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Insight
Hindsight 2020

"I’ve never been more bullish about the business or practice of wellness or the role it now has to play on a global stage"

By Mia Kyricos | Published in Spa Business 2021 issue 1


While there have been some clear winners in the pandemic, such as Amazon or the makers of toilet paper, the virus has deeply affected us all and the lines between our personal and professional lives have blurred.

I can relate, first-hand. I started off last year in a city I loved, in a job I loved, working for a multi-billion-dollar company I loved. We had green lights to grow our purposeful work impacting the wellbeing of millions of people.

By June, I found myself participating in a layoff affecting 1,300-plus of my colleagues, including myself, and watched as so many of our spa and hospitality colleagues experienced the same. I ended up back home, working from my house, with far fewer resources. And my own case of COVID-19 was just the icing on the cake.

But the irony is that I’ve never been more bullish about the business or practice of wellness or the role it now has to play on a global stage. So what does this all mean for spa leaders in 2021? And what can we all do to effectively transform our businesses with less resources, and still care for ourselves and our team members along the way?

How to lead well in 2021
Determine what to delegate or delete to focus on what’s truly important / fizkesZivkovic/shutterstock
1. Identify your mission-critical activities and focus on them

Whether you own a day spa or oversee a chain of sprawling wellness destinations, we’re all being asked to do more with less (less money, less headcount, less room, less patience). The single-best thing you can do is to pinpoint what you and your team can stop doing. Make a list of everything you do in a week – from scheduling to forecasting, procurement to merchandising, marketing to staff management. If you’re privileged enough to have managers and lead therapists, ask them to do the same. Then compare and contrast lists, identify what’s essential for the business to succeed and determine what can either be delegated or ideally deleted. This will leave more space for what’s truly important and impactful.

2. Transform what wellness means at work

To date, big companies are championing their workplace wellness ‘perks and programmes’, including things such as flexible work schedules, unlimited paid time off, access to healthy food and beverage, free subscriptions to mindfulness apps, etc, rather than workplace culture, which has the potential to make a real difference to peoples’ quality of life.

Fortunately, spas have a chance to think about workplace wellness differently, because the nature of their businesses demand it. Spas also have the world’s best resources at their fingertips, provided colleagues feel they have the permission and time to use them. So, what can spa leaders do to transform wellness at work?

• Start at home. You know what it takes to show up as the very best version of yourself. Whether it’s a long run, breakfast with a loved one, a yoga or meditation class, make it your priority to care for your wellbeing before anyone else. Even if that means getting up before your spouse, children or the dog, because starting off your day on the right foot is essential to fostering the right climate at work and to caring for the wellbeing of others. Moreover, it requires you to set boundaries and model health and wellness, which is essential for loved ones and team members to see, believe and follow suit.

• Lead with love. There’s growing evidence that companies that institutionalise love – the most supreme form of positivity – stand to impact the bottom line by doing simple things such as starting off meetings with successes versus challenges, taking a moment to express gratitude, or even assuming positive intent when addressing negative outcomes and behaviours.

When the going gets tough and you have to make difficult business decisions in the heat of the moment, ask yourself: ‘what would love do’? This simple question will engage the rational parts of your brain, help to eliminate fear and better establish trust in your workplace. Both outcomes are essential to establishing loving cultures and enabling wellbeing to thrive at work.

• Be inclusive. Most spas have a lot of improvements to make here. Not only have we struggled to both employ and serve particular populations – say, men, for example, or those living with cancer – but we ignore or push aside our own struggles with mental health.

We make assumptions about the kind of people who make the best therapists or front desk associates, but we underestimate the toll that comes with caring for the emotional and physical wellbeing of others.

Spa is a serious business, and one that requires a supreme level of tolerance and inclusivity. By starting with ourselves, and leading with love, we have a better chance of empathising with staff and guests, and fostering truly inclusive, productive behaviour.

3. Make travel special again

Like it or not, the world was spinning out of control before the pandemic hit, and many of us began to dread travel. Business leaders now have the opportunity to rethink the necessity of travel, which will likely result in less frequent trips in the short-term, but potentially more valued, impactful trips in the longer-term.

Why is this good for spas? Firstly, travel brands now have a rare, second chance to make a first impression, by proving that they are not only clean and safe, but also memorable, trusted establishments worthy of consumers’ life-long loyalty. Spas that are associated with hotels and destinations in particular, can partner with other hospitality leaders to reintroduce themselves to guests in more meaningful ways.

