Global Mentorship Program Reveals Spa Leadership & Spa Management Best Practices and Insights

Jean-Guy de GabriacJean-Guy de Gabriac

Jean-Guy de Gabriac

The Global Mentorship Program recently released Mentorship Reflections: Guiding and Inspiring Spa Leadership for a Well World, a 96-page handbook packed with best practices and insights, which was compiled as a result of the 2015 pilot program.

Currently the only formal mentorship program serving the worldwide spa industry, the GMP is a peer-to-peer initiative that provides spa professionals with mentor-mentee relationships. By pairing experienced spa directors, as mentors, with spa managers, as mentees, the program offers aspiring leaders valuable lessons on how others have successfully navigated the world of spa management. Spa directors, meanwhile, are given an opportunity to pass down their wisdom, while raising the collective knowledge of the industry and learning new tricks from their mentees.

The 2015 program took place over two three-month mentorship sessions; mentors and mentees connected for up to 90 minutes twice each month via phone calls, video conferencing or face to face, and discussed a variety of subject matters, such as leadership and management, strategic and business planning, priority management and human resources. Participants represented a variety of arenas, including hotel and resort spas, club spas, independent day spas, mineral springs spas, and a health club owned by a nonprofit health care organization.

According to Deborah Smith, Principal, Smith Club & Spa, Co-Chair of the GMP and Regional Supervisor for the USA & Canada, questionnaires conducted by the Global Mentorship Program revealed the following:
• 100% of mentors and mentees believe the GMP benefits the spa industry.
• 92% of mentors and mentees believe their company could benefit from the program.
• 86% of mentees felt ‘absolutely’ more motivated at work after being mentored.
• 79% of mentees felt ‘absolutely’ more productive at work after being mentored.

The document is filled with honest feedback and revelations, such as:

“What I now understand is how to talk and connect to different personalities and be aware of how to approach them individually. In the spa industry you’ll find a variety of personalities, and it’s important for management to give empowerment to your employees by making them feel important.” (Mentee Jeannine Bourque, spa operations manager, Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Resort, Maui, who was mentored by Angela Cortright of Spa Gregorie’s in Southern California).

“[The second topic] Paris assisted me with was how to increase retail sales in the Spa. After our mentoring session, I established ‘on desk’ monthly retail offers for our spa guests. When a retail offer is displayed on the desk, it is very easy to move to the ‘sales process’ when the guest is checking out from the Spa.” (Mentee Paula Myohanen, lifestyle manager, Talise Spa at Madinat Jumeirah Resort, UAE, who was mentored by Paris Kounoudis, director of spa, Ritz-Carlton Dubai, UAE).

“[With this handbook], we can create the biggest ripple effect as possible, in order to touch (and possibly improve) the daily lives of thousands of spa managers among the 130,000 spa managers/directors in the world,” said Jean-Guy de Gabriac, CEO and Founder, TIP TOUCH International, and Initiative Chair Global Career Development and Co-Chair of the Global Mentorship Program.

Following the success of the 2015 program, which included 17 mentors and 32 mentees in 22 countries, leadership is now preparing two six-month sessions for 2016, which will involve 50 mentors and 100 mentees.

Click here for the full handbook, which contains a foreword by Susie Ellis, Global Wellness Institute chairman and CEO.

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