6 Tips for Training New Spa Employees

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Well-trained employees are at the heart of every great spa or salon. That’s why every spa owner and manager tries to hire the best employees possible.

But even the most skilled and experienced new hires still need to learn how things work at your business. And even longtime employees have room to improve — we all do!

To ensure that all your employees are fully equipped to provide your clients with the top-notch service they deserve, it is absolutely vital to create a spa staff training program.

How do you do that?

For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on best practices for creating a training program for new hires.

Decide What You Want to Teach

The goal of your spa staff training program should be to impart essential knowledge and skills. Things your employees need to know to run your spa smoothly and execute their tasks with maximum competency. That way, your customers get the best possible experience.

A good training program starts with a clear structure. Without that, you’re likely to waste time giving employees useless information that doesn’t help them – or your business.

Because of this, you should begin by writing out everything that you think is must-know for a new employee. Begin with simple, foundational information, then progress to more advanced training.

Additionally, trainers should always be on the lookout for training gaps. If an employee lacks the core skills needed in a particular area, your training may go over their head. For example, you can’t teach someone how to do a hot stone massage if they lack basic massage skills in the first place.

Start general, then get more specific.

Mix It Up

People learn differently, so your training should include diverse teaching styles. Training activities could, for instance, include handbooks, manuals, videos, hands-on demonstrations, and so on.

For example, you could train new employees on how to identify different skin types through a practical demonstration, a handbook or manual, and a training video. You don’t have to have every single option available for each thing your employees learn, but it’s good to remember not everyone learns the same.

Additionally, when you employ a variety of training methods, new hires will learn better because the process will be more fun and engaging.

Use Your Current Employees as Trainers

Regardless of how involved you are with your spa on a day-to-day basis, you may not always know the nitty-gritty details of every job done by your employees. For this reason, employees in mid-level positions or who have been with you longer may be a great choice to train your new hires.

Pick the trainers from amongst your most competent employees and ask them to pass on their knowledge and skills. You can ask them to create their preferred training routines or provide them with standard information you want them to teach.

It’s also not a bad idea to offer incentives to employees who train new hires.

Cross-Train New Employees

If you’re like most spas, your business likely offers a number of different treatments and services. This means you probably have some employees who primarily offer massages, others who do facials and makeup, others who give pedicures and manicures, and so on.

But doing one thing all the time can be unfulfilling for some people. Moreover, if you have a few people out sick who typically perform a specific service, how do you replace them?

Cross-training can help to alleviate these issues. It teaches an employee to do another job on top of their primary assignment.

For instance, an employee who styles hair may also be taught on how to do makeup. In so doing, they not only learn a new skill, but also pick up essential knowledge that they can apply to their primary tasks.

As yet another bonus, cross-training builds cohesion amongst your spa employees.

Socialize and Have Fun

Socializing together will help a new employee feel connected to the spa and develop genuine relationships with other employees. Through those friendships, they’ll come to understand role clarity and the overall expectations of their work at the spa.

Ultimately, you know what’s right for you and your spa. These tips are merely meant as guidelines to point you in the right direction in coming up with how to train your workers.

Don’t Ignore Safety Issues Related to COVID

No matter how much we all want things to get back to normal, it doesn’t look like that’s happening anytime soon. If you are still accepting regular, in-person appointments, you likely have new safety protocols in place to protect both clients and staff members.

Whatever those protocols may be for you, make sure that all of your employees are following them. Not only will this make everyone safer, depending on the rules in your area, a violation could lead to fines — or worse.

Reserve a specific section of your spa staff training program for safety and hygiene — including issues related to COVID — and make sure everyone completely understands and is on the same page.

Having trouble putting together of implementing a program for your employees? Let us take it off your shoulders. That’s right — NewMed offers spa staff training programs! interested in learning more? Reach out.

Originally published on 2/28/2019. Updated on 2/1/2021.