Pulse November / December 2022 - Page 22

Provide the tools for success Changing pay is not the end of this process . Employees need to be able to achieve the goals assigned to them so they can earn their living . When Johanna Lastennet , director of Spa Ovarium in Montreal , began paying commissions to receptionists for retail sales , most of those employees had no experience in sales .
To ease the transition , she developed training to increase receptionists ’ product knowledge and to help them get comfortable with the sales process .“ Treatments and products take time to explain ,” she says . The training emphasizes that making these sales is an opportunity to reassure and take care of the client .
Lastennet also considers pay to be just one part of improving the entire working experience for employees .“ Everything is connected ,” she says .“ You can ’ t stop at salary .” For example , the spa introduced a more consistent and predictable scheduling process to help employees better manage their work / life balance . She also changed the spa ’ s opening hours to avoid early morning starts , which is particularly important to employees during a Montreal winter .
At the same time , Spa Ovarium increased base salaries for both therapists and receptionists , while also rethinking its menu of services and its pricing . To attract and retain staff , Lastennet began awarding $ 1,000 retention bonuses and began offering bonuses for referring new employees to the spa . Existing staff also plays an important part in welcoming new employees by having new employees shadow a staff member on their first day . Lastennet considers this an im-

Compensation Dos and Don ’ ts

Keeping pay levels tied to the market can be the difference between a thriving business and a struggling one . Here are some ways to make sure you are keeping compensation on an even keel .
DO : Look at pay levels and incentive opportunities on a regular basis . How frequently will depend on the amount of turnover you are experiencing , the amount of available talent in the local market to fill specific roles and how difficult it is to hire new people .
DO : Look for compensation insight and data wherever you can find it . For example , Donat of Fairmont Hotel and Resorts asked spa directors throughout the Austin area to gather compensation information with the promise to share the complete data set when it was completed . “ We may be competitors but we can still learn from each other ,” he says .
DO : Think through in advance what , if anything , you are willing to do if people start quitting , such as making counteroffers or offering retention bonuses or other incentives . The key is to be intentional using well thought-out guidelines of what you can do from a compensation perspective and why .
DO : Understand strong communication is crucial when changing pay programs . Employees need to know how they can maximize their pay . And if you can ’ t easily explain an incentive program , it may be too complicated or confusing to work effectively .
DO : Recognize training is essential . If you implement a pay program that ties a portion of pay to product sales or other goals that require specific skills and knowledge , make sure those employees have access to any training or mentoring necessary to be successful in that part of the job .
DON ’ T : Forget that retaining and motivating employees is not all about pay . A supportive work environment , attractive benefits and flexible work schedules can do a great deal to retain talent , even if they get a better dollar offer elsewhere .
DON ’ T : Underestimate the role of managers in keeping employees . People don ’ t leave just because of pay but because they feel that they are not appreciated .
DON ’ T : Expect pay to remain a secret . Thanks to the wealth of salary information online through web sites and social media , not to mention old-fashioned gossip , it is safer to assume that people have a good idea of how much their peers are making .
DO : Be willing to adjust if a pay programs is not working as well as expected . “ I am on the floor every day because I don ’ t make decisions without seeing what employees do and experience ,” says Lastennet . “ Without that , employees don ’ t trust what you are trying to do .”
portant way to get the entire staff involved in everyone ’ s success .
Above all , Lastennet urges spa professionals to observe the Golden Rule , treat people as you want to the treated . From her perspective , the spa would have faced high turnover no matter how much they paid their staff if employees ’ day-to-day experience had not improved . “ You can ’ t make up for poor working conditions ,” she says . n
JOANNE SAMMER is a business and financial writer based in New Jersey .