“ I lost 12 staff in the two years of the pandemic , and I only have a staff of 24 , so 12 was huge .”
– KIM GREEN
The solution may not be one that everyone has access to , but for Green and her team , it has provided some muchneeded relief .“ We definitely had our experienced team working really hard , kind of to the max , and [ they were ] starting to get some injuries . You can only ask your team to put in so much for so long , so it has definitely helped for that ,” says Green .
Christina Cabrera , Director of Spa and Fitness at La Quinta Resort in La Quinta , California , also exercised her creativity to manage guest demand and avoid overloading a team left stretched thin by staff departures similar to those Kim Green experienced . But rather than using students from a local massage school to provide guests more options for treatments , Cabrera turned her existing employees into students .“ My team rallied together and supported each other ,” Cabrera says .“ I had a lot of cross-training happen . Locker attendants obtained certifications to start performing services . We ’ ve had nail technicians that have gone back to school for massage therapy . I ’ ve had people who possess a cosmetology license who really only did hair and makeup before start training and practicing facial modalities so they could expand the number of services they provide .”
This approach allowed Cabrera to weather the storm dur- ing her most short-staffed period , which is thankfully in the rearview mirror . She says the spa has returned to pre-pandemic staffing levels now , with only a few part-time positions open at the time of this writing . But because so many team members focused on the acquisition of new skills , the spa was able to see itself through a challenging staffing situation and provide much-welcomed flexibility and opportunities for advancement to existing employees , all without pushing beyond anyone ’ s limits .
GETTING MORE FLEXIBLE Flexibility , both on her part and that of her team , has been key to Brooke Bucher finding a workable balance between driving revenues and keeping her team in a positive mental position at Sage Lodge Spa , where she serves as director of spa and wellness . When confronted with the staffing challenges created in part by her spa ’ s remote location in rural Montana , Bucher involved her team in developing a new approach to scheduling that required several adjustments to the spa ’ s traditional way of doing things .
The first of those adjustments involved changing the profile of the spa ’ s typical service provider . Because The Spa at Sage Lodge has typically operated with extended seasonal