Pulse November / December 2022 | Page 38

referring to : “ We did hire one massage therapist who was kind of working after school on his own clientele . He had the potential , but it was a lot of training that we had to put in . We probably had to train him twice as much . But after he was completely trained , he ’ s really doing great . So before , we would not move forward with a candidate like that , but now we have to do that — we have to take the time and train the person if the person has potential and willingness to work .”
For smaller locations that maybe can ’ t afford to bring on a devoted trainer for new massage therapists , past ISPA Chair and 2022 ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award recipient Ella Kent suggested freeing up a dedicated trainer by “ creating new services that don ’ t require a massage license — more body treatments , more things in the salon — so that people who are frustrated that they can ’ t get a traditional massage have options . When you spend that time [ to train a new employee ] and you develop a person who has a blank slate , it ’ s really very cool .”
True to form , the Sea Island Resort director cast a vision for the industry-wide impact that could be felt from spas welcoming young talent and taking the time to build them from the ground up .“ While it ’ s a pain point right now ,” she said ,“ I think it ’ ll be a real renaissance for our industry as this new generation comes on board . We ’ re going to learn things that we don ’ t even know yet . So I ’ m excited — it ’ s painful now , but I ’ m optimistic .”
After a difficult 2020-21 , Ella Kent and other Sea Island Resort executives sat down to draft “ The Great Eight ” keys to enriching the lives of employees ; see bottom of page .
BRING IT IN On the topic of caring for employees , one of the most resounding ideas came from Valdez , who explained the effectiveness of her property ’ s internal events : “ We have developed these amazing events that we ’ ve been doing where we provide sound healing , meditation and yoga classes . These are for associates only — they aren ’ t open to the guests . We have had great turnout , [ and these are ] some of our best events that we ’ ve had .”
Valdez touted the impact of these events as curiositybuilders for the spa and the industry as a whole : “ It really creates this awareness throughout the property . Not only does the spa team get to go out and be social with their coworkers , but we get to create this awareness for everyone to see what we do , who we are and why we love this industry we ’ re in .” n

THE GREAT EIGHT : Sea Island Resort

1 . Improving work / life balance 2 . Creating and managing an attractive career path 3 . Recognizing effort and achievement routinely in a real way 4 . Providing competitive compensation and benefits 5 . Communicating effectively 6 . Fostering a sense of belonging 7 . Being part of a family 8 . Bringing it all together to do meaningful work