Are You a Spa Therapist, Spa Manager or Spa Trainer?

It is a conversation I have had with literally 100’s of spa professionals over my 22 years; when someone comes into the spa business as a therapist, most want to progress in some way eventually. Some will open their own business, some will train in multiple disciplines and become masters in their profession, some will become managers and some will become trainers.

But how do you decide the right route for you?

It is something I have seen over and over again over the years, senior spa therapists becoming managers because they have been working in the spa or the industry for many years – therefore they are the perfect candidate for the position, right?

So wrong!!

Let’s take a look at the human brain for one moment. We are very capable of using both sides of our brains; however as a therapist you will see the right brain function is much more dominant than the left brain function. People who are more artistic tend to use the right side of their brains more. However to become a business spa manager which is what is actually expected of you if you get promoted to a spa managers position the left side of your brain needs to play a dominant role. Some find this an easy adaptation and others don’t. Many HR managers and general managers will make the decision to promote a senior spa therapist to spa manager and then wonder why they can’t excel in the financial side of the spa business. It’s simply because other than reaching retail and monthly targets, spa therapists are rarely asked to get involved with the financial side of the business and therefore do not develop the left side thinking as much. Again, this is not saying that spa therapists cannot become highly successful business spa managers, quite the opposite but I have seen so many amazing spa professionals move to a different career, waste the talent, all their studies, skills and years of dedication to the spa industry because they worked as a manager, hated it and decided there was nothing else for them to do.

Well I’m here to tell you that we need more awesome spa trainers in the industry. Yes we need to make lots of money, we need to develop the spa as a business and especially in hotel spas – show the other departments that it can be a standalone profitable business. But in order to make our businesses profitable with repeat guests and recommendations we need to offer amazing treatments.

Step in and take a bow the spa trainers.

This is where your right brain can create and develop guest journey that people like me, the analytical business managers struggle to create. We know what we want but the right side of the brain just doesn’t want to work as well as the left. I think many businesses use their spa trainers to rush and get new therapists trained in, get them running a column and that’s it. There is little time spent improving the techniques of current therapists, developing a strong guest journey and keep monitoring to ensure the guest is wowed every visit. A spa trainer is just as important as a spa manager in my eye; they can make a mighty team if the right people are paired together.

Top tip – in order to save on payroll and keep running a tight ship I used to employ my spa trainers as my assistant managers because trainers/seniors therapists are excellent at being your rock, your side kick, your number two. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they will become a spa manager.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Have a wonderful day.


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