Whether it’s arrival gifts, gestures or services that take the place of traditional turn-down or bathroom amenities, or meeting packages reconceived with standardised spa and wellness offerings, spas have a chance to say hello again and reinvent how they’re perceived.

Secondly, spas that have been historically dependent on transient guests are re-engaging with their local communities. They’re reaching out to local businesses and communities in an effort to make spa visits part of every-day life. Examples include doctors offices – so spa visits can be a part of holistic patient care – and corporations, where they can help to make workplaces well.

Spas can also better position themselves to be even more appealing drive-to destinations for both local and neighbouring communities, literally expanding their geographic reach, while communicating in more meaningful ways, particularly to residents in need of new ways to cope with pandemic-related restrictions.

Caring for yourself is the first step towards caring for others / LightField Studios/shutterstock
Future hopes
Photo: Kyricos & Associates

On a personal note, I can honestly say that 2020 was one of the greatest gifts of my life. I made my own wellbeing a top priority, loved as if my life depended on it, excitedly travelled to a warm, beach-side destination for my first trip in seven months, repeatedly booked what have become essential, safe treatments at a local day spa and gratefully continued the important work of helping people to live well every day.

My hope is that we all embrace these lessons with gratitude as we continue on this journey together.

• Mia Kyricos is president of Kyricos & Associates, a strategic advisory and referral firm working in wellness and hospitality [email protected] 

Sign up here to get the Spa Business and Spa Business insider weekly ezines and every issue of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines free on digital.
Appealing to the drive-to destination market could be a key strategy Credit: Syda Productions/shutterstock
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Biologique Recherche: 45 years of passion
Biologique Recherche was founded by a family of passionate skincare experts. Today, it's managed by Rupert Schmid and Pierre-Louis Delapalme, while Philippe Allouche, son of founders Yvan and Josette Allouche, leads the Research & Development team. [more...]

Protecting both planet and people: Davines Group releases new sustainability report
Davines Group has unveiled its annual Sustainability Report for 2020-2021, presenting the group’s activities through the results obtained in 2020 and the goals set for 2021, describing its commitment to sustainability in relation to three different areas: Planet, People and Community. [more...]
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27-28 Sep 2021

Sothys International Summit 2021

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News   Products   Magazine
Insight
Hindsight 2020

"I’ve never been more bullish about the business or practice of wellness or the role it now has to play on a global stage"

By Mia Kyricos | Published in Spa Business 2021 issue 1


While there have been some clear winners in the pandemic, such as Amazon or the makers of toilet paper, the virus has deeply affected us all and the lines between our personal and professional lives have blurred.

I can relate, first-hand. I started off last year in a city I loved, in a job I loved, working for a multi-billion-dollar company I loved. We had green lights to grow our purposeful work impacting the wellbeing of millions of people.

By June, I found myself participating in a layoff affecting 1,300-plus of my colleagues, including myself, and watched as so many of our spa and hospitality colleagues experienced the same. I ended up back home, working from my house, with far fewer resources. And my own case of COVID-19 was just the icing on the cake.

But the irony is that I’ve never been more bullish about the business or practice of wellness or the role it now has to play on a global stage. So what does this all mean for spa leaders in 2021? And what can we all do to effectively transform our businesses with less resources, and still care for ourselves and our team members along the way?

How to lead well in 2021
Determine what to delegate or delete to focus on what’s truly important / fizkesZivkovic/shutterstock
1. Identify your mission-critical activities and focus on them

Whether you own a day spa or oversee a chain of sprawling wellness destinations, we’re all being asked to do more with less (less money, less headcount, less room, less patience). The single-best thing you can do is to pinpoint what you and your team can stop doing. Make a list of everything you do in a week – from scheduling to forecasting, procurement to merchandising, marketing to staff management. If you’re privileged enough to have managers and lead therapists, ask them to do the same. Then compare and contrast lists, identify what’s essential for the business to succeed and determine what can either be delegated or ideally deleted. This will leave more space for what’s truly important and impactful.

2. Transform what wellness means at work

To date, big companies are championing their workplace wellness ‘perks and programmes’, including things such as flexible work schedules, unlimited paid time off, access to healthy food and beverage, free subscriptions to mindfulness apps, etc, rather than workplace culture, which has the potential to make a real difference to peoples’ quality of life.

Fortunately, spas have a chance to think about workplace wellness differently, because the nature of their businesses demand it. Spas also have the world’s best resources at their fingertips, provided colleagues feel they have the permission and time to use them. So, what can spa leaders do to transform wellness at work?

