the big challenge the industry is confronting with a severe shortage of talent . We have all seen the doom and gloom in the headlines . The spa and hospitality industries are suffering because … “ young people just don ’ t want to work this hard anymore .” Or because … “ workers prefer to work from home .” Or because … “ students today are more interested in ‘ high-tech ’ than ‘ high-touch .’” And , of course , we have seen the headlines about “ the great resignation ” as many have left the workforce during Covid to pursue other industries deemed more secure during these turbulent times , or for more entrepreneurial pursuits , or simply to retreat from the world of work altogether , in deference to more personal values .
But despite significant challenges , it is important for us not to get too caught up in the negative headlines . Yes , it ’ s true : Many people have left the spa industry . But many have not . And the future of our industry lies not in bemoaning those who have decided to choose other paths , but in celebrating and energizing those who are with us today and who are willing to do what it takes to bring our industry forward . We
“ It is their commitment , their hard work and their passion that will carry the spa industry into the future .”
McCarthy ( second from left in second row ) visits with the team at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok . need to shift our focus from “ those who left ” to “ those who stayed .” The colleagues who have remained in our industry have proven they are passionate about what they do , they see the value in the services we provide and they have shown a willingness to put in the work to help our spas be the best they can be .
Some young people today don ’ t want to work in difficult customerfacing positions . But some do . And they are working in our spas every day , improving incredibly valuable skills such as customer service , handling complaints , and — particularly in the spa industry — learning how to make people feel their best . The people who are working in the spa industry today will have an extraordinary career path ahead of them . They are acquiring people skills that are increasingly hard to come by in the age of technology . And they are developing emotional intelligence that is in demand more than ever before .
Our job now is to forget about the great resignation and to work with the remainers . It is their commitment , their hard work and their passion that will carry the spa industry into the future . As leaders in the industry , our job is to make sure those who have chosen spa as their career never regret their decision . We need to help them be successful , show them the impact they have on our customers and shepherd them along as they grow in their careers . Our job is to recognize them , to nurture them and , eventually , to get out of their way .
Let ’ s stop lamenting the great resignation and talk instead about the great opportunity that lies ahead for those of us who are still here . n
JEREMY McCARTHY is the group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group , leading guest and colleague wellness programs and an internationally acclaimed luxury spa division . He has more than 30 years of experience operating luxury spas in resort and hotel properties worldwide . McCarthy , a former ISPA Board member , holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology ( MAPP ) degree from University of Pennsylvania and is the author of The Psychology of Spas & Wellbeing .
FEBRUARY / MARCH 2023 n PULSE 27