Listen to Kay Pennington ‘In conversation with...’ European Spa

The group spa manager of Aqua Sana UK and Ireland, talks to Mark Smith about meaningful connections and how to light up lockdown

By Mark Smith

25 February 2021

As part of European Spa’s ‘In conversation with…’ series on Instagram Live, Kay Pennington, group spa manager, Aqua Sana UK and Ireland highlighted the innovative ways in which she has connected with her spa teams during lockdown.

She also highlighted the importance of meaningful connections and spoke about the need for spa operators and spa suppliers to change the way they work together post-lockdown.

Kay Pennington's top five takeaways

Meaningful connections

“During lockdown we were all physically separated from each other and many of the connections in our teams and between work colleagues – which are truly valuable – had been broken. People were feeling disconnected. I was feeling this, and I wanted to offer an opportunity for our team to connect on a different level and put out an invitation for people who wanted to join a group conversation.


Light up lockdown

‘Light up lockdown’ was a new way for our team to connect with each other when we were all at home. It has provided a new opportunity for everyone at Aqua Sana to share their stories and experiences of lockdown, what they had learnt, felt and how they had grown. Everyone was welcome on the call. The calls are not work related and that’s been important.


The pathway to reopening

Coming back to the spa when we reopen, we have to create a new sense of balance for our teams. We should not over complicate a treatment menu, instead, keeping it simple. We will have to offer an element of no-touch because it’s important to respect issues that have arisen from Covid-19, and we believe that many guests will be asking for this.


The spa operator/spa supplier working relationship

The way that we work with, and how we deal with our spa suppliers is key to moving forward. It’s time to shift our working relationship, to respect the wellness of sales teams out on the road. How many times do we see a sales team member on long journeys, driving all day? Where is the wellness in that?


We know we can do a lot more online. Spa operators and spa suppliers need to recognise and adapt their approach because there was a lot of exhaustion on both sides before the pandemic.


An opportunity for change

We now have a real opportunity to tell our teams how much they mean to us – find out what they want for the future, don’t take their wellbeing for granted when we return to normal. They will have some inspiration and ideas from many months of personal reflection that they could bring to the business too.


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