HEART Seeds – Changing Spa Culture


Not long ago people would arrive at the spa to “have fun”, a girl’s day out, a special treat, and pampering. According to massage therapists, clients are no longer coming for fun and basic relaxation they are coming to relieve physical discomfort from mounting stresses. Modalities for general relaxation or “escape” have given way to results oriented modalities. Wellness is the word in spa and resilience is the goal.

Luxury spa is out and spa as a pragmatic health choice is in. Marketing messages that enticed customers through sensory details is morphing into marketing messages of promised wellness.

In this new world spa employees need a personal wellness credo. It is no longer sufficient to regiment team members to align with our guiding mission statement of transformational customer experiences. How do we know who can deliver the new value and wellness proposition? How do we hire people with a personal “North Star” that will resonate with and add light to our organization? With “wellness” and “awareness” two core qualities necessary to facilitate the health of other human beings it is time to reexamine our staffing processes and to clearly define our concept of “wellness”.

HEART Seeds For Personal and Planetary Transformation ™ is a management system for guiding our internal states while accomplishing our goals. The internal orientation of a job candidate is primary to their success in the spa service organization.

Rather than inquiring about a job candidate’s customer service experience and philosophy inquire about how generosity and community is present in their life. Questions regarding education and experience will take us so far; additional inquiry into their current activities for personal and professional growth will indicate how eager they are to learn and aspire. Inquiry into their personal practices for self-care and health enhancement will provide an understanding of the candidate’s capacity to authentically represent and live the spa culture. What is their personal passion and how does it connect with their chosen profession? Do they have blessings in their life and what are they? This approach to interviewing will begin to build an organizational culture that is transformational for all participants.

HEART Seeds For Personal and Planetary Transformation™ is a unique approach to the art of organizational development and management. Developed by Rhana Pytell, this system sets the foundation for evolving a resilient organizational culture. Learn more at Heart-Seeds.com or contact Ms. Pytell at Rhana@amethystsystems.com

5 thoughts on “HEART Seeds – Changing Spa Culture

  1. Great to see the approach to interviewing spa staff you are developing here Rhana. I’m not sure ‘a management system for guiding our internal states’ can be accomplished though, since this puts left-brain approaches back in the dominating seat. Consider the possibility of ‘internal states guiding our management’?

    I’ve also come to think that if the ‘leaders’ were to attend to their internal states, the rest might well follow … in time. I know that some, like you, do. Maybe its far more subtle than we’d like to think. It doesn’t work in the old paradigm. You are suggesting a way of transitioning from one to the other perhaps … that is valuable.

    1. Thank you. A context or holistic system/structure that helps us shape our internal states on a moment to moment basis – through all our doing – is necessary for making the transition from the constraints of externally focussed management of people as resources that serve a goal to a dynamic organization of conscious individuals. It is necessary to ask the questions of ourselves before asking others.

      I will be sharing this approach to changing the context of our goals and “to dos” at the Spafinder event at Red Mountain Spa in Utah on the 20th of October. http://clubspa.spafinder.com/tag/red-mountain-spa-learning-event
      and again at the Green Spa Network Congress in Rancho La Puerta in November.

  2. Rhana, this is so exciting to hear. It only makes sense that the things that reward us as humans would serve as calls to action to provide the same rewards for others. The wellness of a spa visit is akin to the wellness visit to a therapist focused on verbalized emotional troubles. It will be through a desire (compulsion) to create harmony and relieve disharmony that a spa employee will find success, and a spa operator will find a successful employee. Having these discussions from the outset should set a standard higher than simple behavioral expectations, and this dialogue will then permeate all the work that follows the hiring process, in a profession that is as much a calling as a skill set.

    1. “It will be through a desire (compulsion) to create harmony and relieve disharmony that a spa employee will find success”

      Peter, this is so true. When our intent and practice is to live harmony, the disharmony falls away and everything improves!

      As directors, managers and owners of spas, which facilitate wellness, we must live harmony and fully accept the responsibility of evaluating spa practitioners and employees from this perspective. This is a significant shift from the singular focus on an external skill set. Now, more than ever, it is the internal orientation and connection that determines our capacity to serve and thrive.

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