FOR A LAWYER , I ’ M A POSITIVE PERSON . I hear the birds singing . I see the bees pollinating . I appreciate the sound of the relaxation room waterfall as my tea brews and I indulge in a good book and granola . Unfortunately , I live in a world of worst-case scenarios . What if someone in the relaxation room pours a cup of tea , and it results in a third-degree burn ? What if someone chokes on granola , passes out , and hits their head on the marble side table housing the snacks , causing a traumatic brain injury ? What if someone gets up to inspect the waterfall , some water sloshes out , and they slip and fall on the beautiful slate flooring ? Or what if none of this happens and someone just claims it does , but there are no witnesses or cameras to dispute it ? Any of these scenarios might occur before a guest even enters a treatment room . If your operation has the tolerance ( and budget ) to offset occurrences like these , this is not a concern . Stop reading . Go on with your bad self .
Otherwise , how do you reconcile forward-facing customer goals with in-house protection ? How do you align priorities to emphasize all your spa does to enhance the customer experience while still ensuring quality control and risk mitigation ? When ( not if ) incidents , injuries or claims happen , you must be prepared . To be prepared , you must be calm , collected and in control of those things you can control . You might call this the “ holistic approach ” to risk .
THE HOLISTIC APPROACH The “ holistic approach ” emphasizes prior preparation to prevent poor performance . It encapsulates leadership principles so all members of the team buy in and work together , executing a shared vision of proven service , training , retention , hiring and supervision . It has a plan and knows how to activate it . It considers the balance of the guest experience , the spa team , Human Resources , Loss Prevention and the employee , with each knowing their respective roles in response to an incident . Most importantly , the holistic approach emphasizes good communication .
“ How do you align priorities to emphasize all your spa does to enhance the customer experience while still ensuring quality control and risk mitigation ?”
THE REFLEXOLOGY APPROACH Alternatively , many take the “ reflexology approach ” to risk . In massage therapy , reflexology responds to areas of pain . Likewise , when an incident occurs and no clear response plan is in place , management reacts to where the incident causes the most “ pain .” While this may extinguish the flames in the moment , it does not resolve the underlying issue , it does not offer a preventative solution and it allows critical aspects of the issue to go unexamined . Often , this approach occurs where priorities have been more focused on operational areas — growth , marketing , revenue , employee issues — and not on safety , retention , training and hiring issues . It is these scenarios that often result in litigation , and more often than not , adverse jury verdicts or expensive settlements . While focusing on other operational areas is critical , the foundations of quality hiring , training , supervision and retention are not boxes to be checked once and left alone .
MAY / JUNE 2022 • PULSE 37