Studying Spa Management while living in Seychelles…

SusieQOur third Spa Management Online Course, for this year, is currently running. We took the opportunity to talk to one of the students. Let’s meet Susana Queirós, who is currently managing a spa in the Seychelles and at the same time she is participating in Raison d’Etre’s Spa Management Online program.

RDE: Susana, where are you currently based and what is your current position? S: I am currently working in Seychelles, in Desroches Island Lodge, presently managing Escape SPA, a beautiful and peaceful piece of Paradise in the Indian Ocean.

RDE: Why did you choose Raison d’Etre Online Spa Management Program? S: Being in such a remote destination and with limited access to the internet I was looking for an online school that would give the opportunity to join the online training, but at the same time being able to have a flexible schedule as the operation of the hotel and a hotel spa is constantly changing. The Raison d’Etre blog and the website gave me all the information that I needed about the course contents. The contact that I had with Josefin, the Course Manager, also made everything extremely easy and accessible.

RDE: You started the course a while ago, how was the start? S: All the way from the start it has been a pleasure to do this training, especially because all provided material is so complete and all the videos and lectures are enthusiastic.

RDE: How do you find the course so far? S: Perfect. After being in the SPA industry for almost 10 years now and being a spa manager for more than 3 years, this course brought knowledge and new specific fields to me. This will enable me to improve my routines and operations and be a great help in the future.

RDE: Which subject are you working on currently? S: I am going through the last module right now, which is the business plan.

RDE: When do you normally study, watch the lectures (videos) etc? S: As I am working and we have a busy hotel,  I only find time to study in the evenings after work.

RDE: What subjects / areas are you mostly looking forward to study during the course? S: My favourite modules were Finance and HR, both of them bringing a lot of new knowledge to my operations, as well as new routines to be established to help in my daily work.

RDE: Do you have any advice to those who are considering participating in this course? S: Even if you do have a tight schedule and think that you don’t have time for the training, the flexible schedule makes it possible to do the course any way. I strongly recommend this online training.

Thank you Susana and good luck with your Business Plan and final part of the course!

PS We have one more course running this year, please contact Josefin Rooth, Education Manager for more information. smc@raisondetrespas.com

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