positive. Once they become part of this movement, teams will become more motivated, which results in greater guest satisfaction. Healers often find their best reward is through helping others. By taking this step and broadening their roles and reach, spa directors will
how to create packages for the local community which promote spa, F&B, and classes to position the hotel as a valuable part of the local community.
become better equipped to develop their own careers in the expanding wellness industry, which looks likely to become one of the most significant industries in society over the next 10 years. It’s time to step up. ● ■ About the author Andrew Gibson has been part of senior management teams which have created iconic spa and wellness brands around the world including the Retreat at Aphrodite Hills, Six Senses, Mandarin Oriental, Raffles, Fairmont, Swissotel and Sensei. He’s one of the founding members and advisory board directors of the Global Wellness Summit, founder of the Wellness Tourism Association and chair of The Wellness Hall of Fame (www.WellHOF.org). SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK 2021 – 2022
for wellness within your community. Network and create relationships with wellness providers, therapists, healers and community services, so you have resources to draw on and a network of support.
to offer classes, lectures and services – mindful stress relief or lunchtime lectures on healthy eating are likely to be popular. Convince the hotel management to provide healthy options on the staff menu. Once your colleagues engage in wellness services and learn to appreciate their value, they’ll become your biggest supporters and help create offerings that can be extended to guests.