Spa Management Education

We are happy to announce that our next Spa Mangement Online Course starts already June 3rd, because of high interest this year and many that cannot wait until next one in September! Anna recently shared her spa management knowledge and thoughts about online education on spastaff.com, you can read her blog post below:

Photo Mark Earthy   COPYRIGHT © Photographer Mark Earthy.WWW.PHOTOGRAPHER.SE“A fundamental challenge facing Spa business is the lack of people with the right skills to fill management level positions.”  Anna Bjurstam writes:
The driving force behind any spa’s success is the Spa Manager/Director; the captain of the ship – his or her way of leading the business will make or break the spa. An expert knowledge of spa and wellness and strong people skills is not enough for a leading spa manager, who also needs to be on top of operations fundamentals, customer service and be an excellent manager, administrator, able to act on performance statistics, (KPIs), and ultimately, possess the wisdom and confidence to lead the team through the inevitable ups and downs. The key shortcomings of most aspiring Spa Managers – according to a recent survey – are hard business skills such as strategic planning, spa finance, revenue management and marketing. So in order to stand out in today’s tough, competitive job market, education is paramount…

Three typical sources of spa managers:
1. Hiring someone from outside the spa business
Since most spas believe that on-the-job learning and mentoring are still the most important ways for spa managers/directors to gain their skills, this is the challenge with hiring someone with the right education but yet outside the spa business.

2. Recruiting a spa management graduate from university or college
There are approximately 64 spa management-related degree programs available in universities, colleges, and schools around the world. Most of these programs are still new and have very little recognition among the spa industry and are as not as well-connected as they need to be.  These courses are usually taken prior to entering the workforce.

Managers/directors who come into their jobs directly out of a university/college degree program or out of a non-spa job do not come equipped with a deep, first hand understanding of the spa world and its intricacies. So while these managers/directors may be strong on hard skills like management, finance and marketing, they are often weak on the soft skills (such as understanding of the detail of spa operations) and people skills needed to manage the therapists and clients in the spa.

3. Promoting existing spa employees into management positions
Providers of continuing education services are also new, fragmented, and constantly evolving, and there is no one “proven” model for effectively delivering training to employees already in the workforce to equip them for senior positions.

Promoting existing spa employees into management roles also has its pros and cons. There are at least 41 providers of spa management continuing education globally. Most are private companies (offering short courses, workshops), but some are schools/universities offering longer professional certificate programs. The challenge with these is that there is still not any well-defined educational or career pathway for entering spa management or worldwide spa management accreditation. Many spa industry executives believe promoting from within is a very successful and desirable model for sourcing managers because people who have already worked in the spa have a deep, first hand understanding of that spa’s culture and operational structure. They can bring that knowledge to their management role, and for this purpose shorter spa management courses are ideal. On the other hand, for a person without spa experience seeking a management position, a shorter course is unlikely to be adequate.

What about online education?
Online education is increasing fast and is clearly the future in education. While you lose personal contact and the discipline of someone else telling you exactly what to do, what you gain is time, flexibility, support whenever you need it and the chance to study the way that suits you.

Raison d’Etre has worked with more than 100 spas in 60 different countries, created eight of the world’s best known spa brands and educated over 150 spa managers in the past 8 years. Our bespoke spa training has strongly contributed to making each of our spas profitable and sustainable. One of the company’s core values is to “Grow People” and our commitment to this and to meeting the needs of the spa industry has led to the creation of an online and easily accessible spa management education programme. Our mission is to share our spa management knowledge and contribute skills that will make the spa management market stronger by helping to solve the problem of under-educated spa managers.

The center of the Raison d’Etre Spa Management Online Course is reality based training, built on the solid operational experience of the senior industry experts who have created this course. Market orientation is crucial and so the course is updated every year following global spa management research. We teach all the key steps to success in spa management and provide the best tools, ideas and strategies for the student’s future spa while developing their own confidence and leadership skills. The students leave with a customized and successful business plan for their own spa.

This is only one of the courses on the market and there will be many more in the future as the spa and wellness industry grows. Along the way, the Global Spa & Wellness Spa Management committee will continue their work in improving the spa management workforce system.

