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Hilton’s Spa Leader Onboarding Program Honored with Award for Inspiring the Future of the Spa Industry

Hilton’s spa and wellness team was recently recognized by the International Spa Association (ISPA) with a 2019 ISPA Innovate Award for the Hilton School of Wellness Spa Leader Onboarding Program. The program, which officially launched in February 2019, allows employees to grow as managers by giving them the tools to develop beyond their current roles and help achieve their professional goals. 

The Hilton School of Wellness Spa Leader Onboarding Program is a unique training program within the spa industry, designed to help Hilton spa professionals thrive in a more business-centric role. It provides employees with the education and tools they need to monitor and grow the business while on the path to management. 

Spa professionals receive an eight-hour online crash-course in how to be a savvy business owner, including everything from learning how to balance a budget and oversee a facility’s operations and marketing to managing teams and more. The curriculum includes quizzes and operations tips from Hilton spa leaders around the world, including a 30-second video element that encourages spa directors across the world to share their own tips and tricks on topics from promotion to controlling miscellaneous expenses. 

“Our industry is all about empowering our guests to find balance and be the best versions of themselves with our help to seek their personal wellness,” said Jill Carlen, global director of spa concepts, Hilton. “With our Spa Leader Onboarding Program, we’ve found that empowering spa employees to take the reins of the business allows them to apply those hands-on skills in new ways, which benefits both the employees’ experience and guests’ experience as well.” 

Since its launch, 66 spa professionals have graduated from the program. Lindsay Neeley, spa director at Waldorf Astoria Spa Orlando, was one of the first to do so. “The Hilton Spa Leader Onboarding Program was a wonderful refresher tool [for me], but it was especially invaluable for my assistant director, managers and supervisors. The program covers a variety of topics so comprehensively that it helps set developing leaders up for success in future roles.” 

The Spa Leader Onboarding Program was designed to propel, retain and attract new professionals to the spa industry. It is one of three winners to be honored in the Leadership & Philanthropy category of the ISPA Innovate Awards, a distinction selected by fellow ISPA members that celebrates “creativity and commitment in an ever-changing market.”