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Preparing Your Spa Staff Mentally 


Industry expert Lisa Starr shares how to prepare your staff mentally to return. It’s important for you to share with your team how you’re protecting them while they’re at work (do this over a video conference if you can). Communicating now is important; you need to know who's ready to come back. Lisa stresses that you should create a safe space where your team can recharge at your spa, too. Investing in the mental health of your team upon their return is well worth it.  

Recommended resources:  

How to Prepare Your Staff to Return to Your Salon or Spa 

Reboot Kit: How to Reopen Your Salon, Spa, or Wellness Business Post COVID-19 


Hello again, Lisa Starr from Wynne Business Spa Consulting and Education and I wanted to speak again about bringing staff back now that spas are reopening and what's involved with that?  

Previously, we spoke on the physical issues, but it's really important to address the mental as well. What spa owners are finding is that as anxious as we are to get back to work, some of the staff are not in such a hurry. They have been sheltering in place, they have not gone out much, and honestly, we've all been so scared by the media that people are afraid to. And, if they have not been going out regularly, the idea of it can be a little bit daunting.  

So, I want to say that as owners and managers, you may assume that they will feel like you and they'll be anxious to get back to work, but that may not be the case. If you have not been keeping in regular touch with them throughout the time that you've been closed, now's a good time to start. I would recommend a weekly Zoom meeting or whatever platform you use, but visual is important, not just talking, seeing them, they find that that's really helpful. And just start a conversation around the realities of reopening and what that feels like because that even helps to prepare them mentally.  

It's really important that the first thing that you emphasize is safety and security, you know, there's. That you're protecting them and that they feel protected and that they see activities around that. That's going to do a lot to inspire confidence in them.  

We also have the issue that with the added money for the unemployment, many of them are making more money than they did at the spa. Now, that money will run out, but it may run out not before your spa reopens. So, keeping in close touch with them, and sort of getting a feel for who may want to come back to work would be really helpful. You're not going to need them all at once. You're not going to open to capacity. So, if, you know, a third of them want to come back that may be all that you need, at the moment, to make things get back to, you know, start back to work.

Think about their shifts, which I spoke about earlier, and the breaks, giving them breaks and think about ways to make it a really mindful and positive experience. You know, how can we sort of bring mental wellness into that spa workplace for them? Make sure they have a safe place to go and take off their PPE when they need to, where they can be at the regular distance from someone. We've heard suggestions like having meditation, guided meditations, having a juicer in the pantry, making sure there's a fruit of the day or something healthy to eat, you know, and just really making sure that they are open to talk to you about their concerns and fears.  

The first few days will definitely be rocky. You know, it's not going to be business as usual, and they don't even realize that till they get back to work and they think oh, wow, this is really different. It won't be forever but at least in order to urge people to come back in and start greeting our guests. I think if you spend a little time and energy on the mental state of those people that serve our guests, it will serve you well.

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Lisa Starr Headshot

Lisa Starr


Wynne Business Consulting

Lisa is a frequent collaborator with Mindbody and the Principal of Wynne Business Consulting & Education, which specializes in spa, wellness, and salon businesses and brands. She has over 35 years of experience in the beauty and wellness industry, spending the last 22 years as a consultant and educator helping wellness businesses optimize their operations while providing exceptional experiences for their guests. Lisa is the Task Force Chair for the Global Wellness Institute’s Consulting Initiative, a Contributing Editor at Spa Business Magazine, a regular contributor to global trade publications, and a highly rated speaker at industry conferences. She also offers live spa management courses both online and around the globe. 

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