Pulse November / December 2022 | Page 20

Before tackling compensation , Root considered how management could support employees . For example , massage therapists need to maximize the use of their time and , by extension , their pay . “ We have to respect their time ,” he says . Except for required training and other administrative tasks ,“ the time between appointments is not compensated so it is management ’ s responsibility to minimize that time ,” he says .
Root is also committed to sharing both positive and negative guest feedback and addressing problems and complaints proactively .“ When something goes wrong , we conduct a source / cause analysis to identify where the problem started ,” says Root .“ This is not a punitive process ; it is about accountability .”
With this support in place , his next challenge was to develop a compensation system to meet those goals . The spa assigns each provider to one of three service tiers , each with different levels of base compensation . Root says that providers are slotted into a tier based on their level of experience and other factors . Providers have an opportunity to move to a higher tier during performance reviews based on their skills , performance , guest comments and requests and other factors . Pro- viders may also receive a 20 percent gratuity that is automatically added to the customer ’ s bill . However , the customer has the option to increase , reduce or eliminate the gratuity entirely .
Support staff pay also changed . Hourly employees who provide support services receive base pay plus a portion of a bonus pool funded by a five percent service charge to the customer .“ That pool is distributed based on acknowledged contributions to guest service ,” says Root . These payouts can add up to $ 5 per hour depending on the level of business that day .

10 ways to build stronger pay programs

DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE COMPENSATION SYSTEM requires both clear overarching goals and attention to detail . With 15 locations in the U . S . and Puerto Rico , Brennan Evans , senior vice president of operations for Trilogy Spa Holdings , is used to getting compensation systems up and running and has identified 10 key elements of a successful pay program . 1 . Like Donat , Brennan sees data as an essential tool for designing pay programs . If you are developing a brand new compensation system , he suggests conducting a comparative study of competitors by size , level of services and customer utilization by service and service cost . If you can ’ t get specific information by position , he suggests focusing on broader job classes instead . This data can also come from regional wage studies by role in adjacent industries like hospitality and retail if spa-specific data is not available .

2 . Look at each element that makes up total pay , including salaries or hourly pay , pay as a percentage of the service fee for treatment , commissions and the portion of automatic service charges . For example , his company ’ s Scottsdale property gives the provider 18 percent of the service fee with another two percent going into pool to be paid out to administrative staff based on hours worked .
3 . Keep compensation in sync with hotel partners ’ pay levels for hotel staff or slightly higher . 4 . Remember that employees have the power to resign and they may be hard to replace . 5 . You can ’ t keep raising pay indefinitely . Look for ways to reward employees outside of cash compensation , such as extra vacation hours and training ( that can be tied to your own standards ) for CEU credits , and paid time off to volunteer in the community .
6 . Because pay is tied to service fees , consider giving automatic pay raises when you increase prices . 7 . Create meaningful incentives that will motivate better results . One property has developed an incentive system that increases commissions as performance rises . For example , those involved in retail sales receive higher commissions based on overall sales , customer rebookings , tenure , hours worked and other metrics . ” The change in tier is based on the value they bring to the organization ,” says Evans .
8 . Measure the impact of incentives . Evans noted the sharp increase in customers upgrading to CBD oil instead of choosing massage oil . Employees felt comfortable suggesting the upgrade because “ they get behind anything that they believe in ,” he says .
9 . Reward professional development as employees begin offering new services , like deep-tissue massage , that are in high demand . 10 . Show employees how they can control how much they earn . Take the time to map out how an employee ’ s paycheck can increase by taking certain actions and achieving specific goals .