Pulse March 2019 | Page 46

THE HUMAN TOUCH (cONTINUED FrOm PaGE 42) policies and training do not and cannot prevent all concerns. Employees and customers often complain of having experienced harassment. Whether it’s a reception member not making expected eye contact with a guest (either too much or too little), guests feeling uncom- fortable with a draping technique, or an employee claiming “hostile work environment,” each of these complaints should be taken seriously. Presenting the information in different formats also can have a more lasting effect. as humans, we interpret behaviors and actions differently; what seems like completely appropriate interactions to one person may be offensive and harassing to another. These unique attributes have many benefits and your staff needs to know how to handle them, particularly when they result in a complaint of harassment or otherwise. This isn’t just a question of the law, which sets certain standards—your expectations may exceed what you are legally obligated to prevent. Document, Document, Document if you have a beautiful, comprehensive policy that states your commitment to investigate concerns, then make sure that you not only investigate the concerns, but also that you document that you received the concern, what the concern was, who was involved and how it was investigated. as you take efforts to ensure that you’re encouraging those who are reluctant to report to do so, document those efforts. Keep your documentation organized and accessible to those who have a need to know, but out of the general access. if you store your documentation electronically, make sure to perform regular backups (and that your backed-up information will be able to be retrieved as you continue to upgrade your computers and software). all in all, concerns of discrimi- nation, harassment and retaliation can be stressful for a spa owner, but they are one of the many business risks that can be minimized with proper attention and consideration. anticipating potential concerns and taking steps to prevent them will help you to provide a better spa experience for your guests and employees. n THE ISPA ACADEMY For more information, review ISPa’s recommendations for best practices in regards to preventing harassment in spa online at the ISPa academy. To access the academy, simply go to experienceispa.com/ispa-academy and login to your member account. ABBE M. GONCHARSKY is licensed to practice law in arizona and california. This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. abbe encourages you to consult with experienced employment counsel regarding your policies and processes and to evaluate your spa’s compliance with all applicable laws. 44 PULSE n march 2019