Does your spa’s compensation plan need a remodel? Know your options before you decide.

We all appreciate the technological advances that help us to market and operate spa businesses more efficiently. But when it comes to providing a true spa experience, not even the most groundbreaking innovations—from self-serve facial bars to automated message capsules—can replicate the effect of another human being. This is evident in a spa’s complex service-delivery cycle, which features a multitude of touch-points, e.g., finding the spa in a web search; calling for an appointment; successfully booking a treatment; arriving and getting acclimated; enjoying the service, and checking out and leaving.

Moreover, as spas have become mainstream, public expectation has heightened. Clients now take it for granted that you’ll provide a fully appointed changing area and/or locker room, an inviting tranquility lounge, a quality sensory experience that includes the latest in spa equipment, and a well-trained technical and support staff. The problem is, all of this costs money—a lot of money—prompting many spa owners to go over their income statements with a fine-toothed comb, and bringing the issue of technician compensation to the forefront. After all, compensation is the single biggest expense of any spa business.
Therefore, making adjustments in this area carries a much bigger payoff than simply tinkering with the marketing budget.

But how to go about it? Globally, spa technicians are paid monthly salaries that are fairly consistent by country, with small increases for treatments and retail sales, along with many of the benefits of a career-oriented position, from employer contributions to health coverage and paid vacation. In the United States, however, there is no consistent approach, which means that the design of your compensation plan is limited only by your creativity.

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