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In this Post: Learn helpful tips. Massage employers and staff communication during the pandemic.
As a business owner who employees staff, it can be super scary closing your business for the greater good. Regardless of whether it was something you choose to do on your own accord, or it was mandated.
There is rent, recurring bills, client relations, the potential for theft (I hate even to mention this one, but…), and a whole slew of other things to think about!
I get it. I’m also thinking about all of these things! It’s stressful!
But what about your staff?
Some of whom I’m willing to bet live paycheck to paycheck. Just think about how scared they must be! Maybe they couldn’t stock up on groceries and toilet paper and masks before the supply ran out because they couldn’t afford a $500 grocery bill. Perhaps they were too busy working to realize they NEEDED to stock up.
A lot of us, myself included, were a bit clueless about the ramifications of this global crisis. Once I began to realize the extent to which this would affect me…and my staff, I jumped into action.
I ran to the grocery store. My fridge was bare. I had just a few rolls of tp left. TP was gone, as I had been warned, but was too busy to get to sooner. I got Kleenex. People bustled through the isles with frenzy and turmoil. The manic energy brought me to tears. So many lives to be affected in so many ways!
Massage Employers and Staff Communication During the Pandemic
So, back to your staff. How does my personal journey relate? It illustrates the need for reassurance. They need a leader—someone to guide them through the process.
The more communication you can have with them, the more secure they will feel. Obviously, we have yet to realize all the implications, but the more we can keep staff updated on what we do know and our own intentions, the better.
It is also a good time to check-in with them to see where they are at with their basic needs. Knowing there is a problem is half the battle. Maybe they genuinely don’t have anything to eat for the next week/month. Is there some way you can help?
A lot of people are struggling with anxiety and depression. Direct them to NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, a wonderful organization that is already responding to the growing need for help from this virus.
Advise Them on Measures They Can Take to Protect Themselves
Some of the things I advised my staff on included;
1) Writing representatives. As the government begins to become more proactive about stimulus packages, we are in a tricky position. As independent contractors and small business owners, we may not benefit from these packages unless we make our voices heard now!
Here is the letter I sent, feel free to use it as a jumping-off point for your own letters:
I hope you can help – I represent a high-risk profession, massage therapists.
As America begins to panic and the government is becoming more proactive about how to help, I am noticing that my profession, my business, and my workers are not going to benefit from any stimulus package that may be passed.
I have owned a wellness spa for the last 12 years in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Working in the service industry and touching people puts us at high risk along with medical professionals, and with tourism being the number one industry in Steamboat, we anticipate a sharp drop in work.
It appears that the stimulus package does not cover independent contractors; please be aware this is the majority of the people working in the profession of massage therapy. Many are sole proprietors of their own business or independent contractors for businesses like mine.
Thanks for taking the time to read and make some noise!
2) Contact Your Creditors – Many lenders are offering loan deferral programs right now. They have COVID-19 departments set up to handle these requests. Call them now to see if they will work with you in some way.
3) Check to see if there is a Facebook page in your community to connect those in need. A lot of communities, including my own, are setting up these types of pages to communicate needs and lend helping hands.
4) Check out the Facebook group – Massage, health practitioner, and COVID 19. A wonderful resource for staying current on all the trends massage therapists are seeing during this scary time.
5) Cut out unnecessary expenses. Since we don’t know how long we will be affected, now is the time to cut out unnecessary expenses and NOT make big purchases.
6) Document your losses. The more you have recorded, the better position you will be in to recoup some of your losses if and when relief arrives.
Let Them Know What You Are Doing
Are you planning on doing a deep clean of your workplace during the hiatus? Maybe you have odd jobs they can help you with from home. Are you delivering checks early? Assure them that if they need anything that they can reach out to you, and you will do the best you can to help.
When we don’t have answers, our minds can start to wander to dark places. Communication may be the key to ensure your staff comes back to work for you once the dust of this storm has settled.
Don’t panic; look at this as a time to reflect on the direction you want to take your business in the future. This slower pace could be just the time you need to make the changes you have been hoping to make for a while.
Continued Resources for Massage Employers and Staff Communication During the Pandemic
You may also like:
How to Support Your Massage Therapist During COVID-19 Crisis – A post to share with clients.
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
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