Anna Bjurstam

Board member, Global Spa & Wellness Summit
Committee member, Spa Management Education committee
Vice President, Six Senses Spas
Owner, Raison d’Etre

Resources:

2012 Research Report: “Spa Management Workforce and education: Addressing Market Gaps

Make a woman feel beautiful and she is happy (?) – Part 2

Here is the second part of my recap of latest beauty research, if you didn’t read last weeks post take a look at that one first!

Celebrities

What about all the celebrity endorsement we see everywhere? According to McCann, celebrities increase sales as consumers like the aspiration of a dream and fantasy.

Their research shows that the majority of women around the world still feel either positive or inspired when they look at pictures of beautiful celebrities, and this is particularly pronounced in China (76%) and Mexico (75%). Very few women stipulated that celebrities make them feel depressed or angry.

However, 90% of women globally want the celebrities used in beauty adverts to be famous for something in addition to their looks. 86% of women say that in beauty advertising they like to see a naturally beautiful woman with a few lines on her face.

Retail

Research also shows that women want to touch and test products so having them easily accessible and displayed beautifully will encourage sales more than having them behind a class cabinet. Note this you spas with retail displayes behind glassed in areas!

If brands are to achieve an emotional connection with women, they must understand and reflect the role that beauty plays in women’s lives. This new research provides a great insight into ideas that perhaps can help spas become even more successful.

Thanks McCann Group for this great research and also Euromonitor!

//Anna

The Spa Management dilemma

Around this time last year, I had an idea. We had run our Spa management courses for about 7 years and we are constantly getting queries from students on where they can find and compare spa management educations (such as candidate and bachelor) as well as shorter courses, such as ours, for those already working in the spa business.

We as employers had a huge challenge to find qualified spa managers, and so had all my colleagues in the business. And the ones that actually did graduate did not have the skillset that the industry want to hire.

Confused yet? You should be. Basically we are all over the place, as educational institutes, students and also the industry.

It had been lingering in my head for a long time that we have to do something about the spa management challenge, as spa managers are essentially those who build our future.

Beautiful Aspen

Beautiful Aspen

So we commissioned a study via the Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS), where I happened to be on the board and we presented the result this week in Aspen,

In short (the long version can soon be downloaded at www.globalspaandwellnessummit.org )

a)    educational institutes are not educating the spa managers that the industry wants to hire

b)   the industry is not investing in the spa managers they already have, and therefore many of today’s spa managers do not have the tools to lead a successful and profitable spa

The industry has a lot of responsibility in this, we have to communicate with the educational institutes and tell them what core competencies that we want them to educate in.

As Dave Ramsay says “ we can either chose to educate our staff and risk looking them OR keep them dumb and slow” – we as an industry has chosen the latter.

We had a very productive round table discussion about this, that I led and we agreed to that it is now time for the industry to step up to the plate, and although I promised myself that I would not take on a leading role in this (it took quite some time to get this research together with SRI International….), I found myself passionately saying that I would head the initiative up.

I hope that we will in one year have a website where students can find all spa management educations and courses, that we have a set of core competencies that we are all educating in and that we have an active industry where we are communicating with students and educational institutes

Stay tuned and I will keep you posted on new advancement as we go along!

 

//Anna

Telomeres – the new hot solution to youth?

During the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, we had the opportunity to measure our Telomeres (for free!).

Telomeres you might wonder?? Or you are one of those that has followed the very intense discussions the past year??

Advocates says that Telomeres is the answer to many chornic diseases. And given that 80% of the population at the age 65 has at least one chronic disease this is really good news. Would it be true….

Telomeres are two caps at each end of the chromosomes that we have in each cell (see picture). It is said that if we have long Telemores, we are biologically young (er), and if they are short, we are prone to get diseases.

Telomeres are said to be connected to our mental health (isn’t everything??), and if we are stressed and negative, it immediately leads to shorter Teleomeres. Another interesting observation is that if you are one of those that lets your mind wonder, well then you are more prone to depression.

So how can we lengthen our Teleomeres – not that surprisingly, research says that it is the same thing that we should always practice to be healthy, namely eat Omega 3, exercise, sleep well, have social support and practice mindfulness.

Isn’t it strange how everything is connected – or maybe not, as we are one ecosystem within a larger one. Practice the above, and you don’t have to worry about Telomeres.

