ISPA Academy Articles
This session will provide insights on shared mission and trends with education institutions as well as ways to create strategic alignment and partnerships.
Pulse: How will the ISPA Collaborative on Higher Education (CoHE) drive innovation in the spa and wellness industry?
Dr. Mary Wisnom: The focus on wellness on campuses is growing at a rapid pace. Not only are campus recreation centers offering spa and wellness services, but health centers, residential dorms and academic programs are also getting into the game. The CoHE team was formed in part to help create a connection between ISPA and those working in campus wellness.
Aaron Hobson: As we all know, wellness can mean many different things to many different people, particularly in higher education settings. I feel the CoHE will help drive new ideas for the spa and wellness industry and find ways to connect with students on university campuses.
Pulse: What are some barriers to education that CoHE will tackle?
Jennifer Aarons: As educators, we need to know what skills the industry desires so that we can tailor our programs to meet those expectations. Through conversations with industry leaders, we hope to gain insight on skillset needs so we can generate future leaders who are properly equipped for success in spa and wellness.
AH: There are many misconceptions regarding access, affordability and the intersection of spa-like services and wellbeing services at higher education institutions. The CoHE will explore each of these areas closely to bring additional perspective to ISPA and higher education fields alike.
The ISPA collaborative on higher education (COHE) is an initiative ISPA created to help bridge the gap between higher education and the resources and knowledge among ISPA members. Several paths already exist in higher education for individuals who wish to pursue a professional career in the spa industry, and opportunities continue to expand. CoHE’s mission is to educate and help connect those institutions with ISPA’s membership base of spa industry leaders.
Partnerships, rather than sponsorships, are an integral part of the higher education initiative. (It is important to note the difference between partnerships and sponsorships: A partnership is where both parties have something to give and something they wish to receive. A sponsorship is when one party receives money or other resources for a particular event or program.) When creating partnerships with higher education institutions, it’s important to remember the following:
Researchers are telling us that we can expect to see more change in the next decade than we did in the past hundred years. So, consider:
- Now more than ever, we have a reason to worry, to feel backed up against a wall or to even wring our hands as we look for new answers to old problems. For spa leaders, some of those ever-present daily challenges are staffing, retention and engagement.
- Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to put on our creativity capes, along with our best possible future glasses (not rose colored). In our industry, that means creating a flourishing environment for both our staff who stayed and our loyal, if somewhat exhausted, clients.
Which is the right perspective? You can make a case for each, and you get to decide.
You get to choose whether you view change as a threat or an opportunity. As difficult as disruption sometimes will be, you can use scientific research to stack the uncertain odds in your favor.
THE POSITIVITY PRINCIPLE
“Positive psychology is the scientific study of “what makes life most worth living,” as psychology professor Christopher Peterson wrote in Psychology Today. To dive a bit deeper, positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings and behavior, with focus on strengths instead of weaknesses and with the objective to build on the good in life instead of repairing the bad.
Martin Seligman, Ph.D., who is often considered the pioneer of the positive psychology movement, coined an acronym for the five pillars that are needed to create a life where we can become our best self as we create our best future. PERMA comprises Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments.
Each year, the holiday season seems to come quicker and quicker, pulling behind it a dependable stream of decorations, family gatherings and heightened consumerism. For spa professionals, the holidays present a tremendous opportunity to welcome new spa-goers into your universe and reach untapped segments of your community. More than at any other time of the year, friends and family give the gift of relaxation and restoration to loved ones in desperate need of a break from busy, sometimes backbreaking lifestyles. Many of them know the benefits of spa but are not intimately familiar with their local spa scene. Where do these thoughtful gift-givers go to get the lowdown on the best spas in town?
You guessed it—they go to online reviews. Waiting patiently in their pocket or within an arm’s reach, their phone is a gateway to all the gab and gossip surrounding local businesses. Review sites receive a constant flow of star ratings and reflections from customers whose experience with a local business, whether positive or negative, motivates them to let the world know. As we will see, understanding the statistics behind online reviews and managing your online reputation is of the utmost importance—especially during the holiday season.
As spa directors continually search for ways to create authentic experiences for their guests while also increasing revenue, many have decided the best way to do that is by tapping into local resources. Businesses need revenue-boosting partnerships to succeed, and spa directors have decided that looking at local resources does that and also distinguishes them from their competitors.