• Start at home. You know what it takes to show up as the very best version of yourself. Whether it’s a long run, breakfast with a loved one, a yoga or meditation class, make it your priority to care for your wellbeing before anyone else. Even if that means getting up before your spouse, children or the dog, because starting off your day on the right foot is essential to fostering the right climate at work and to caring for the wellbeing of others. Moreover, it requires you to set boundaries and model health and wellness, which is essential for loved ones and team members to see, believe and follow suit.

• Lead with love. There’s growing evidence that companies that institutionalise love – the most supreme form of positivity – stand to impact the bottom line by doing simple things such as starting off meetings with successes versus challenges, taking a moment to express gratitude, or even assuming positive intent when addressing negative outcomes and behaviours.

When the going gets tough and you have to make difficult business decisions in the heat of the moment, ask yourself: ‘what would love do’? This simple question will engage the rational parts of your brain, help to eliminate fear and better establish trust in your workplace. Both outcomes are essential to establishing loving cultures and enabling wellbeing to thrive at work.

• Be inclusive. Most spas have a lot of improvements to make here. Not only have we struggled to both employ and serve particular populations – say, men, for example, or those living with cancer – but we ignore or push aside our own struggles with mental health.

We make assumptions about the kind of people who make the best therapists or front desk associates, but we underestimate the toll that comes with caring for the emotional and physical wellbeing of others.

Spa is a serious business, and one that requires a supreme level of tolerance and inclusivity. By starting with ourselves, and leading with love, we have a better chance of empathising with staff and guests, and fostering truly inclusive, productive behaviour.

3. Make travel special again

Like it or not, the world was spinning out of control before the pandemic hit, and many of us began to dread travel. Business leaders now have the opportunity to rethink the necessity of travel, which will likely result in less frequent trips in the short-term, but potentially more valued, impactful trips in the longer-term.

Why is this good for spas? Firstly, travel brands now have a rare, second chance to make a first impression, by proving that they are not only clean and safe, but also memorable, trusted establishments worthy of consumers’ life-long loyalty. Spas that are associated with hotels and destinations in particular, can partner with other hospitality leaders to reintroduce themselves to guests in more meaningful ways.

Whether it’s arrival gifts, gestures or services that take the place of traditional turn-down or bathroom amenities, or meeting packages reconceived with standardised spa and wellness offerings, spas have a chance to say hello again and reinvent how they’re perceived.

Secondly, spas that have been historically dependent on transient guests are re-engaging with their local communities. They’re reaching out to local businesses and communities in an effort to make spa visits part of every-day life. Examples include doctors offices – so spa visits can be a part of holistic patient care – and corporations, where they can help to make workplaces well.

Spas can also better position themselves to be even more appealing drive-to destinations for both local and neighbouring communities, literally expanding their geographic reach, while communicating in more meaningful ways, particularly to residents in need of new ways to cope with pandemic-related restrictions.

Caring for yourself is the first step towards caring for others / LightField Studios/shutterstock
Future hopes
Photo: Kyricos & Associates

On a personal note, I can honestly say that 2020 was one of the greatest gifts of my life. I made my own wellbeing a top priority, loved as if my life depended on it, excitedly travelled to a warm, beach-side destination for my first trip in seven months, repeatedly booked what have become essential, safe treatments at a local day spa and gratefully continued the important work of helping people to live well every day.

My hope is that we all embrace these lessons with gratitude as we continue on this journey together.

• Mia Kyricos is president of Kyricos & Associates, a strategic advisory and referral firm working in wellness and hospitality [email protected] 

Sign up here to get the Spa Business and Spa Business insider weekly ezines and every issue of Spa Business and Spa Business insider magazines free on digital.
Appealing to the drive-to destination market could be a key strategy Credit: Syda Productions/shutterstock
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Protecting both planet and people: Davines Group releases new sustainability report
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+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors

Through architecture and interior design, our goal is to enhance health and wellbeing by utilising b [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

BC Softwear Product Demonstration Pure Spa Linen & Energy saving SupremeSoft Towels
BC Softwear introduces the new Pure Spa Linen cotton sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases especially designed for luxury spas. The SupremeSoft range offers incredible energy saving over traditional towelling with a cashmere soft feel. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

21-24 Sep 2021

Interbad

Messe Stuttgart, Germany
27-28 Sep 2021

Sothys International Summit 2021

Online,
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2021

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
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