I also want to say that there is A LOT of discussions if measuring Telomeres actually is valid, and if so in what way. If you have cancer, for example, then the Telemores are very long on the actual cancer cells. The many pills one today can take to lengthen Telemores should most likely be avoided, as if we are prone to have cancer, then we would help it on its way.

If you want to read more about the good, the bad and the ugly – check out Mark Sissons blog http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-tall-tail-of-telomeres/#axzz1xaOcGblt  where he has a very good (and long!)  discussion about Telomeres.

I will let you all know my result when I get it in a about 2 months!

//Anna

Innovation is NOT Invention

“I have failed over and over again in my life, that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan

I had the pleasure of listening to John Kao, one of the worlds most famous drivers of innovation. He said that we were living in a time where we are “Problem rich  and Solution poor”, but the good news is that we are reaching a tipping point with a new paradigm. I think that this is something that many of us are feeling in general during teh very exciting 2012.

The solution to come to the tipping point is – Innovation. To innovate, one needs to come in to a “flow” and not think too much. John likened it with any

John Kao

John Kao

craftsman, that we have to practice and practice, not give up our innovation and sooner or later the reward will come. The case is however often the opposite, where we innovate, put some effort to it, and then give up. Give up and innovation does not go hand in hand.

To innovate, we must be creative. Creativity is the universal human ability to generate new ideas. Imagination is the ability to form images and sensations without reference to the actual senses.

What he also said was that innovation is not invention. Innovation is creativity applied to a purpose to realize value, as a distinction to invention.

His formula for innovation is: Discipline + imagination = Innovation. Just as Michael Jordan, above, said in other words.

I personally think that we all have the imagination, it is the discipline that we often lack. We lose the perseverance, we have an idea, sometimes it stays there and never becomes more than idea. Other times we implement it and then let go of it when we step upon some challenges.

One thing that my good friend and former business partner, Roz, taught me was that if you believe in an idea – a vision – and firecfully apply it against all odds, you will eventually succeed.

I think that is what Michael Jordan did and many other people around the world. The failed, then failed again, and finally failed better.

//Anna

 

There is no Plan(et) B…..

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit is right now taking place at the Aspen Institute in the US. I am one of the founding board members and have been to each one since the start 7 years ago. It is an amazing event, and this year is unparalleled.

I will give you some insight to what is happening the coming days and weeks. Today will be perhaps not the most uplifting brief, but no doubt a wake up call!

The first day was about innovation and also talking about how the world as we know it is changing. As Costa Rica’s former president Jose Maria Figueres Olsen said – there is no Planet B, we have no second chance, we need to act now. What we are currently doing, he said, is re-arranging the deck chairs on Titanic….

An equally grim picture came from Philippe Bourgingon. Who said that the economy and growth that we have experienced since World War II is coming to an end, the consumption led as well as the export led economy are dying. We have been living above our means, the current lack of consumption is pushing countries to debt and the western methods to correct this do not work any longer. This recover is the worst recover of the last 11 crisis recoveries. What we are doing right now is giving the economies pain killers, takes away some of the symptoms but does not cure the root cause….

So what do we do?

Innovate and imagine!

Former US Chief Surgeon, Dr Richard Carmona talked about – among others – that he got an advice from Senator Kennedy when he took the position “when you enter Washington, bring a dog, this will be your only friend”…

He also spoke about that the world today is delivering a “sick care” system and not a “health care” system. 2 of our 7 billion inhabitants on the planet is living on less than USD 1/day. That the declining state of our environment is directly linked with many of the diseases today, such as for example asthma.

The good thing is that what science has found is that 3 our of 4 people do not need to be in the hospitals if it wasn’t for our behavioral problem we are showing. Food, drugs, domestic violence, life style etc. is what in 75% of the cases pushes us into the sick care system.

This is good news! We can do something about it – wellness and spas play a very important part here!

Well, that was the wake up call! Tomorrow I will speak about what John Kao (innovation activist) and Ted Souder (Google) said. That will make you happy again!

//Anna

Ps. Ted SOuder from Goole congratulated the very innovative idea to give out our LivNordic bath brushes to market our new brand! Ds.